by Chris Sokoloski
here are some of the events that made 2011 a memorable sports year in Georgetown County.
Michael Mabry signed to play football at the Citadel; Ken Funnye signed to play football at Tusculum College; softball players Elizabeth Bryant and Joanna Powell signed to attend Aiken Tech.
In February, five weightlifters – Jaleel Fillmore, Ervin Heard, Larry Brown, Clarence Penny and Neal Pope – qualified for the state tournament.
the Yellow Jackets wrestling team won the Class AA state title in March. Jaleel Fillmore and Larry Brown won individual titles.
Keon Williams and Travis Collins were named to All-Region basketball team.
the Yellow Jackets softball team won the Division III title at the Bishop Blast tournament in February. Megan West was named Division III MVP and Taylor Headden, Julia Morris and Joanna Powell were named to All-Tournament team. the team beat Lake City 15-0 in April to win their first region title in 10 years, but lost to Swansea in District finals. “Our seniors have shown great leadership on and off the field and playing together as a team has been the key to our performance.” – Coach Meagen Johnson.
the boys golf team won a region title in May.
Phylicia Grant won a discus title at the state meet in May.
2010 graduate Cory Rush transferred to Spartanburg Methodist College to play basketball in August.
the Yellow Jackets were the only county football team to advance to the second round of the playoffs with a 44-0 win over Pelion. They then lost to Marion 41-14 to finish 8-4. Neal Pope played in the Offense-Defense Bowl last week at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
the girls cross country team finished 20th at the state meet in November.
Carvers Bay High
on national signing day in February, Tevin Richard signed to play football at S.C. State.
also in February, the Bears boys basketball team won the region championship, but lost 71-47 to C.E. Murray in the Lower State playoffs. before the start of the 2011-12 season, the Bears and Georgetown waged an epic, four overtime battle in the Georgetown Dental Shootout championship game before the Bears prevailed 66-64.
Tevin Richard won the 400-meters title at the state meet in May, and the Bears’ 4X400 relay team of Richard, Edward Anderson, Devin Cuttino and Akeem Lewis also won a title.
Garrett Howard took over as athletic director in July. “Coaching is fun but teaching is the whole reason I got into this.” – Former athletic director Jeff Mezzatesta.
after an up-and-down season, the Bears football team made the playoffs, but lost to Hemingway to finish 5-6. Da’Shawn Aiken won an Army Iron Man award in November.
the girls cross country team finished 14th and the boys team 15th at the state meet in November.
a new weight room opened in February. “We worked 62 hours in four days to get this weight room moved from one side of the building to the other side of the building.” – Football coach Bradley Adams.
nine weightlifters – Devonaire Coleman, Cody Floyd, Leonard Leak, Asa Holmes, Dominick Wigfall, LeeShawn Cromedy, Dillon Alford, Deshaun Smith and Justin Waring – qualified for the state tournament.
also in February, the boys basketball team lost 65-25 to Lower Richland in the playoffs. “We picked the worst day to play our worst game.” – Coach Alvin Walker.
All-Region selections: Ben Wilkins, tennis, first team; Rodney Beach, Mac Jordan and Trey Glenn, baseball, first team; Tevin Johnson and Adreanne Singleton, basketball, second team; Brian Keith, Dylan McConnell and Hunter Graham, baseball, second team; Anthony Blair and Raven Smith, basketball, third team; Seth Wall, baseball, honorable mention.
Softball pitcher Logan Cox tied a state record with 16 strikeouts in a five-inning, 13-0 win over Wilson in March. the Bulldogs clinch the region title in April, ending St. James’ five-year reign. after beating Brookland-Cayce 3-1 to win the District title, the girls lost 2-1 in extra innings to Marlboro County in state playoffs in May.
the baseball team qualified for the state playoffs but lost 12-3 to a.C. Flora in the first round of playoffs. Coach Mike Johnson was named region coach of the year. Seth Wall, Ryan Holcombe and Ryan Williams won a national championship with the Myrtle Beach Stars 15U teams in August.
