Thursday, July 31, 2014

2014 Sertoma preview

Football is here. Yes. Football is here. Sertoma will be played tonight (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday).

There are eleven new coaches in the region this year; highlighted by Ike Allred at James Island and Joe Marion at Stratford. Several smaller schools are also making changes.

One venerable part of the Lowcountry football landscape is the Sertoma Football Classic. It is usually the beginning of the competitive football season in the Lowcountry. I've been going to the games for many years, and it usually gives schools a chance to work out the preseason kinks in front of a large crowd.

Sertoma has some major changes this year. Sertoma has always been held the Thursday and Friday before the official high school football season, but with the season going longer, and the emergence of Week Zero games (in order for larger schools to have a bye week during the season), several major schools will not play in Sertoma this year. Fort Dorchester, Berkeley, Woodland, Ashley Ridge and Colleton County are all playing Week Zero games, so they will not play in Sertoma this year.

Schedule (all games at 5pm each day, held at The Citadel's Johnson-Hagood Stadium, admission $12)

Aug. 21
Porter-Gaud 15 vs. Lincoln 0
Baptist Hill 13 vs. Cane Bay 6
Hanahan 0 vs. Summerville 0
* Stratford vs. Timberland
James Island vs. St. John's
* Goose Creek vs. West Ashley

Aug. 22
Academic Magnet vs. Stall
Palmetto Christian vs. Garrett
Burke vs. First Baptist
Pinewood Prep vs. N. Charleston
* Northwood Acad. vs. Military Magnet
* Wando vs. Bishop England
(* Scheduled for two quarters)

For the first time in many years, it looks like that the Thursday slate for Sertoma will be better than the Friday slate. Summerville, Goose Creek, and Stratford, three of the schools who bring the most fans, will all be playing on the first night.

Goose Creek and West Ashley lost some of its luster with Goose Creek QB Pedro Manigault, who transferred from West Ashley tearing two knee ligaments, and being out for the year, but it is still a very interesting rivalry game. Summerville plays rebuilding Hanahan; Stratford will play Timberland in a battle of two Berkeley County schools who rarely play each other; and James Island and St. John's will play in a preview of their regular season battle.

Stratford, James Island, Stall, Palmetto Christian, Garrett, Lincoln, and First Baptist will all be unveiling new coaches during Sertoma. This year has a lot of turnover in high school football; it will be interesting to see their debuts.

On night two, fan favorite First Baptist will play Burke, Academic Magnet will play new coach Joe Bessinger and Stall, and in the marquee game of the night, Wando and Bishop England will do battle; these two schools usually bring some of the largest crowds into Sertoma.

Hard to believe, but Sertoma is just three weeks away. I will have some new content here as we get closer to the season, including finishing up the SCISA local schedules.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rams LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar arrested

St. Louis Rams LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar was arrested this morning outside of a Miami Beach nightclub. It happened around 10am this morning. CBS Miami also reported the story.

Miami Beach PD tells me Rams LB Dunbar was involved in physical altercation causing a large crowd to gather. Multiple officers responded. This is from @AndySlater, a Miami talk show host.

According to NBC Miami, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, a linebacker for the St. Louis Rams NFL team, and Donte Greene, an NBA free agent, were arrested around 4:45 a.m. after becoming involved in a physical altercation outside of Dream Nightclub on Washington Avenue.

A former Sacramento Kings basketball player, Donte Greene, was also arrested in the altercation.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

RIP Tristen Allen

Very sad news tonight for those of us on James Island and for anyone who played football against this guy.

A James Island High School graduate and former James Island football player, Tristen Allen, has gone missing. He went scuba diving earlier this afternoon off of Folly Beach, and did not come up. People have been praying for his return all evening on Facebook and Twitter.

UPDATE: Monday night 10:42pm from @AndyParas (Post and Courier): Coast Guard has ended its search for 18-year-old Tristen Allen, who vanished while scuba diving 13 miles off coast Saturday.

