LAMAR, S.C. — Look beyond Shane Amerson’s 6-foot-3, 285-pound frame to discover what makes him grand.
See the four-year starter’s athleticism and desire while playing in the trenches for Lamar High School.
See how vital he is to protecting quarterback Cam Galloway and pulverizing the opposing one.
And how Amerson, the Class A upper-state lineman of the year, leads.
But also see how Amerson plays with abandon at right guard and defensive end.
It’s as if there’s no tomorrow.
After Amerson’s father, Cleve, died in the middle of the Silver Foxes’ 2017 state championship season, he learned it’s possible there can be no tomorrow. His father was himself a lineman at Hartsville and then Charleston Southern.
“It was a tough year,” Amerson said. “It just entered my mind that I should put everything I have into everything that I do because you never know what’s going to happen the next second.”
How can a player experience true bliss winning a state championship if the father that played such a vital role in his football life is not there in person?
Two years later, Amerson has learned to carry on while carrying his father’s memory.
And there’s nothing Amerson wants more than to win another state championship, especially after Lamar lost 26-20 to Green Sea Floyds in last year’s Class A final.
“I look at my 2017 state championship ring a good bit,” Amerson said. “I remember what it was like when the clock hit zero in the 2017 state final (a 74-46 win against Baptist Hill). And then I remember last year, which was not a good feeling at all. As a senior, you want another chance. I want to go back.”
Although this is Chad Wilkes’ first year as the Silver Foxes’ coach, he has seen enough to realize Amerson is one of the best players he has ever coached.
“If I had to boil it all down to one, it’d be toughness,” Wilkes said. “He’s 6-3 and 285 and can run and move and all that stuff and he happens to be our best leader and our toughest kid. He’s always the kid who practices the hardest. He’s always focused.”
Wilkes continued to talk about Amerson’s mental intensity.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever had a kid who has been as focused as him. He has complete focus on what his job is every single day. And he’s that kid,” Wilkes said. “And when you add that to the amount of talent he has along with his strength and athleticism, you get a really special player.”
Amerson, meanwhile, remembers what his father taught him.
“I stay aggressive on the field because that’s what he wanted from me when I’m on the field when he was here,” said Amerson, who will also play in the Dec. 14 Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl at Myrtle Beach High School. “So I figured I’d keep that going. Whether you’re on the offensive line or the defensive line, you want to go out and dominate every play.”
With that in mind, Amerson will try to help the Silver Foxes reach a fifth straight state championship game.
He’ll play as if there’s no tomorrow for his father.
“I want to win state again and do it for him,” Amerson said.