Coach Tommy Norwood(Ragsdale HS/Southeast Guilford HS) has his new team(St. James HS) in South Carolina on the brink of Huge Success

The St. James Sharks, won one football game in 2018 and this season(2019), the Sharks sunk their teeth into a tight schedule and proceeded to finish their 2019 campaign at (5-5)…

From just south of Myrtle Beach at Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, the Sharks, coached by former Ragsdale and Southeast Guilford head football coach Tommy Norwood, are fast becoming a turn-around team, under the leadership and guidance of their veteran skipper, Coach Norwood….

In this past season, Coach Norwood’s kids, the St. James Sharks, started out the year at (3-1) and then they hit a brief tail-spin, losing four games in a-row, before rattling off two consecutive victories, to close out 2019…

Two very large wins to close out the 2019 season for the Sharks, with winning decisions against Conway and Socastee.

MaxPreps highlights the two finishing wins for the Sharks and won both of these games and both on the road and away from the “Shark Tank”….St. James over big-time rival Conway, 10-7 and St. James topped Socastee, 55-8….Both schools, Conway and Socastee, backyard rivals of St. James High School, so as you can see, big wins for Coach Norwood and his staff, when they knocked of Conway and Socastee…
Conway (Conway, SC)
Location: St. James High School
(W) 10 – 7

@ Socastee (Myrtle Beach, SC)
Game Details: Socastee High School, Stadium
(W) 55 – 8

So St. James goes from (1-7) in 2018, to (5-5) in 2019, with former Ragsdale Tigers and Southeast Guilford Falcons coach Tommy Norwood pacing the sidelines along the Grand Strand, near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and as Jim Mora Sr. might be asking, if he was there for this special season-ending moment, “What about the playoffs???”

“Playoffs?”….Yes the South Carolina High School Football Playoffs…You know, the “Playoffs”….

Coach Tommy Norwood and his team could taste the pre-game meal that comes before the BIG First Round Playoff games, and all they were looking for was an opening….Just an opportunity, and they felt like they were on the doorstep of getting in…

Tommy Norwood just wanted a chance.


He and his St. James football players will have to wait until next year to get it.
from Ian Guerin at…..

The Sharks were passed by for the final spot for the Class 5A Lower State playoff bracket Saturday morning via the at-large berth, ending the season at 5-5. That was a solid step forward for a team that was 1-7 in 2018.

But that wasn’t enough for the postseason.

“I think we deserved a shot. Outside of [a few region games], we were pretty consistent the rest of the year,” Norwood, the second-year coach said. “I’m real proud of our kids and what they’ve accomplished here. At a lot of schools, going 5-5 is not an achievement. Where this school has been, that shows great improvement. Hopefully [next year] we wake up on Saturday morning not worrying about getting in because we’re already there.”

The Class 5A playoffs allow for one at-large team in the Upper State and Lower State fields, and competition for each comes down to the first team out from the automatic berths. For six-team regions like St. James’ that means the fifth-best squad can apply.

The Sharks’ credentials featured those five victories. However, their strength of schedule was lacking to a degree. The five victories came against teams with a combined record of 13-33.

The St. James in-or-out debate was about the only drama left to Saturday morning after the rest of the Grand Strand’s other football teams already knew their fates by the time they crashed after Friday’s games.

Carolina Forest, Conway(St. James defeated Conway, 10-7 in the regular season), Myrtle Beach, Aynor and Green Sea Floyds had already sowed up their first round home games, and North Myrtle Beach knew exactly where it was heading on the road.

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*****from on June 11, 2018:*****
by David Wetzel
Longevity. Consistency.

Those two words describe a theme echoed by both new St. James athletic director Billy Hurston and the man he’s hired to become the Sharks’ next head football coach.

Former defensive coordinator Tommy Norwood had his interim tag officially shed Monday night when the Horry County School Board approved his hire.

“I really believe he’s going to be there for a while and that’s what we’ve been lacking,” Hurston said Monday night.

Norwood originally came down from North Carolina, where he coached for more than 30 years, to join Joey Price’s staff as an assistant. However, the head coaching position came open in April when Price decided to resign in order to take a full-time job as a pastor.

Norwood, who’s been in the area for just under a year, was prepared to be an assistant for the long term, Hurston said. But, when the head coaching position came open so suddenly, Norwood decided he’d throw his name into the hat with hopes of giving the program some continuity moving forward.

“I just think our kids need some consistency. Our community wants some consistency,” said Norwood, who came to St. James from Ragsdale High in North Carolina, where he’d been a head coach for 19 years. “When all that happened, I just believed they needed somebody – especially this late – that we needed somebody here that knew our kids and not bring in some outsider who had to start all over again.

“The kids at St. James deserve some stability.”

Norwood has proven a loyal coach over the years. He’s coached at three North Carolina schools in 36 years while serving as a head coach in 31 of them. Out of college, he spent two years as an assistant at Northwood High, served three years as an assistant at Ragsdale and led Southeast Guilford as a head coach for 12 years before returning to lead Ragsdale for nearly two decades.

“He’s coached a long time. He’s very knowledgeable,” Hurston said Norwood, the Sharks’ fifth football coach in 15 years. “He’s built some programs where he’s been.”