Tristen was a football player for James Island from 2010-2013, and graduated last month (June) from the school. He played linebacker for the Trojans, and became one of the best players on the team in his senior season. He also played in a international competition in Paris over last spring break.

Here are his 2013 highlights, when he had 158 tackles in 10 games for James Island.

Prayers for him, his family and all of James Island.

From Post and Courier Monday night: 

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search Monday night for Tristen Allen of James Island after the 18-year-old went missing this weekend while scuba diving about 13 miles southeast of Folly Beach, officials said.

The Coast Guard used helicopters, planes and boats to search more than 2,759 square miles - an area roughly the size of Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties combined. Civilians also volunteered to help during the 53-hour search.

"This is a heartbreaking time for everyone involved, and we extend our deepest sympathies to Tristen Allen's family, friends and loved ones," said Capt. Ric Rodriguez, commander of Coast Guard Sector Charleston. "Decisions to end searches are among the most difficult Coast Guard members are ever forced to make, and are not ones we take lightly."

Update from Sunday afternoon: Involved in the search for the 18 year old are helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida, and Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Georgia; a C-130 plane from Air Station Clearwater; the Coast Guard Cutter Tarpon; and a 45-foot Response Boat – Medium from Coast Guard Station Charleston.

A South Carolina Department of Natural Resources plane, Charleston County Sheriffs, DNR officers, and good Samaritans have also been assisting with the search.

This is the story from WCIV from a few hours ago: Crews from the U.S. Coast Guard are searching for a missing teen-aged diver who did not surface off the Folly Beach coast.
According to officials, the father and teen dive duo were about 13 miles southeast of Folly Beach on Saturday afternoon, diving from their 22-foot Carolina skiff. Crews say the two men went into the water around 2 p.m. for a 30-minute, 60-feet-deep dive.
The father surfaced but his son did not, officials said.
Currently searching are a crew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat – Medium from Coast Guard Station Charleston and a crew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Facility Charleston.
Good Samaritans who were diving nearby are also assisting with the search, officials said.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

2014 Lowcountry football schedules: 1A

Hard to believe, but football is not that far away. In fact, less than a month away. All schools in this area will open up football practice on August 1, and many schools will be playing jamborees in the month of August.

In 1A, football schedules are very important. Almost all teams have players who play both ways, and with smaller schools having less resources, this just makes every player more and more important.

Here are the regions with local teams involved.

Region 5: Allendale-Fairfax; Bamberg-Ehrhardt ; Bethune-Bowman; Branchville; Denmark-Olar; Estill
Region 6: Baptist Hill; Burke; xCharleston Charter; Cross; Lincoln; Military Magnet; St. John’s

As with the other posts, I will make a post for each division in order to make it easy to find your favorite school's schedule, and give some analysis. Region games will be bolded. All games will start at 7:30pm on Fridays unless noted. The schedule is subject to change as games could move to Saturday or Thursday.


8/29: North
9/5: Whitmire
9/12: @ Academic Magnet
9/19: @ North Charleston
9/26: Lincoln
10/3: @ Estill
10/10: Denmark-Olar
10/17: Allendale-Fairfax
10/24: @ Bamberg-Ehrhardt
10/31: Bethune-Bowman

Branchville, not really known as a football school, has an interesting schedule. They will host North plus Whitmire from the Upstate in non-league play, and make back-to-back road trips to North Charleston. They do get three home games in the region, including Allendale-Fairfax.

Region 6

Baptist Hill

8/22: @ Allendale-Fairfax
8/29: @ Garrett
9/12: Hunter-Kinard-Tyler
9/19: Academic Magnet
9/26: @ North Charleston
10/3: @ St. John's
10/10: Cross
10/17: Lincoln
10/24: @ Burke
10/31: @ Military Magnet

Baptist Hill has one of the most travel-friendly schedules in the state, only leaving Charleston County once all season, the first game of the year August 22. They have a tough stretch at the end with Burke and Military Magnet, but their fans will benefit this year with a lot of short road trips in this new region.

