The Top Sports Stories of 2018
by The Press and Standard | January 3, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: January 2, 2019 at 8:09 am
By CINDY CROSBY
1. First post-season win for Cougar Football in 16 years
The Colleton County Cougars finished the 2018 season 4-7 overall and 1-2 in Region VII-AAAA. However, it was a single win that made 2018 remarkable for the Cougars.
Seeded in the No. 3 spot entering the SCHSL AAAA Lower-State Playoffs, Colleton County pulled off a 36-22 upset on the road against No. 2 seed, Lower-Richland. It was the first win in post-season appearances for Colleton County since 2002.
Against Lower Richland, Colleton County’s quarterback Edwardian Stansel was 13-25 on the night for 253 yards and three touchdown passes. Shykem Chisolm finished with 182 yards receiving and scored three touchdowns. Trakell Murray had 71 yards rushing, scored two touchdowns and matched his effort with 71 yards receiving. James Brown had an outstanding night on defense, recording nine solo tackles and one assist. Warren Randolph had seven solo tackles, an assist and two tackles for loss. Ja’Carre Stevens had six solo tackles, one assist and two tackles for loss.
The Cougars fell against the No. 1 seed, North Augusta, the following week and were eliminated from the playoffs.
2. Up and Coming – Colleton County
Recreation Center nearing completion
The ACE Basin Sports Complex has become a top-destination in South Carolina for travel ball and collegiate showcases hosting approximately 28 weekend tournaments across the last year. These tournaments draw visitors to stay, dine and shop in our community.
Now, locals and visitors alike will be greeted by a much-needed renovation and expansion to the 54-year-old complex. The $3,220,000 project is part of the Colleton County Capital Projects One-Cent Sales Tax and is slated to add approximately 12,949 square foot of new construction including a splashpad, a new fitness facility, basketball court/gym and office space, along with 16,802 square feet of renovation to the current gym, restrooms, administrative office space and assembly rooms. The renovation and expansion is tentatively scheduled for completion in late January 2019.
“The most important project I have wanted to see happen over the last few years is finally happening at the recreation center right now,” said Chris Myers, director of Parks and Recreation. “The expansion is something we have wanted for a long time. Being able to be a part of the entire new ballfield complex from the ground breaking to the ribbon cutting, and now being able to witness the same thing with our expansion, has been an amazing experience.”
3. USC -Salkehatchie Athletics
making noise in 2018
The University of South Carolina-Salkehatchie made a lot of noise in athletics in 2018.
The men’s basketball team finished as Region X runner-up compiling a 20-10 overall record and 9-4 conference finish. The Indians defeated Brunswick Community College (107-81) in the Region X quarterfinals and went on to defeat Caldwell Community College (62-45) in the semi-finals to advance. In addition, the Indians made history with a 26-game home-win streak that transpired across two seasons before coming to an end last January against Spartanburg Methodist (65-46).
Salkehatchie also added women’s basketball and a competitive bass fishing team to their athletic line-ups.
4. Lady Cougar Softball finishes
top 10 in AAAA in South Carolina
The Colleton County Lady Cougar Softball team finished the 2018 season 15-10 overall and 6-4 in Region 8-AAAA. A deep run in the SCHSL AAAA State Softball Playoffs saw the Lady Cougars go 3-2 and battle Chapin in the championship “if” game for the District V title.
The Lady Cougars defeated St. James High School 7-1 on the road in round one of the playoffs when pitcher Whitley Weathers allowed one earned run in a complete seven-inning effort, striking out one and issuing one walk. Karson Hiott was 2-4 at the plate, scoring once.
In round two, the Lady Cougars fell 1-0 to Chapin High School in a highly questionable play at home plate in the top of the seventh inning. Weathers was masterful in what was a pitchers’ duel, allowing one run on four hits, striking out two and walking one in a complete game effort. Hallie Robertson and Weathers went 2-3 at the plate.
Colleton County defeated St. James 10-1 in round three, then set their sights on a rematch with Chapin for the District V Championship. They took care of business defeating Chapin 5-4 in extra innings, thus forcing the if-game. It didn’t go the way of the Lady Cougars, as they lost 8-1 in the second game of the night and were eliminated.
Following the playoffs, Coach Rusty Adams announced his second retirement from the Lady Cougars. Tavara Edwards has been tapped to lead the Lady Cougars in 2019.
5. Local student-athletes continuing at collegiate level
A number of local high school athletes signed to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level including:
CCHS – Faith Allen (soccer) Francis Marion; Hallie Robertson (softball) Columbia College; Jalen Lawton (football) Newberry College; John Campbell (football) Limestone College; Craig Grant (football) Savannah State; Tristan Nieves (basketball) USC-Salk; De’Iajae Ferguson (basketball) Livingston College; Jaden Koger (track and field) South Carolina State; Lane Lee (baseball) USC-Salk; Cody Cox (baseball) USC – Sumter; Henry Gibson (baseball) Charleston Southern University; Chase Hadwin (baseball) Erskine College.
CPA – Meredith Ware (tennis) Newberry College.
6. Lady Cougar Soccer goes deep in SCHSL AAAA Lower-State Playoffs
The Lady Cougar Soccer team, under the leadership of Coach Danny Wiggins, finished the 2018 season at 13-4 overall and 7-3 in Region 8-AAAA. The Lady Cougars captured the runner-up district title and was ranked No. 18 in the state.
