Four area high school players received invitations to play the 83rd annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas in a roster-reveal broadcast Sunday afternoon by the organization via Facebook Live.
Jefferson Boaz of East Surry, running back Ahmani Marshall of East Forsyth, along with offensive lineman Grant Copeland and running back G’mone Wilson of West Forsyth have been selected for the North Carolina roster, featuring 44 players from across the state. The four standouts will make appearances in the senior all-star game held in Spartanburg, S.C. at Gibbs Stadium at Wofford.
Jimmy Teague, who enters his fifth season as the head coach at Reidsville, is set to lead the North Carolina team. The Shrine Bowl kicks off Dec. 21.
At East Surry, Boaz helped lead the Cardinals to an 11-4 finish and an NCHSAA Class 1-AA championship appearance — the first in school history — last season, which resulted in a loss on Dec. 15 to Tarboro. He had 1,611 yards passing and 20 touchdowns that year at quarterback.
Boaz, a 3-star prospect per 247Sports, verbally committed to North Carolina on June 15 after receiving nine Division I scholarship offers. In his final season with the Cardinals, he’s passed for 1,166 yards and 18 touchdowns with a lone interception. Boaz has rushed for 102 yards and scored five times this season.
And Boaz isn’t the first player in his family to receive a Shrine Bowl nod. His father, Jay, was also selected to the roster back in 1990 out of East Surry. He went on to play as a punter under Mack Brown at North Carolina from 1992-94.
Boaz isn’t the only local player with family ties. Marshall’s father, Malcolm, played in the game in 1989 as a standout at East Forsyth. He and Jay Boaz even overlapped at North Carolina, when he played under Brown from 1990-94 as a running back.
Last year, Ahmani Marshall helped propel East Forsyth to claim its first state title since 1992. He rushed for 1,134 yards and 20 touchdowns as the Eagles ended the season at 15-0 after a win against Scotland County in the Class 4-A championship on Dec. 15 at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham.
Marshall committed to Wake Forest on June 1 from a final list of six Division I programs — the others being Vanderbilt, Virginia, Duke, Kentucky and Virginia Tech. This season, so far, he’s rushed for 458 yards and five touchdowns in four straight wins for the Eagles.
West Forsyth was the only area team to have two standouts represented on the North Carolina roster this year.
Wilson, who was chosen to play receiver for the North Carolina team, has rushed for 541 yards along and 14 touchdowns to help the Titans to a 4-0 record. He also has eight catches for 108 yards. Wilson has racked up four Division I offers — Old Dominion, Temple, Coastal Carolina and N.C. Central.
Copeland is part of an offensive line that has helped West Forsyth outscore opponents 205-33 this season. In those four games, he’s graded out at 90% with 16 pancake blocks.
At last year’s Shrine Bowl, North and South Carolina ended the game in a 10-10 tie, which was the first since 1948. North Carolina won two straight games before that.