CLASS 4A SOUTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
EVEN AS HE ETCHED HIS NAME DEEP INTO Byrnes lore by winning championship after champi- onship, the heart of Chris Miller never strayed too far from Spartanburg High. That’s where he poured
his foundation as a coach while serving as an assistant to
the legendary Doc Davis.
So when Miller was introduced in 2013 as the Vikings’ new
football coach, he emphasized what it would mean to again
serve at the school and his goal of making the program once
again the envy of others in the Palmetto State.
In 2001, Miller was a proud member of the Spartanburg staff
when it brought home a state title. Last season, the Vikings’ head
man joined his mentor in taking the football program to the top,
besting York in the Class 4A-Division II championship game.
It took only two seasons for him to fulfill his promise of
making Spartanburg High a winner. With that item checked
off his proverbial list, can the Vikings ( 12-3) handle the
burden of being the hunted rather than the hunter?
One thing is for sure; the team is locked and loaded in its
quest to repeat. One of the nation’s top recruits – and speediest, for that matter – in running back Tavien Feaster is back
to wreak havoc on opposing defenses, along with the passing
combo of Austin and Tavaris Scott. An underrated defense
should also show its worth this season, following a campaign in
which it was overshadowed by its offensive counterparts.
A DOORMAT NO MORE
While most expected Spartanburg to make a deep run last
season, Hillcrest floundered in relative anonymity despite its
winning ways. Once a perennial doormat, the Rams broke
through for a region title in 2013 and navigated itself to
a showdown with heavily favored Dutch Fork in the Class
4A-Division I title game.
Hillcrest ( 14-1) opened eyes both near and far in the tilt, using a
physical brand of football to thoroughly dominate the Silver Foxes
en route to a 47-17 rout. It was the program’s first state title.
Similar to Spartanburg, several key cogs involved in last year’s
run to a state crown are back for another chance at the throne.
Quarterback Collin Sneed is blessed with more than his share of
weapons, including the running back tandem of Quintavius and
Jacquavius Ballenger and wide receiver Brian Spurgeon.
Despite questions along the defensive line, the Rams’
back seven is among the state’s most athletic. It’s led by line-
backer Tori Delesline and defensive back Xavier Simmons.
A DUTCH FORK REBOUND?
No. 3 Dutch Fork ( 12-3) spent much of last season tabbed as the
class of not only Class 4A – but the entire Palmetto State. Popular
opinion meant little though as games are decided on the gridiron.
Nevertheless, in less than a decade head coach Tom
Knotts has helped build the Silver Foxes into a powerhouse.
They’ve made three consecutive trips to the state title game,
bringing home the trophy once. Despite massive losses
on both sides of the ball, this is not his first rodeo when it
comes to developing young talent.
Three of the team’s top four receivers from a year ago are
back. All eyes will be on Stephen Davis Jr. though, as the Auburn
commit showcases his skills at the defensive back position.
Since arriving in York several years ago, Bobby Carroll has taken
the Cougars’ program to new heights by winning 10 or more games
each season during his tenure. Last season, the team made its
first appearance in a state title game, falling to Spartanburg.
Key contributors, such as quarterback Deshaw Andrews and
all-purpose man Daurice Simpson, are gone. But similar to Knotts,
Carroll has built a program to where it doesn’t restock – it reloads.
York ( 12-3) has the potential to be one of the head coach’s
more physical teams during his time at the school. However, that
doesn’t mean the team won’t have its share of flash and dash as
it’s blessed with talents such as juniors Shandon Cobb and Wally
Wilmore, both of whom saw heavy playing time as sophomores.
Defensively, this York team will get after opposing ballcar-
riers courtesy of an active defensive line that’s anchored by
Deivonne Chalk and Joe Gill. – Joe L. Hughes II
Deivonne Chalk anchors
York’s defensive line.
QB Collin Hill, Dorman
RB Tavien Feaster, Spartanburg
WR Bryan Edwards, Conway
WR Chavis Dawkins, Byrnes
WR Jayson Hopper, Lexington
TE Hank Tuipulotu, Nation Ford
OL Ryan Enniss, York
OL Torrey Boone, Westwood
OL John Guthrie, Byrnes
OL John Simpson, Fort Dorchester
OL Chris Morales, Fort Dorchester
ATH Ryan Lee, Spring Valley
DL Deivonne Chalk, York
DL Javon Kinlaw, Goose Creek
DL Johnny Ray, Wando
DL Norman Hand, Colleton County
LB Tori Delesline, Hillcrest
LB Trae’von Hinton, Northwestern
LB Rashad Byrd, North Augusta
DB Thomas Jones, Laurens
DB Stephen Davis Jr., Dutch Fork
DB Quintavis Davis, Goose Creek
DB Khris Pam, Blythewood
ATH Matthew Martin, Westside
TOP 5 TEAMS
3. Dutch Fork