SPARTANBURG — Four locals were at the Shrine Bowl this past weekend and it was one to remember.
For Newberry High Coach Bill Harvey the past week was a once in a lifetime opportunity for him to coach as an assistant in the Shrine Bowl.
Coaches can only be assistants once and this was Harvey’s year.
He also got to coach two of his players, Eric Gallman and Trahjare Reeder.
For Shriner Jamie Smith, the game is one he has come to love and devote much of his time to.
This year Smith serves as the second vice president and the vice game chairman of the Shrine Bowl, which pits the best high school players in South Carolina against those in North Carolina.
Smith will continue to rise in the ranks with the bowl game.
The events began with the players arriving on Saturday, Dec. 8 in Spartanburg.
The next day they attended service at First Baptist Church in Spartanburg that was broadcast on live television and went to a tour of the Shriner’s Hospital inf Greenville.
The day continued with game day photos being taken and physicals being done.
Each night the team was entertained at different events and Shrine clubs.
Each week day started with 6:30 a.m. wake up calls, the training room opening at 7 a.m. and breakfast at 7:30 a.m. The team practiced each day from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
On Thursday there was just a morning practice and the players had an afternoon off.
Friday’s morning practice was light and the group were guests at the Spartanburg Touchdown Club and had a banquet where numerous college coaches from USC to NC State, Duke and Furman spoke.
There were also nightly banquets with the Shrine’s Imperial Potentate and Dabo Swinney speaking.
On Saturday, the team check out of their hotel rooms and it was off to Wofford for game day.
Both Gallman and Reeder were starters with a fair amount of playing time.
For Gallman he worked both sides of the ball.
“Both were very dependable,” said Smith of the Newberry players, who had a good showing at the game.
Also the game exposed all of the players to numerous college scouts with Division Two scouts like those from Newberry College attending practices.
Also at halftime the Shriner’s hospitals were presented with a check for $1.3 million from the Shriners.
While Smith says the work for next year’s Shrine Bowl has started, he will take a few days in mid-January to attend the East West Game where the college All-Stars will be playing.