SPARTANBURG, S.C. — One of the activities which always makes an impact on the players selected to the annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas is the visit to a local hospital.
For Richmond Senior’s Devant’e Covington and Tyrone Crowder, it was no different. The pair joined their North Carolina teammates and South Carolina opponents Sunday at the Shriners Hospital in Greenville, S.C.
“We met the kids and walked around seeing the different areas,” Crowder said. “I met some kids who couldn’t walk or stand up straight. It makes you realize what you have.”
Covington agreed with his fellow Raider, “It made me realize I’m taking advantage of my life.”
That visit is serving as a rallying cry for the North Carolina team this week as it looks to win its second straight over South Carolina. Last season, former Richmond standouts Antoine Crouch and Steve Houston helped North Carolina pull out a 26-19 victory.
“We say it’s all for the kids,” Crowder said. “Everybody wants to win. Tomorrow we will go out there and showcase our talent.”
This year’s game is set for 1 p.m. today at Wofford’s Gibbs Stadium. South Carolina leads the series 41-30 with four ties.
Both Covington and Crowder said it was difficult getting back into the football shape and having the right state of mind.
“It’s been going good,” Covington said. “It’s been tough coming back after three weeks.”
Another adjustment for the pair has been learning a new playbook in a short period of time.
“It’s been a little more than I expected,” Crowder said. “It’s not that I thought it was going to be easy, but I didn’t know what to expect. We have been practicing two times a day and the coaches put the plays in one day. Now it has just been repetition.”
All the players got a break from their practices Friday afternoon while attending the Spartanburg Touchdown Club Lunch of Champions. The luncheon featured several college coaches including: South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe, North Carolina State’s Dave Doeren, Duke’s David Cutcliffe and Furman’s Bruce Fowler.
For Covington, it gave him a chance to listen to his future collegiate coach.
“I was paying more attention to him (Spurrier) than the others,” said Covington, a South Carolina commit. “It was good though.”
Covington, Crowder named to all-state team
ROCKINGHAM — Richmond Senior defensive lineman Devant’e Covington and offensive lineman Tyrone Crowder were selected to the NCPreps.com 4A all-state team it was announced Friday afternoon.
“It’s an honor,” Covington said. “It’s a great way to end my career.”
It was the second time Crowder has been recognized by the website since the season ended. Earlier this month, Crowder was named to the NCPreps.com all classifications all-state squad.
Covington and Crowder were the only Southeastern Conference players selected as a member of the offense or defense. Scotland’s Artemis Robinson was named to the squad as an athlete.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.