Northwestern vs. South Pointe
THE BIGGEST RIVALRY IN ROCK HILL, KNOWN AS
“Football City, USA” to the locals of South Carolina’s York
County, isn’t the longest running. While Rock Hill High School
and Northwestern began playing in 1972, the newest school
in the city, South Pointe, has taken some of the luster off the
The town of 69,000 has produced countless collegiate
players and sent dozens to NFL rosters, including the No. 1
player in the 2014 NFL Draft, Jadeveon Clowney.
“The rivalry between Rock Hill and Northwestern was a
really, really, really huge deal but South Pointe coming in
watered it down a little bit,” said Brett McCormick, sports
editor of the Rock Hill Herald. “[Rock Hill/Northwestern] is
still very impassioned, but as far as the one getting people
excited now it’s South Pointe/Northwestern.”
South Pointe, which took the field for the first time in
2006, quickly established itself as a football powerhouse in
the Palmetto State and has gone toe-to-toe with a program
that has won 551 games and four state championships.
In the first 10 meetings between the schools, the series
is dead even at five. And between 2008 and 2014, one of
the two schools played for a state championship every year,
including 2008 when they played each other for the 4A Division II title. That game featured three players who were taken
in the first round of NFL Draft in three consecutive years.
Before Clowney (South Carolina) was selected first by the
Houston Texans in 2014, Stephon Gilmore (South Carolina)
was chosen 10th by the Buffalo Bills in 2012 and Cordarrelle
Patterson (Tennessee) was taken 29th by the Minnesota
Vikings in 2013. Gilmore, Clowney and DeVonte Holloman
(South Carolina), who was drafted in the sixth round by the
Dallas Cowboys in 2013, played together at South Pointe.
Patterson played for Northwestern, winners of state
championships in 1989, 1993, 2010 and 2013. Former Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley led the Trojans to a 42-20
win against Clowney and South Pointe in a game televised
on ESPNU in 2010. In just nine seasons of football, South
Pointe has earned three state titles (2008, 2011 and 2014)
and been the state runner-up twice (2009 and 2012).
Easley vs. Pickens
ONE OF THE LONGEST-STANDING RIVALRIES IN THE
Palmetto State is Easley and Pickens in the Sam Wyche Food
Fight Bowl. It features two teams that have played annually
since 1923. That year, Easley won 7-6, and since 2008
the schools have competed for the Food Fight Bowl trophy
named for the former NFL head coach of the Cincinnati
Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The top of the Food Fight Bowl trophy was taken off
Wyche’s 1988 NFL Coach of the Year trophy and goes to the
winner of the game. He became involved in Meals for Wheels
when he succeeded his wife, Jane, on the board of directors.
“The Food Fight Bowl has been outstanding,” Wyche said.
“We asked the student bodies to get their mommas and
daddies and the local merchants involved to pitch in and
raise the most money for Meals on Wheels. Later my name
Wyche coached 12 years
in the NFL, compiling a
record of 84-107 and led
the Bengals to the 1988
Super Bowl against the
San Francisco 49ers. He
played collegiate football at
Furman University and was
offensive coordinator at
Pickens from 2011-2014.
The Food Fight Bowl
game was started to
highlight the role Meals on
Wheels and its volunteers
play in the community, said
Meta Bowers, executive
“We were in a real financial bind and kind of at a cross-
Pickens leads the Ultimate Food Fight Trophy competition
roads of going out [of business],” she noted. “There was a
brainstorming of what are we going to do and we needed to
have signature fundraising events.”
In the weeks leading up to the game, students from both
high schools compete for the Ultimate Food Fight Trophy
by raising funds for Meals on Wheels. The marble trophy is
awarded to the school that collects the most money for the
program benefitting senior citizens in Pickens County. Since
its inception, the event has raised $188,918, or the equiva-
lent of 37,784 meals, for Meals on Wheels.
6-0-1 after raising $13,762 in 2014. Together, Pickens and
Easley, along with D. W. Daniel and Liberty High Schools,
added $32,278 to the program’s coffers last year. Over the
last seven years, Pickens has raised $107,684. Easley holds a
4-3 advantage on the football field its 52-7 victory last season.
FIVE MUST-SEE RIVALRY GAMES
Right now, a fan in the Carolinas is chatting about one of these games. Right
now, a senior is dreaming about playing in one of these matchups for the final
time. This fall, “coming soon” will lead to “game day.” And shortly thereafter,
bragging rights will be decided for another season. Long live the rivalry game!