FLORENCE, S.C. – South Florence junior quarterback Shalique Parks has been cleared to play in games for the first time since struggling with shin-related stress fractures.
But freshman LaNorris Sellers will remain the signal-caller as he has been through the Bruins’ first three games.
“(Parks) is still a little bit out of shape,” South coach David Prince said. “We’re going to keep working with him until he does get into shape. But for right now, LaNorris is still our starter and we’re just going to keep working with all of them and see who rises to the top. We’re excited about what both can do.”
Prince said the two would not be in an exact rotation Friday when the Bruins host Marlboro County at 7:30 p.m. in the Morning News Game of the Week at Memorial Stadium.
“Shalique will probably just get to play in spots,” Prince said.
After South Florence (0-3) plays Marlboro, the Bruins play Sept. 27 at Darlington before opening their Region 6-5A schedule on campus on Oct. 4 against St. James.
Prince knows his team needs a win soon.
“It’s would definitely be a good one for morale if we can pull it off, that’s for sure,” Prince said about Friday’s game. “It’s going to be real important for our kids.”
Marlboro County, under first-year coach Bobby Collins, finds itself in a similar spot at 1-2 with a two-game losing streak since winning the opener against Ridgeland-Hardeeville.
“We’ve got to have fewer penalties and fewer turnovers,” said Collins, who replaced Dean Boyd who resigned to coach at his alma mater, York. “We want to keep it simple and play fast. That’s our No. 1 thing.”
While watching Marlboro on film, Prince sees a team adjusting to a new coach.
“They still seem to be trying to iron out what they do on offense,” Prince said. “They do a lot of multiple sets and I don’t know if that’s the coach’s way of trying to figure out what his new team is best at or if he just likes a lot of new formations.”
When Marlboro does get into a rhythm, their productivity goes through quarterback Darrius Grant and running back Demarkus Hicks.
“(Grant) played JV last year, so this is his first year to play varsity football, and he’s getting better every game,” Collins said. “He has one of the strongest arms I’ve ever coached. We’ve just got to make sure he’s throwing it to the right guy.” When Collins looks at South Florence on film, he notices Sellers and running back Hahsaun Wilson. Sellers has passed for 303 yards and a touchdown while Wilson has rushed for 379 yards and two scores.
“Both guys are deadly with the football in their hands,” Collins said. “(Wilson) runs hard, and (Sellers) is electrifying. He’s got a lot of quick-twitch muscles so he can go from right to left on a burst, go vertical quicker than anybody we’ve probably faced. Their athleticism is what scares me the most.”