Burke (schedule incomplete, some dates TBA)

8/23: @ Garrett
Scott's Branch (either 9/5 or 9/12)
9/19: @ Lake Marion
9/26: @ Academic Magnet
10/3: Cross
10/10: Military Magnet
10/17: @ St. John's
10/24: Baptist Hill
10/31: @ Lincoln

Burke still has to find one non-region game, and a date for the Scott's Branch game. Burke is down all the way to 1A, after having been 4A as recently as 1995. They get three region games at home this year.


8/29: Hunter-Kinard-Tyler
9/5: Timberland
9/12: @ C.E. Murray
9/19: @ Scott's Branch
9/26: @ Lake Marion
10/3: @ Burke
10/10: @ Baptist Hill
10/17: Military Magnet
10/24: @ Lincoln
10/31: St. John's

Cross has an incredible five week stretch without a home game. After their September 5th home game against Timberland, they are on the road until October 17. They do get two of their last three games at home.


8/23: Academic Magnet
8/29: @ C.E. Murray
9/5: Palmetto Christian
9/12: Creek Bridge
9/26: @ Branchville
10/3: @ Military Magnet
10/10: St. John's
10/17: @ Baptist Hill
10/24: Cross
10/31: Burke

Lincoln still has a game till fill in, but the rest of their schedule is fairly difficult, as they are replacing James Waring (who retired) and still haven't hired a replacement. They close with their final two games at home, but have to travel more than most other schools in their region.

Military Magnet

8/29: @ North Charleston
9/5: Academic Magnet
9/12: Garrett
9/19: @ Ridgeland/Hardeeville
9/26: @ Scott's Branch
10/3: Lincoln
10/10: @ Burke
10/17: @ Cross
10/24: St. John's 
10/31: Baptist Hill

The Eagles (on the back of their uniforms) have a fair schedule. They don't leave North Charleston the first three weeks of the season, with games vs. Academic Magnet and Garrett. In region play, they will host St. John's and Baptist Hill at the end, two crucial games.

St. John's

8/23: @ Screven County (GA)
8/29: Stall
9/5: @ Whale Branch
9/12: Lake View
9/19: James Island
10/3: Baptist Hill
10/10: @ Lincoln
10/17: Burke 
10/24: @ Military Magnet
10/31: @ Cross

A very interesting schedule for St. John's. They open the season with an extremely rare out of state game for a 1A school, a trip to Sylvania, GA to play Screven County. They will also host Lake View and 4A James Island. Their region schedule is hard, with two road games to close the slate at MMA and Cross.

Coming up will be SCISA schedules.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

LeBron signing with Cavaliers?

NBA superstar LeBron James is close to signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, with a max contract.

Decision at 3:30. 

Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio: To be more precise, no less than five police officers at LeBron James home. They were told to expect a 3:30 ET announcement.

@JoeGoodmanJr: LeBron's next move will be talking this all over with his family before making a decision, the Herald can confirm.

: LeBron James is returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, a source tells .

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports: Superstar free agent LeBron James met with Miami Heat president Pat Riley on Wednesday in Las Vegas and left without committing to a new contract, a league source told Yahoo Sports.

James and his agent Rich Paul met with Riley on the same day the Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to a three-team trade to clear enough salary-cap room to make James a maximum contract offer, opening a path for his possible homecoming, sources said.

Marc Spears of Yahoo!: Also on LeBron James, a source tells Yahoo: "No decision date set. He wants to talk to his family."

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Virginia Tech wrestler found dead in quarry

Very sad news from Mike Barber, Virginia Tech writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

BREAKING: Body of athlete has been recovered from water-filled quarry in Montgomery Co., sources said.

This is the official release from Virginia Tech:

Virginia Tech wrestling student-athlete Darren Hankins (Chesapeake, Va.) died in a drowning accident in Blacksburg, Wednesday night.
Hankins was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 21 years old.

