For Chris Wofford, at the very least, it’s a fine way to go out.
The 24-year veteran of the Clinton High School football staff – Wofford coached in the Clinton middle schools for four years before that – is an assistant coach in the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl, known more commonly as the North-South Game. The game will be played at Coastal Carolina University’s Brooks Stadium on Saturday at noon, a week after it was originally scheduled to take place at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.
Game organizers wanted to ensure that no players would have to withdraw if their teams made it to last weekend’s state championship games, which were pushed back a week due to the ravages of Hurricane Florence.
What makes the experience doubly significant for Wofford is the fact that he will not be coaching at Clinton High School next year. Wofford has been informed that he will not be back on the staff as a side effect of Andrew Webb being released as head coach.
“I couldn’t pick a better way to go out as a football coach other than winning the state championship,” Wofford said. “Next year doesn’t matter. Right now I just plan on teaching.”
Wofford is coaching the linebackers as part of the staff of Christ Church’s Don Frost. Frost told Wofford he would be part of the staff a year ago when Clinton’s Kody Varn, now at Newberry College, played on the North team.
Asked to give his reaction to practices so far, Wofford said, “I’d say you could win a lot of football games with these guys. We’re fortunate to have some great young men on our team. We’ve gotten compliments on their politeness and behavior everywhere we’ve gone.”
Wofford’s corps of linebackers consists of Belton-Honea Path’s Jalen Geer, Gaffney’s Daylan Littlejohn, Central’s (Pageland) Daylon Robinson, Dixie’s De Donald and Saluda’s Raquon Hartley.
Wofford also knows South head coach Dwayne Garrick of Barnwell. Tamyn Garrick, his son, is the quarterbacks coach at Presbyterian College and was once Wofford’s student teacher at CHS.
“It’s nice to be down here with people that you know and respect,” Wofford said. “Our whole staff is made up of really good guys.”
Wofford’s family is joining him in Myrtle Beach, its regular summer-vacation destination, on Wednesday. Others from the Clinton staff, including Webb, are coming down for the weekend.