Baseball player Dylan McConnell and softball player Taylor Poston signed to play at USC-Sumter; football player Patrick Ward signed to play at Newberry College; baseball player Brian Keith signed to play at Morris College; and football player Darius Brown signed to play football for the Greenville Titans of Greenville Technical College.
the Bulldogs football team lost in overtime in the last game of the season, forcing them to travel to Bluffton, the No. 1 team in the state, in the playoffs. They lost 69-29 to finish 7-4. “Some of these boys turned into young men. We’ve got this program turned around.” – Coach Bradley Adams. LeeShawn Cromedy played in the SCADA North-South All-Star football game in Myrtle Beach.
Brandon Cribb finished second and Mary Cooper Jordan third at the Georgetown County Cross Country championships in October. the boys team finished 16th and the girls team 23rd at the state meet.
Strength and conditioning teacher Mike Ward was named the new assistant athletic director in December. He is also the defensive coordinator for the Bulldogs football team.
Graduate LaQuan Priest, a Claflin College student, was named a track and field All-American in April, and graduate Thomas Pittman completed an Iron Man race in Kentucky in August.
the Fighting Marlins girls basketball team beat James Island 57-45 in February to win their first SCISA 1A state title. “There is no better feeling than beating your rivals in the biggest game.” – Coach Danny Bell.
the boys soccer team beat first Baptist 10-1 in April to win a region title and then beat Beaufort Academy 3-1 in May to win the SCISA 1A state title.
on national signing day in February, Jerome Maybank signed to play football at Clemson and was named to the Class AA All-State team. He is the first Warriors football player to sign with a Division I school.
also signing with colleges were: Dylan Lee, baseball for Brevard College; Sean Connell, baseball for USC-Salkehatchie; Nikki Legg, softball for Presbyterian College; Loren Hill, volleyball for Coker College and Paxton Buckner, baseball for Francis Marion University.
Wrestlers Adar Singh and Tyler Pettit competed in the state tournament in February and were named to All-Region team along with fellow Warriors Trey Ward and Malcolm Gibbs. When the 2011-12 season began, the team wins its first two region matches.
Kacie and Amber Williams were named to All-Region girls basketball team at the end of the 2010-11 season. before the 2011-12 season began, former coach Robert Burdette returned after a three-year stint as the wrestling coach. “We’ve got to win the ones we’re supposed to and steal some.” – Coach Burdette.
the baseball team started the season in March losing 5-2 to Chesnee in the championship game of the annual Coastal Invitational Baseball Tournament. the team beat Silver Bluff 2-1 to win its first District title, but lost to Marion 11-3 in state playoffs. “We had a good season and a good group. We have something to build on for next year.” – Coach Jeff Gregory.
the softball team beat Andrews High 6-5 in March to win Waccamaw Invitational Tournament for the 12th time in 14 years.
the boys tennis team lost to Christ Church 4-3 in the Class A-AA state championship in May. Harrison Moran was named National High School Tennis All-American and signed to play at the University of Virginia. Justin Dunn won the boys’ 16 division of the DeBordieu Junior Classic in August.
Tennis coach James Brown completed a 1,300-mile bike ride to raise cancer awareness in memory of WHS graduate Ashley Gaines in June. “I kind of expected the trip to be great.”
the volleyball team, girls tennis and competitive cheerleading teams all won region titles in October. the volleyball and tennis teams lost to Bishop England in Lower State finals on the same night.
Golfer Ashley Anderson finished 15th at the state tournament in October. she was the only county golfer to qualify for the event.
thanks to a new rule that allowed every Class AA football team to make the playoffs, the Warriors traveled to Barnwell and lost 36-6, finishing the season 2-9. “We couldn’t capitalize on their mistakes and they capitalized on our mistakes.” – Coach Tyronne Davis.
Grace Barnette and Amelia Jones finished first and second and Jaz Greene and Robert Jones finished first and third at the Georgetown County Cross Country championships in October. Greene finished third and the boys team finished second at the Lower State meet. the girls team finished second and the boys team sixth at the state meet.
Kristopher Crosby of Georgetown won the state Elks Hoop Shoot in February.