“Darren Hankins was very special to our wrestling program and our entire athletic department,” head coach Kevin Dresser said. “As a father and as his coach, this is something that we would hope no family would have to go through. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Hankins family at this time. Darren was a wonderful young man. Virginia Tech Wrestling was a better place because of Darren Hankins.”

Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock offered support to the family and the Hokie wrestling team.

“The Virginia Tech Athletics family suffered a great tragedy this evening,” Babcock said. “Darren was a wonderful representative of the wrestling team and of this university. Our hearts go out to his family, our Virginia Tech family, and his countless friends during this difficult time.”

Hankins, a junior philosophy major, competed on the varsity squad for two seasons, but sat out the 2013-14 season due to injury.

Info from @CollegiateTimes editor-in-chief Cameron Austin:

BREAKING: Blacksburg rescue crews recovered a drowning victim from the quarry off Lusters Gate Rd.

This is from WDBJ (CBS in Roanoke):

A man in Montgomery County died while swimming in what used to be a rock quarry.
Investigators tell us he was swimming with other people on private property near Lusters Gate Road when he went under.
Bystanders attempted to save him but couldn't.
First responders recovered the body around 7:30 Wednesday night.
His name is not being released at this time.

People use the quarry for cliff-jumping, but it is private property. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

2014 Lowcountry football schedules: 2A

Hard to believe, but football practice is about a month away. Teams start practice on August 1, and before you know it, preseason jamborees will be happening throughout the state. As we get down through the lower levels of high school football, teams become more and more reliant on two-way players. Scheduling is very important as schools with more players usually have an advantage later in the season.

In 2A, there is a big change, as Woodland will no longer be playing in the Charleston 2A region, Region 6, but instead they will be playing in Region 5, all Midlands area schools except for Ridgeland and Wade Hampton, who will really feel a travel crunch. Region 6 will include three of the five high schools in North Charleston along with Bishop England, while Timberland will play in Region 7 again.

Region 5: Barnwell; Edisto; Ridgeland; Silver Bluff; Wade Hampton; Woodland
Region 6: Academic Magnet; Battery Creek; Bishop England; Garrett; North Charleston; Whale Branch
Region 7: Andrews; Johnsonville; Kingstree; Lake Marion; Lee Central; Timberland

Waccamaw is in Region 8.

As with the other posts, I will make a post for each division in order to make it easy to find your favorite school's schedule, and give some analysis. Region games will be bolded. All games will start at 7:30pm on Fridays unless noted. The schedule is subject to change as games could move to Saturday or Thursday.


8/22: @ Ashley Ridge
8/29: Batesburg-Leesville
9/5: Lake Marion
9/12: @ Bethune-Bowman
9/19: @ Bamberg-Ehrhardt
10/3: @ Edisto
10/10: Ridgeland-Hardeeville
10/17: @ Barnwell
10/24: Silver Bluff
10/31: Wade Hampton 

Woodland will have a very favorable schedule, as they are led by Florida State commit Michael Barnett. They have three road games in the middle of the season, but get a favorable end of season schedule, as Silver Bluff, the team they lost to in the playoffs last year, visits October 24, then Wade Hampton comes.

Region 6

Academic Magnet

8/23 (Saturday, 7:30): @ Lincoln
9/5: @ Military Magnet
9/12: Branchville
9/19: @ Baptist Hill
9/26: Burke
10/3: North Charleston
10/10: @ Garrett
10/17: @ Whale Branch
10/24: Battery Creek
10/31: Bishop England

Academic Magnet gets a very favorable schedule, only having to leave Charleston County once all season (@ Whale Branch October 17). They open up with the traditional Saturday opener against Lincoln. They close at Ravenel Stadium the final two games.

