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Sports: Tyler Davis is first WHS Shrine Bowl pick
By Roger Greene
There have been nearly a quarter century worth of Shrine Bowls played since Waccamaw High School opened its doors in 1990. In that time, not one Warrior football player has made the South Carolina roster.
But that changed earlier this week when senior lineman Tyler Davis was selected for the Sandlapper squad. Only 44 players from across the Palmetto State were chosen for the 78th annual game, which will be held on Dec. 20 at Wofford’s Gibbs Stadium.
Having his name being among them is a special honor for Davis. It may be even more so for his father, Waccamaw High football coach Tyronne Davis. A high school standout himself at Chesterfied, the elder Davis went on to play at Clemson.
“Playing in the Shrine Bowl is something every high school player in South Carolina strives for,” coach Davis said. “I know I wanted to be there when I was playing, but I didn’t get the chance. To have Tyler make the team is really special. It’s really hit home the last couple of days with so many of our friends, many of whom are also coaches, calling to congratulate him.”
Davis was the only player from the Grand Strand area selected for the event.
“At first, I was kind of shocked,” Tyler Davis said. “There’s a lot of good players and a lot of good linemen in [South Carolina]. Only a few guys get to go. It’s an honor to be on the team.”
Davis (6-foot-2, 290 pounds) anchors Waccamaw’s lines on both sides of the ball. Lining up at center, defensive tackle and also serving as long snapper, he rarely comes off the field.
“About the only time he’s on the sideline is when we’re kicking off or returning a kickoff,” coach Davis said. “We ask a lot of him.”
Especially considering he’s the son of the head coach.
“Coaching your son is never easy,” coach Davis said. “And I’m sure he’d say the same about playing for his father. He knows he’s going to catch it more than the other players. It’s probably not always fair, but he knows that’s the way it has to be.”
“My sophomore year was really my first playing varsity,” Tyler Davis said. “There were times when it was tough. But the last couple of years have been fine. He doesn’t want anyone thinking he’s taking it easy on me. I understand that.”
As good as he is on the field, Davis may be even better in the classroom where he carries a 4.2 grade point average.
“I didn’t always think about being able to play football in college,” Davis said. “But I always knew I’d need good grades to be able to get into college.”
Like many other players who will be part of the Shrine Bowl, Davis has aspirations of continuing his football career at the next level. Several schools have already expressed interest and Davis is mindful that the opportunity to take part in the Shrine Bowl may lead to more opportunities.
“I haven’t made any decisions yet,” Davis said. “I’m taking my time and waiting to see what happens.”