They’re ‘still South Pointe.’ They’ll try to prove it in Upper State title vs. Greenville

·5 min read

It’s a “respect thing.”

It’s about going 10-1 through one of the tougher 4A schedules in South Carolina, which included games against 5A powers Northwestern and Spring Valley, and “still feeling like an underdog.”

It’s about the absurd notion that South Pointe football has “fallen off” — that after three playoff seasons that didn’t result in state championships (after four straight that did from 2013-17), the Stallions in Rock Hill aren’t like the teams that came before them.

It’s a recurring statement shared on Twitter, a subtle reminder players tell each other in practice huddles and in pregame meetings.

It’s this: “Still South Pointe.”

The Stallions have used their favorite mantra — Still South Pointe — a lot in its so-far three-game run in the postseason. And they’ll use it again on Friday night when they welcome Greenville to Rock Hill.

South Pointe has a chance to seize its seventh Upper State title since the school opened in 2005. A win would advance South Pointe to the 2021 4A state championship game, a place it hasn’t been since it won it all in 2017.

And though all this, the Stallions have a chance to prove that they still are who they once were.

“They’re still connected in the sense where they saw it, they saw what it looked like,” head coach DeVonte Holloman told The Herald at a practice earlier this week, referencing the team’s success. “And that’s a reason a lot of them are Stallions now. Growing up in that time period, being fans, being the little kids playing football on the side while the winning was going on.

“That’s what they aspired to be, and here we are, with a chance to put a stamp on it and get ourselves a state championship as a school.”

Unrelenting dominance, in a cyclical enterprise like high school sport, is rare. But that’s what South Pointe has had in its brief but robust history — one littered with championships and NFL talents (like Holloman, the team’s current head coach).

Unrelenting dominance is what current players on the team saw growing up.

“When I was in Gra-Y and stuff like that, I used to come to all the South Pointe games,” said senior receiver Waymond Jenerette. He smiled as he reminisced: “They used to treat us well. We used to eat pregame meals with them and everything.”

Three years without a title, players say, is long enough.

“This is what we’ve dreamed of since ninth grade,” senior defensive lineman Anquerrious Davis told The Herald. “We said this is going to happen one day. We’re gonna get it one day.”

South Pointe’s (90) Anquerrious Davis targets his opponent as the South Pointe Stallions host the South Florence Bruins in Friday night football action, 9-17-2021. The Stallions take on York for the Region 3-4A title on Friday night (Oct. 29).
South Pointe’s (90) Anquerrious Davis targets his opponent as the South Pointe Stallions host the South Florence Bruins in Friday night football action, 9-17-2021. The Stallions take on York for the Region 3-4A title on Friday night (Oct. 29).

South Pointe (11-1) vs. Greenville (10-2)

Friday’s day-after-Thanksgiving game in Rock Hill should be a fun one.

South Pointe is playing as well as it has all season, relying on the same cast of characters that carried them to an eighth straight region championship earlier this year: Jenerette broke records for most receiving yards (1,215) and most touchdown receptions (14) in a single season earlier this postseason. Around Jenerette are great athletes Armendiz Huskey, Jakhari Webb and Demari Kendrick.

Running backs Ja’Quan Thompson (574 yards, seven touchdowns) and Caleb Sims (552 yards, seven touchdowns) have flourished as the South Pointe offensive line has improved.

And the team’s offense runs through senior quarterback and dual threat Zay McCrorey: He has notched 2,489 yards and 23 touchdowns passing. He’s led an offense that has scored 39.7 points a game in the postseason.

And he’s grown into the emotional leader that his team has needed this year, his teammates say.

“At halftime, my quarterback came up to me and said, ‘Bro, we are not losing this game,’” Davis said, referring to South Pointe’s third-round win over Greenwood that required South Pointe to come back from being down 14-3 at halftime. “And I just believed him. And we came back. We’d never been down that bad.”

South Pointe quarterback (3) Zay McCrorey throws a pass in the second half as the South Pointe Stallions host the South Florence Bruins in Friday night football action, 9-17-2021.
South Pointe quarterback (3) Zay McCrorey throws a pass in the second half as the South Pointe Stallions host the South Florence Bruins in Friday night football action, 9-17-2021.

Greenville is an interesting matchup for the Stallions. Holloman said his upcoming opponent reminds him of Spring Valley, the only team to beat South Pointe this year.

The comparison makes sense: The Red Raiders rely on an athletic, 6-foot-3, 190-pound quarterback in Prometheus Franklin II. The senior has thrown for 34 touchdown passes and 3,242 yards and has added 365 yards on the ground. He’s aided by some athletic wide receivers, too, and protected by a big offensive line that boasts a 6-foot-5, 285-pound Clemson Tigers commit in Collin Sadler and other big guys like him.

South Pointe’s defense will have its hands full on Friday. But the Stallions have turned up the proverbial dial in the postseason. A lot of that is thanks to Davis — a leader on the defensive line who had 20 tackles last week against Greenwood — as well as South Pointe’s deep defensive backfield that includes Syracuse commit Quan Peterson, senior Chris McCullough, DJ Barksdale and more.

South Pointe hosted Laurens in the second round of the state playoffs November12, 2021. South Pointe’s Waymond Jenerette heads for the endzone for a touchdown in the second quarter. Andy Burriss-Special to The Herald
South Pointe hosted Laurens in the second round of the state playoffs November12, 2021. South Pointe’s Waymond Jenerette heads for the endzone for a touchdown in the second quarter. Andy Burriss-Special to The Herald

“I’m proud of this team, man,” Jenerette said.

“We’ve come a long way,” Davis added.

And his team hopes to go farther to prove that the Stallions still are of that championship pedigree. That they still are who they’ve always been.

That they’re “Still South Pointe.”

South Pointe vs. Greenville prediction

Zietlow’s pick: South Pointe wins.

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