Thursday, January 2, 2014
Here is a wrapup of some of the things that made news in the sporting world of Georgetown County in 2013:
College signings: Patrick Ward, baseball, USC-Sumter; Glenn Lambert, soccer, USC - Salkehatchie; Mollie Paschall, soccer, Emmanuel College; Monte McCrae, basketball, Limestone College.
Former basketball coach Ken Haselden was inducted into the S.C. Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in March.
“We were blessed to have one of the best coaches in the state right here in our county.” Georgetown coach Alvin “Stitch” Walker.
The golf team won a region championship in May.
Football coach Steve Blanchard resigned before spring practice in May. Scott Durham was hired in June and led the Yellow Jackets to a 6-4 record in the regular season and a win in the first round of the Lower State playoffs.
2007 graduate Josh McElwee’s professional baseball career continued with a stint with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
“I love playing baseball every day. It’s the best job in the world. You can’t beat it.”
The Air Rifle Team placed second at the Area Six Region Six Rifle Match in December. Mark Ethan King became the first Andrews High shooter to earn his NRA Distinguished Expert and CMP Earned-in-Competition medals.
Carvers Bay High
Da’Shaun Aiken became the school’s basketball points leader in February and signed with Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College in May.
The boys basketball team advanced to the Lower State final, but lost 73-60 to Whale Branch. As the year came to a close, the Bears made history by being the first Georgetown County team to play in the tip-off game of the Beach Ball Classic.
Track and field athletes who won individual Lower State titles in May were Lewis Morant, Davin Young, Desmond Sumpter, Jasmine Cobb, Myesha Hannah and Desaree Green. Relay teams that won Lower State titles were: Morant, Raheem Deas, Akeem Lewis and Josh Bolden; Morant, Lewis, Bolden and Demasio Timmons; Tiera Young, Amber Linnen, Green; Young, Cobb, Ijani Haynes and Taleaa Adams.
The boys track and field team dominated the competition to win a state title in May. Individual state titles went to: Lewis Morant, Desmond Sumpter and Davin Young. Relay titles went to: Morant, Raheem Dease, Akeem Lewis and Devin Cuttino; Lewis, Josh Bolden, Joe Brown and Tyrell Richard; and Desaree Green, Angel Holmes, Amber Linnen and Jasmine Cobb.
Desmond Sumpter signed to run track for Winthrop College in May.
For the second time in four years, Robert Geathers Jr. and the Cincinnati Bengals were featured in the HBO series “Hard Knocks.” The NFL season ended early for Geathers, who suffered an arm injury.
The football team beat Allendale-Fairfax in the Lower State final in November to advance to the state final, where they lost to Christ Church. “We have to earn everything. We’re that little school out in the country. We’re not Myrtle Beach. We’re not Conway. We’re not the big schools. We’re that little 1A school in the woods.” Head coach James “Nate” Thompson.
Football players signing college scholarships were: Anthony Blair and Dillon Alford with North Greenville, Caleb Hughes and Dustin Martin with Limestone, and A.J. Walker with St. Augustine’s.
Jalil Smith won a state wrestling title in February.
A.C. Flora won the annual International Paper Baseball Classic in March at Mike Johnson Park.
Graduate Mallory Thompkins sank a hole-in-one while playing for Coker College’s golf team in March.
Josh Hunealt signed to play soccer at USC – Salkehatchie in May.
After 44 years of coaching baseball in Georgetown County, Mike Johnson retired in May.
“His concern was for not only being a coach but for being a mentor, being a person who teaches more than just baseball.” Tony Jordan, former player.
Assistant baseball coach Ben Waddle was promoted to head coach in June. He’s only the second head varsity baseball coach in the school’s history.
Hunter Graham signed to play baseball for USC – Sumter in May.
The boys basketball team beat Kingstree in the championship of the Georgetown Dental Shootout in November.
Jordan Ward competed in the North-South All-Star football game in December. “It’s a big honor to be selected. I’m very privileged.”
The baseball team took to the diamond for the first time in March.
