Organizers of Saturday’s Junior Shrine Bowl Battle of the Borders in Spartanburg came away impressed with the performance of Polk County’s Angus Weaver.
“He was a superstar,” one said. “He is the real deal.”
The Polk County Youth Football standout joined other sixth graders from around North Carolina in battling a team of South Carolina counterparts. The Tar Heels dominated the game, played in Wofford’s Gibbs Stadium, winning 33-8.
Weaver played linebacker for the Tar Heels, and while official stats aren’t available from the game, Weaver said he more than held his own against the Sandlapper offense.
“I had 13 tackles,” said the Polk County Middle School student, the first PCYF player chosen to participate in the game. “It was easier than I expected, really, as far as the game goes.
“It was very fun playing with a lot of the best kids in North Carolina and against the best kids in South Carolina.”
A benefit for the Shriners Hospitals for Children, the Junior Shrine Bowl featured players chosen on the basis of their athletic and academic excellence. The teams arrived in Spartanburg on Wednesday afternoon, then spent Thursday and Friday practicing and taking part in team building activities before Saturday morning’s kickoff.
The teams practiced at Dorman High School, and Weaver said he enjoyed getting to step onto the field at the Dorman complex as well as to have the opportunity to play in a college stadium – even if it meant some early wakeup calls.
“I was surprised we had to wake up at six o’clock just to practice,” Weaver said. “It was very tough and very cold, definitely. And very tiring.
“It was a good experience to see the kind of field that I might play on one day.”
Weaver helped lead the PCYF 11-12 year-old team to a Mid-Atlantic Carolinas American Youth Football & Cheer Conference regular-season championship this year. He has been a standout for the Wolverines since his early days in the program and hopes to one day indeed be playing on fields such as Wofford’s.
And enjoying success when he does.
“Winning the football game was probably my favorite thing,” Weaver said. “It was good.”