ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Coach Jim Ringer says he left the state's all-time leading rusher and scorer off the South Carolina Shrine Bowl team because he doesn't block or carry out fakes.
Lexington County running back Demetris Summers is one of the top running back prospects in the nation, but the Shrine Bowl snub and SAT preparation will keep him out of the Palmetto State's two high school all-star games.
Ringer said he needs Summers to block as well as run the football at the Dec. 21 Shrine Bowl, which will pit the top 48 players from South Carolina against the best from North Carolina.
"Even though we knew we would have someone who could run the ball tremendously, we didn't have time to teach different protection schemes for our quarterbacks when Demetris was in the game versus when he wasn't in the game," said Ringer, also head coach at Rock Hill.
Lexington coach Jimmy Satterfield has publicly questioned Ringer's decision.
"Heck, we don't ask him to block," Satterfield said. "We ask him to run."
Summers holds South Carolina records for most yards (8,586) rushing in a career and most touchdowns (117).
Ringer said he made his decision after reviewing game tapes for months that consistently showed Summers not blocking and carrying out fakes. He also checked a tape hand-delivered to him by Satterfield.
"Unfortunately, when we watched that tape, even though his running was still phenomenal, there was no change in what he did when he wasn't running the ball," Ringer said.
Ringer said he didn't plan on specifying why he didn't pick Summers for the Shrine Bowl, but felt like he needed to defend himself against Satterfield's recent criticism.
Marlboro County quarterback Syvelle Newton, the state's top quarterback, also wasn't chosen for the team. Ringer has not specifically said why Newton was left off the squad.
Newton will play at the 2002 North-South All Star game Dec. 14 in Myrtle Beach. Summers will miss that game to take the SAT.