"Make a name for yourself today."
Those words from Tom Knotts could have been directed at his Dutch Fork players prior to the 5A state championship game. But instead, he told that to members of the South team as they made their way to the locker room for Saturday's Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl at Brooks Stadium in Conway.
Knotts was one week removed from leading Dutch Fork to its third consecutive 5A state championship. Even though this was an All-Star game and his title was officially offensive coordinator, Knotts didn't stick to coaching up the offense as several times during key moments of Saturday's game, Knotts could be seen offering instruction to members of the defense and special teams.
"Coach Knotts coached this game just like it was like a regular Dutch Fork game,' said Dutch Fork receiver Gage Zirke, a member of the South team.
"He put his heart into it."
Knotts wasn't the only Midlands head coach working Saturday's game. Gilbert's Chad Leaphart worked as a South assistant concentrating on the offensive line.
The South won the game 13-10, technically giving Knotts a 14-0 record for 2018.
"i'm going to count it.," he said.