Battery Creek

8/22: @ Bluffton
8/29: Estill
9/12: Hilton Head
9/19: Beaufort
9/25 (Thursday, 7:30): @ Ridgeland-Hardeeville
10/3: Garrett
10/10: @ Bishop England
10/17: North Charleston 
10/24: @ Academic Magnet
10/31: @ Whale Branch

Three tough road battles in region for Battery Creek, as they have to travel to BE and Academic Magnet. They have a Thursday night game at Ridgeland-Hardeeville because it will be televised in the Savannah area on My Lowcountry.

Bishop England

8/29: West Ashley
9/5: @ Hanahan
9/12: Porter-Gaud
9/19: Timberland
9/26: @ James Island
10/3: @ Whale Branch
10/10: Battery Creek (HC)
10/17: @ Garrett
10/24: North Charleston
10/31: @ Academic Magnet

The Battling Bishops have a rather tough schedule. They host 4A West Ashley and Timberland in non-region play, and have to travel to Hanahan and James Island. They also have the Holy War with Porter-Gaud. They only have two home games in region play, but make short trips to Garrett and Academic Magnet.

Garrett (schedule incomplete)

8/23 (Saturday): Burke
8/29: Baptist Hill
9/5: Allendale-Fairfax
9/12: @ Military Magnet
9/19: @ Stall
10/3: @ Battery Creek
10/10: Academic Magnet
10/17: Bishop England
10/31: @ North Charleston

Garrett's game against Whale Branch still hasn't been decided yet (most likely a home game), but it will be either on the weekend of 9/26 or 10/24. Garrett starts with a three-game home stand, including games against Charleston County rivals Burke and Baptist Hill. They get Bishop England and AM at home, and close with North Charleston.

North Charleston (schedule incomplete)

8/29: Military Magnet
9/5: @ Stall
9/19: Branchville
9/26: Baptist Hill
10/3: @ Academic Magnet
10/10: Whale Branch
10/17: @ Battery Creek
10/24: @ Bishop England
10/31: Garrett

North Charleston still has to find a non-conference game. They have a tough region schedule, having to travel to Battery Creek and BE in back-to-back weeks.

Whale Branch (schedule incomplete)

8/29: @ Hilton Head
9/5: St. John's
9/12: @ Beaufort
9/18 (Thursday): Bluffton
9/26: @ Windsor Forest (GA)
10/3: Bishop England
10/10: @ North Charleston
10/17: Academic Magnet
10/31: Battery Creek

Whale Branch has a tougher schedule due to the requirement of playing all other schools in the  county, as they have to face 4A Bluffton and 3A Hilton Head/Beaufort. Their game against Bluffton will be televised on My Lowcountry; Windsor Forest is a school from Savannah. 

Region 7


8/22: Waccamaw
8/29: St. James
9/5: @ Georgetown
9/12: Carvers Bay
9/26: @ Hemingway
10/3: @ Lee Central
10/10: Kingstree
10/17: @ Johnsonville
10/24: Timberland
10/31: @ Lake Marion

Tough schedule for Andrews. They have to travel to Johnsonville and Lake Marion in region play, and also make a long trip to Lee Central. They do get Timberland at home.


8/29: Hanahan
9/5: @ Cross
9/12: @ Crestwood
9/19: @ Bishop England
9/26: Berkeley
10/3: @ Kingstree
10/10: Johnsonville
10/17: Lake Marion
10/24: @ Andrews
10/31: Lee Central

Timberland has a very tough non-region schedule as Coach Art Craig prepares them for region, including a 3-game road stretch with trips to Crestwood and BE included. They get 3 of their final 4 at home which will be important for a playoff run.

Region 8


8/22: @ Andrews
8/29: @ Hannah-Pamplico
9/5: Carvers Bay
9/12: @ Georgetown
9/19: Green Sea-Floyds
10/3: @ Mullins
10/10: Loris
10/17: Aynor
10/24: @ Marion
10/31: Dillon 

Waccamaw has a very tough start to the year with three of the first four games at home, but get three of their final four at home, including Dillon and Loris.

Next up, 1A.