Athletic director Ellen Donkle died in July after a long battle with cancer.
Emory McClary was named to the U.S. Surf Team and signed an endorsement deal with Billabong.
College signings: Hunter Brininger, football, Limestone College; Noah Gulley, soccer, Coker College.
John Van Slooten won his third straight state wrestling title in February.
The softball team won its 12th Waccamaw Invitational title in April and a Lower State title in May, but lost the state title to Crescent.
Softball coach Scott Streiffert won his 350th game at Waccamaw in April.
“My whole life, the one place I could go for peace and tranquility was the ballfield.”
The baseball team won its first Class AA region championship in April.
“I’m never going to forget this.” Senior Kevin Kies.
The golf team won a region championship in May.
Track and field athletes brought home five Lower State titles in May were: Grace Barnett (three), Jamaica Alston and D’Etta Green. Barnett then won state titles in the 800-meters, 1,600-meters and 3,200-meters.
Three seniors – Andi Stevens, Tyler Elling and Mattie Wyndham – were awarded the first scholarships from the Cameron Ahalt Celebration of Life Fund. Cameron, who was 12 when he collapsed and died at a Boy Scouts camp in 2008, would have graduated in 2014.
“[Cameron helped me through school and he’s still helping me through school.” Andi Stevens
Ariana Senn made her debut for the football team in September. She and the Warriors won a playoff game in November, the first football squad to do that in more than a decade.
The boys and girls cross county teams won region titles in October. Amelia Jones won an individual state title in November.
The volleyball and girls tennis team lost to Bishop England in Lower State finals on the same night in November. Catalina Carr and Lindsay Costin later competed in the North-South tennis tournament.
A Sailing Club was formed and competed in its first regatta in November.
Mark Prudhomme of Georgetown won the GNCC Champion of Champions Division at the National Wild Turkey Federation Convention and Sport Show in February. Prudhomme and his son, Clay, won their divisions in the S.C. Turkey Calling Championship in November.
The S.C. Maritime Museum began offering sailing lessons for kids in April.
More than 1,000 of the country’s best shooters, plus their families, came to the Rhems community in May for the National Sporting Clays Association’s U.S. Open at Back Wood Quail Club.
Belle Isle resident Vaughn Clark, captain of the Crazy Love, won the Charles B. DuBose Memorial Wahoo Tournament in August.
Andrews Elementary School teacher Charity Eppolito nabbed a 400-pound alligator in October.
Less than a month after fire consumed seven buildings on Front Street in downtown Georgetown, 650 runners started the second annual Bridge2Bridge race in the shadow of the devastation in October. Members of the Lowcountry Prep School community used the race as a fundraiser and collected $1,106.50 for the Front Street Fire Relief Fund.
Pawleys Island teen Jackson Cole won his age group in the George Holliday Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament in Myrtle Beach in November.
Briana Carlton won her age group at the Knights of Columbus State Soccer Challenge in Irmo in December.
A Buddy Ball league began in March, giving special needs kids a chance to play baseball.
“It’s an opportunity for these kids to get out and enjoy the outdoors and spend time with typical kids and be a part of our community.” Laura Hutto, parent of a Buddy Ball participant.
Two of the county’s newest facilities, Retreat Park and the Waccamaw Regional Recreation Center, opened in April.
Six Georgetown County athletes – DaShawn Priest, Melissa Jefferson, Toronto King, John Frasier III, Christopher Bryant and Williams Daniels – traveled to Hershey, Pa., in August to compete in the Hershey’s Track and Field North American Final. Later in the year, Daniels won the “Run til the Cows Come Home” 5K fundraiser.
Andrews resident Ben Dunn was inducted into the Emmanuel College Athletic Hall of Fame in July.
Joseph Michael Kai-Tsu Liu, who is running from Canada to Argentina, stopped in Pawleys Island and Georgetown in October.
Rosemary Middle School football coach Bryan Duensing resigned in October after being recorded delivering a profanity-filled tirade on a school bus full of players after a game.