After earning a home playoff berth in round one of the South Carolina High School League Lower-State Playoffs, Colleton County faced the No. 3 seed North Myrtle Beach. The Lady Cougars earned the win via penalty kicks in following double-overtime. In round two versus Lugoff-Elgin, the Lady Cougars led 3-2 at the half, then a strong defensive effort and a comfort goal allowed them a 4-2 victory. They were eliminated after a 5-0 loss to Dreher High School in the semi-finals of the SCHSL Lower-State Playoffs on Friday May 4 on the road.
Coach Danny Wiggins (34-21) announced his retirement following the season. Wiggins led the Lady Cougars to back-to-back playoff appearances. Brian Reid was announced as his replacement in November. Reid will be returning to his roots, as he established the program and coached 12 seasons.
7. Lady Hawk Volleyball goes 14-0 in Region II-A
The Colleton Prep Lady Hawk Volleyball team, under the leadership of Coach Ashley Finney, finished the 2018 regular season 19-2 overall and 14-0 in Region II-A as the Flex. Advancing to post season competition in the SCISA AA State Tournament Upper Bracket, the Lady Hawks finished 2-2 in the tournament, earning wins over Thomas Sumter and Hilton Head Prep and falling to King’s Academy. They were eliminated from post-season play with a loss to Spartanburg Christian 25-19 and 25-17.
“The good news is, we will graduate no seniors this year and those schools were full of them,” said Finney in a post-season interview. “I look for us to come back next year and go even farther than we did this year — and, hopefully, take the whole thing.”
This was the third region title for the Lady Hawks under Coach Ashley Finney.
8. Lady Hawks claim Region 4-AA softball title
The Colleton Prep Lady Hawk Softball team finished the 2018 season 15-5-1 overall and 4-0 in a four-team Region 4-AA conference. They captured the region title following a 6-2 win over Thomas Heyward April 26th at home. Earning a bid to the SCISA Class 2A State Softball Tournament held May 11 in Sumter, the Lady Hawks were eliminated following an 11-10 loss to Pee Dee Academy. Earlier in the tournament, they shut out Carolina Academy 7-0, recorded a 7-2 loss against Marlboro Academy in game two and defeated Thomas Heyward 5-4.
9. Track and Field trio performs well in AAAA State Championships
Colleton County’s Jaden Koger was named Region 8-AAAA Champion in the 110-Meter Hurdles, qualifying him to advance to Lower-State. Koger, along with Shaniya Fields (high jump) and Hunter Ohmer (pole vault) advanced to the SCHSL AAAA State Championships after finishing in top positions in state qualifier.
Competing at Spring Valley High School May 11-12, Koger garnered a seventh-place finish in the 110-Meter hurdles with a 15.81 posted time, Hunter Ohmer finished seventh in Pole Vault with an 11-6 jump and Shaniya Fields placed fourth in the High Jump at 4-6.
10. Dixie Majors roll undefeated through District VIII to earn spot in State All-Star Tournament
The Colleton County Dixie Majors went undefeated through the three-team District VIII competition to earn a spot in the 2018 South Carolina Majors State Tournament held July 14-18 at Wescott Park in North Charleston.
The Majors advanced to the state tournament after going 3-0 in District VIII with dominating wins over Allendale (13-2, 11-1) and Jasper County (18-1). In the Dixie Majors State Tournament, the All-Star team were eliminated following losses to Summerville (9-2) and Lake Marion (10-4).
The 2018 Colleton County Dixie Majors roster included Desmond Brown, Tre’Mari Davis, Daniels, Garvin, Hamilton, Jamison, Manigo, Mills, Jayden Richardson, Xavier Seabrook, Tyler Stanfield and Varner. Coach Cornelius Hamilton is assisted by Dante Brown and Jason Stanfield.
11. West honored in selection to 2018 Touchstone Energy North-South Bowl
Colleton County Cougar offensive lineman, Lane West (6’2”, 320), was named to the roster for the 2018 Touchstone Energy Cooperative North-South Bowl held Saturday Dec. 15 at Coastal Carolina University’s Brooks Stadium in Myrtle Beach.
12. McMillan, Dennis honored to 2018 North-South All-Star Game
Two Colleton Prep War Hawk football players, Connor McMillan and Jason Dennis, were honored with selection to the 2018 SCISA North-South All-Star Football Weekend held Thursday Nov. 29- Saturday Dec. 1 at Orangeburg Prep.
13. Catterton records first-ever win for CPA Wrestling
Noah Catterton earned a spot in the history books for Colleton Prep Academy when he recorded the first official win for the newly installed War Hawk Wrestling Program Friday Dec. 14 with a pin against J. Sundara in the 170-weight classification.
14. Pressey and O’Quinn earn top finishes in AAAA State Finals
Colleton County High School wrestling team members Tyrese Pressey and Wyatt O’Quinn had strong finishes in the 2018 SCHSL AAAA Individual State Wrestling Championships held Saturday Feb. 23-24 in Anderson. Pressey (182) battled his way to a runner-up finish in the finals, while O’Quinn garnered a fourth-place finish in the 126-lb. weight classification.
15. Lady Cougar XC finishes fourth in AAAA Lower State to advance to State Championships
The Colleton County Lady Cougar Cross-Country team finished fourth in a field of 15 teams in the AAAA Lower State Qualifier held Saturday Oct. 27 in Darlington. The Lady Cougars’ finish qualified the team to advance to the SCHSL AAAA State Championships, where they finished 13th with 311 points.