By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas is a special opportunity for a pair of Williams football players.
For Clifton Davis Jr., it also could make a big impact on his future.
“Hopefully, the Shrine Bowl will open up some opportunities,” Davis said. “It’s a lot more than just the Shrine Bowl to me right now. It could help my career a little bit after high school.”
Davis is a defensive back still trying to determine his college destination.
Teammate Will Rhodes, a linebacker, is committed to sign with Elon next week.
The Shrine Bowl, which pits seniors from North Carolina against seniors from South Carolina, is set for Saturday at Spartanburg High School’s Viking Stadium in Spartanburg, S.C.
Participants have been going through workouts in Spartanburg this week in advance of the game.
Rhodes said before departing for Shrine Bowl activities that he’s interested in meeting players heading to some big-time football programs.
Player selections for the Shrine Bowl are made across a span of months. That includes offseason combines to help identify potential participants.
“I was more happy than surprised because I went there with the intention to make it,” Davis said of his selection.
Davis said he played in a youth Shrine Bowl in Charlotte as a middle school student. He said with two Williams players picked for this year’s high school game that it’s a chance to showcase the Bulldogs.
“I think it’s a good look for the program,” Davis said.
Davis, a 175-pounder and also a track and field standout for Williams, said he’ll primarily be a cornerback and hopes also to be used on kickoff returns in the Shrine Bowl. He said he’ll do whatever he’s called upon to do in order to make an impression on college recruiters.
Still, there are other aspects of the week to enjoy.
“I know a few people down there,” Davis said. “I think it’s about the memories and the bonds more than anything.”
This will be a good way to cap the high school portion of Rhodes’ career.
He said the best part about his time with the Bulldogs was “mainly hanging out with my teammates. That’s what made high school so much fun to me.”
Rhodes said he sensed during his sophomore season that he could excel in football. He was the Defensive Player of the Year in the Central Carolina 3-A Conference for his junior and senior seasons. He posted a school-record 28 tackles in a game this year at Southern Alamance.