South View’s Emery Simmons is the lone Cumberland County football player chosen to appear in this year’s Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas high school all-star football game.
The annual contest that pits the top senior football players from North and South Carolina against each other is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 15, at Gibbs Stadium on the campus of Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.
Simmons has put together a personal highlight reel of catches this season, including a spectacular one-handed grab in South View’s only loss of the season so far against Terry Sanford.
According to statistics at ncprepsports.net through Oct. 23, he led Cumberland County Schools receivers in total yards and touchdown catches with 40 total receptions for 775 yards and 12 scores.
Already committed to Penn State, Simmons said he’s been taking the season game by game, putting in his best effort to impress the coaches who picked this year’s Shrine Bowl team.
“Not many people get to say they play in an all-star game like this, the longest-running all-star game in the country,’’ Simmons said. “It’s a blessing and an honor to be a part of it.’’
South View coach Rodney Brewington said Simmons has gone from being a running back in middle school to a 6-foot-2 receiver with loads of athletic ability and a work ethic to match.
“From a work ethic standpoint, I can’t say I’ve coached a kid who works as hard as he works,’’ Brewington said. “From an athletic standpoint, he puts you in the mind of Eric Ebron, who had athletic ability you couldn’t coach.’’
Ebron played for Brewington when Brewington coached in Greensboro and is currently the tight end for the Detroit Lions.
On the field, Brewington said one of Simmons’ greatest gifts is his aggressiveness. “He’s a kid that doesn’t wait for the ball to come to him,’’ Brewington said. “He goes to get it. He can dunk a basketball from a standstill. That’s a coach’s dream to have him as a receiver.’’
Simmons is one of six wide receivers chosen for this year’s Shrine Bowl team, but Brewington has no doubt he’ll have no trouble seeing his share of passes in the game.
“If they want to win, he’s going to have a lot of touches,’’ Brewington said.
Photo: Emery Simmons