Waccamaw Intermediate School student Taylor Cox placed third at the 2011 Jessamine Open Ice Skating Competition in March.
Hemingway High football coach Clay Owens completed Cooper River Bridge Run in April after losing nearly 300 pounds. “I used to not be able to walk to my mailbox.”
also in April, archers from Georgetown Middle and High schools qualified for National Archery in the Schools national tournament.
Virgil Dugan, a one-armed golfer, sank a hole-in-one at Wedgefield Plantation in June.
the Georgetown Dixie Ponytails, the Georgetown Dixie Belles and the Andrews Dixie Angels all won District championships in July. the Belles lost 6-2 in the state finals, but were awarded the Team Sportsmanship Award. “We represented Georgetown very well. That’s bigger than the runners-up trophy.” – Belles coach Tony Graham.
Pawleys Island’s 11- and 12-year-olds All-Star team beat Georgetown in July to advance to the state tournament, where they lost.
American Legion Post 114 and the Pawleys Island Junior American Legion both lost in state playoffs in July.
the Georgetown Track Club competed at the regional competition in Georgia in July and 10 members advanced to the national competition, where the team placed 13th.
the Pawleys Island Kayak Races were another success in July, despite a 30-minute weather delay.
Georgetown Dixie Debs’ five-year run of state titles ends with a 5-3 loss to Turbeville in July. “Overall, all the teams in the tournament were as evenly matched as I’ve seen it in six years.” – Coach Pat Wildes.
nearly 100 people travel from Georgetown to Columbia in July to see former Howard High School coach Tommy Smith inducted into the S.C. Athletics Coaches Hall of Fame. “Coach taught us to be a man. to walk, talk and act like a man.” – Howard High graduate Jerome Gibbs.
Georgetown County officials broke ground in July on the new 8 Oaks Park on Highway 521. by the end of the year the first fields and concession stand were taking shape.
will Herbert of Florence won the Belle Isle Marina Wahoo tournament in August.
New York Yankees legend Bobby Richardson spoke to an overflow crowd at the Waccamaw Library in September.
Angela Williams of Georgetown was inducted into the Coker College Athletics Hall of Fame in September.
the County Thunder travel baseball team won the 11U division at the Battle At the Beach and the Georgetown Diamond Dogs won first place in the silver bracket at the Beach Brawl in September.
Runners flooded the streets of Georgetown for the first Bridge2Bridge 5K on October. “For an inaugural race, we have a great foundation to build on.” – Sam Livingston, chairman of the Bridge2Bridge organizing committee.
University of Texas basketball coach Rick Barnes visited Tara Hall Home for Boys on Oct. 6 to see the $100,000 renovation he helped bring about. “I’ve never been a fan of Texas but I will be now.” – Jim Dumm, Tara Hall director.
Tae Bo creator Billy Blanks visited Pawleys Island Community Church in October to raise money to support troops overseas.
Adam Corolla recently sat down with ‘American Idol’ alum Clay Aiken, who has had a wildly successful career since his time on Idol, and asked him a few questions about the difficulties behind coming out to the public about his sexuality.Aiken said that his process of coming out was a bit of a slow one and because of his environment, growing up in North Carolina, he hid his sexuality a little longer than he might have if he had been brought up elsewhere. Corolla asked Aiken when he first realized that he was gay and Clay said;“when I was in high school, I mean I dated girls in high school and did things, but it wasn’t until I was… while I was in high school I always thought maybe I hadn’t finished puberty yet. Well first I thought ‘you know what I need to try it before I decide’, and that maybe once I try it I’ll like it and I didn’t like it. maybe I didn’t do it right.” Advertisement Aiken went on to say that it wasn’t until he was on ‘American Idol’ that he fully realized that he was gay. he said;“it wasn’t until I came out here for Idol that I really realized that that’s what it was. Because where I grew up if you were gay and you could hide it, you hid it and if you didn’t hide it, it was because you were extremely flamboyant.”Check out the entire interview with Adam and Clay and let us know what you think.
