Student hopes to school teacher in state championship game

By Rick Henry - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It is state championship weekend for high school basketball. The 4-A boys showdown takes place Friday.

The Ridge View Blazers, coached by John Combs, are making their first appearance in the state championship game. On the other hand, the Irmo Yellow Jackets are back in the big game for the seventh time under Tim Whipple. He has won it all three times.  "We've had some good battles," said Combs, "They've whipped us twice this year, and we're hopefully looking to play a little bit better this go round."

"I see no advantage at all," said Whipple, "Once you get to a game of this importance, I don't think anything that has happened previously has any impact on the game."

That is unless you consider the relationship between the two coaches. Combs learned a lot about coaching from Whipple. Back in the early 90's, combs was a student manager for the yellow jackets.

Now the pupil will be going against his mentor for the state championship. Combs called Whipple soon after Ridge View advanced to the championship game. "He had a few choice words for me when I got him on the phone, and I said it's kind of bad," said Whipple, "The one guy that I want to call and talk to about how to handle state championship weekend, and I got to play the guy."

"It is a rewarding feeling," said Combs, "It's really neat that I get to play against him and Irmo."

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