Manufacturing towns feel expanding misery

Catawissa plant manager Brantley Price walks through a dimly lit building past idle forklifts in December at the closed plant in West Jefferson, N.C. Across the country, in small towns like West Jefferson, where factories and families had thrived with the housing boom, the real estate bust is hammering employers and forcing families to make some big decisions about their finances.

Henderson, a 5-9, 180-pound running back, signed with Coastal Carolina. He was a Shrine Bowl selection and a finalist for the state's Mr. Football award.

Summerville's football program produced two more college players as De'angelo Henderson and John Higgins signed national letters of intent Wednesday morning.

Higgins, a 6-3, 245-pound defensive lineman, signed with North Greenville. He was a first-team All-Lowcountry selection and played in the North-South game.

Henderson was one of the top running backs the school has produced. He had a brilliant career at Summerville, cracking the starting lineup as a sophomore. Henderson rushed for a state-best 2,346 yards and 27 touchdowns for the Green Wave his senior season.

"I'm real excited," Henderson said. "I miss the game. I've been out two months, and I'm ready to get back at it. I'm excited to get this monkey off my back. I've had a lot of pressure and people following this. I'm ready to go."

He picked Coastal over Newberry, Charleston Southern and South Carolina State.

Higgins was offered by Presbyterian College and Coastal Carolina showed interest in him.

"But I felt best at North Greenville," he said. "When I visited, it felt where I belong."