New classes featured this season are beginning painting, batiking, equine art, stained glass and an open clay studio. Children’s classes cater to children ages 4 and older, and include after school art, home school art, high school home school art and children’s clay. Preregistration is required for all classes, and a limited number of need-based scholarships are available for children and seniors who qualify. to register or for more information on supply lists and registration fees, call 641-9094. for a complete list of classes, workshops and their descriptions, visit aikencenterforthearts.org. Ashleey Galloway is the arts and entertainment reporter for the Aiken Standard. ADULT AND TEEN ART CLASSES: CLASS: Acrylic studio – intermediate to advanced INSTRUCTOR: Gretchen Hash-Heffner DATE: Thursdays, Jan. 19, 26, and Feb. 9 and 16 TIME: 10 a.m. to noon COST: $75 CLASS: Acrylics – photos to paintings – all levels INSTRUCTOR: Sharon Taylor Padgett DATE: Thursdays, Jan. 19, 26, and Feb. 9 and 16 TIME: 10 a.m. until noon. COST: $75 CLASS: Art for beginners INSTRUCTOR: Sue McCarty DATE: Thursdays, Jan. 19, 26, Feb. 9, 16, and March 1 TIME: 6 to 8 p.m. COST: $85 CLASS: Batik INSTRUCTOR: Michelle Petty DATE: Tuesdays, Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28 TIME: 2 to 4 p.m. COST: $75 CLASS: Beginning painting – acrylic and watercolors INSTRUCTOR: Gretchen Hash-Heffner DATE: Mondays, Jan. 23 and 30 and Feb. 6 and 13 TIME: noon to 1:30 p.m. COST: $75 per CLASS: Clay – Session I (face jugs & mugs) and II (teapots & vessels) INSTRUCTOR: Michelle Petty DATE: Session I: Tuesdays, Jan. 24, 31, Feb. 7, 14 and 21; Session II: Tuesdays, Feb. 28 and March 6, 13, 20 and 27 TIME: Both sessions; 6 to 8 p.m. COST: $100 per session CLASS: Clay – hand-building & wheel INSTRUCTOR: Myrna Spurrier DATE: Mondays, Jan. 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27 TIME: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. COST: $160 CLASS: Clay studio INSTRUCTOR: Michelle Petty DATE: Thursdays, Jan. 19, 26, Feb. 9 and 16 TIME: 6 to 8 p.m. COST: $50 CLASS: Beginner’s drawing INSTRUCTOR: Dorothy Johnson DATE: Mondays, Jan. 9, 16, 23, 30 and (additional session) Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27 TIME: 1 to 3 p.m. COST: $85 per session CLASS: Equine art INSTRUCTOR: Sue McCarty DATE: Mondays, Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27 TIME: 10 a.m. to noon COST: $75 CLASS: Oils – beginning INSTRUCTOR: Dorothy Johnson DATE: Mondays, Jan. 9, 16, 23, 30 and (additional session) Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27 TIME: 1 to 3 p.m. COST: $75 per session CLASS: Oils – studio INSTRUCTOR: Dorothy Johnson DATE: Mondays, Jan. 9, 16, 23, 30 and (additional session) Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27 TIME: 1 to 3 p.m. COST: $50 per session CLASS: Stained glass INSTRUCTOR: Ruth Herrera DATE: Thursdays, Jan. 19, 26, Feb. 9 and 16 TIME: 1 to 3 p.m. COST: $110 CLASS: Watercolors – introduction INSTRUCTOR: Nanette Langner DATE: Wednesdays, Feb. 8, 15, 22 and 29 TIME: 10 a.m. to noon COST: $75 CLASS: Watercolors – continuing INSTRUCTOR: Nanette Langner DATE: Wednesdays, March 7, 14, 21 and 28 TIME: 10 a.m. to noon COST: $75 CLASS: Watercolors – studio INSTRUCTOR: Nanette Langner DATE: Wednesdays, Jan. 11, 18 and 25 TIME: 10 a.m. to noon COST: $55 CLASS: Stained glass INSTRUCTOR: Ruth Herrera DATE: Thursdays, Jan. 19, 26, Feb. 9 and 16 TIME: 1 to 3 p.m. COST: $110