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Youth Sports Magazine



February 2012





GAME DAY youth sports magazine







special commemorative magazine





Top L to R: Dr. Gerald Rollins, Dr. Stephen Harley, Dr. David Mitchell, Dr. Michael Funderburk Bottom L to R: Dr. Michael Henderson, Dr. Michael Hoenig, Dr. Mary Joan Black, Dr. James Behr




2UWKRSDHGLF$VVRFLDWHVBetter. Stronger. Faster.



GAM E DAY youth sports magazine



Large Groups Welcome

The Champ is Still Here REBELS WIN thEIR 11th StAtE tItLE

special commemorative magazine

inside Special Magazine commemorating the Byrnes Rebels’ recent state championship.

elsewhere ...

10 12 16 18

TYGER RIVER PARK to hold grand opening Upward sports ministry far-reaching Kionna jeter, 13, sets sights on success LOCAL ATHLETES SIGN National LETTERS OF INTENT

Plus: > Athletes in Action YOUTH FITNESS SPORTS INJURIES and more

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They’re perfect to bring to any holiday party or family gathering! Choose from our small (25 cookies & 1 brownie) or large cookie tray (50 cookies & 2 brownies) Call us or visit us at to order your cookie tray and we’ll have it ready when you pick it up!


Summer Camps issue Have your camp seen in the Upstate’s Only, Full Color, Glossy Magazine targeted to families and youth sports.

GAME DAY Youth Sports Magazine

EDITOR & PUBLISHER Les Timms III ASSOCIATE EDITOR / SENIOR WRITER John Clayton CONTRIBUTING WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Karen L. Puckett Mary Caldwell Ed Overstreet Tim Lambka Pamela Dunlap Kyle Owings Ken Finley To Advertise Contact 864-804-0068 WEBSITE CONTACT GAME DAY 864-804-0068 Upstate Game Day Youth Sports Magazine is not responsible for the return of submitted photography, artwork, or manuscripts and will not be responsible for holding fees or similar charges. © Upstate Game Day Youth Sports Magazine 2012 Upstate Game Day Youth Sports Magazine is published 12 times a year. All contents are copyrighted by Upstate Game Day Youth Sports Magazine. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine, including publisher-designed advertisements, may be copied, scanned, or reproduced in any manner without prior consent from the publisher. Unauthorized user will be billed appropriately for such use.

Contact us to see how you can be part of it! More information: Les Timms III 864.804.0068 /

DEADLINE: FEB. 20 / Call to reserve your space today!


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MARCH 10, 2012!

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Upstate Eagles’ Maggi Ford scores 2,000th

Ex-Panther Cates interviews for Chapman coaching position By JOHN CLAYTON

GREENVILLE - Upstate Lady Eagles guard Maggi Ford eclipsed the 2,000-point mark for her career Jan. 26 during a tournament at Bob Jones Academy. Ford scored 14 points - giving her 2,005 for her career - in the 49-45 come-from-behind victory against Wilson (N.C.). Afterward, she as named Tournament MVP and awarded the game ball by Bob Jones University in honor of her accomplishment. The Upstate Eagles is an athletic program for homeschooled students in upstate South Carolina.

Maggi Ford, of the Upstate Lady Eagles, surpassed the 2,000-point mark on Jan. 26.

Soon after former Chapman High School and South Carolina football standout Toby Cates announced on his Facebook page that he had an official interview with Spartanburg County School District 1, more than 100 friends and fans expressed their support. Cates, who starred at quarterback at Chapman and went on to play wide receiver with the Gamecocks from 1991-94, said he is excited about the chance to return to his alma mater and work in his hometown. “Nobody knows (the Inman) community as well as I do,” said Cates, who has worked as an assistant with Byrnes and Greenville, but has not been a head coach at the high school level. “It’d be great.” The Chapman coaching position was open along with the top football spots at Broome and Chesnee at the beginning of February.

Pamela Dunlap Photography Sports Photography • Senior Pictures • Families

Call 864-735-3311


Boys team above, won two tournaments (the Aiken Cup and the CESA St Francis Sports Medicine Classic) and the SCYS Challenge league (the top competitive league in the state) without losing a game recently.

AYSO Region 132

2012 Spring Soccer Season April 7 - May 19 All Players Ages 4-18 (based on age on July 31, 2011 - no exceptions) Separate boys and girls divisions

To Register

Feb 4th—Bike Worx 10 AM-2 PM (1321 Union St) Feb. 7th--Westside Library 5-8 PM (525 Oak Grove Rd) or online: Registration Fee $35.00 per player, $40.00 after Feb. 11th Includes uniform All players registered by 2/11 will be placed on a team* After 2/11 players accepted only if space available *Space limited for 4 & 5 year olds Copy of birth certificate required for all new players (never before played in AYSO)



REBOUND FOR POSITION: Players from Dawkins Middle School and D.R. Hill Middle School fight for a rebound in a Peach Tree Conference game recently at D.R. Hill. The conference championship will be played Saturday, Feb. 11 at Boiling Springs.

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104 D Franklin Avenue Spartanburg, SC 29301 864-576-0165

Member SIPC

Please submit your best pics to

Athletes in Action photos by: John Clayton * Tim Lambka * Ed Overstreet * Les Timms III * Lorin Browning * Pam Dunlap

Play like you’re in first but train like you’re in second.

Never underestimate the heart of a champion.


“We want to make sure local teams have opportunities to play here. We’re looking for ways to make that happen.” JOHN LUTON

director, Tyger River Park

• 140 landscaped acres, located 2.5 miles off Interstate 85 in western Spartanburg County • Twelve youth baseball / softball fields with bleacher seating • Premier stadium with seating for up to 600 people



Recreation complex to be a game-changer for youth sports in Upstate, Southeast



ith Tyger River Park’s Grand Opening, scheduled for March 10, still in the notso-distant future, the new recreation complex near Reidville already has a full schedule of events through the end of the year. Those events include college and youth softball and baseball tournaments featuring teams from around the country, but Tyger River Park Director John Luton said the complex’s doors will be open to local teams as well. “We want to make sure local teams have opportunities to play here,” Luton said. “We’re looking for ways to make that happen.” Tyger River Park will serve as the primary homes to Westside Boosters leagues as well as leagues from Spartanburg School

District Five’s Student Activities Council. For the Westside Athletic Booster Association, which figures to consist of around 30 baseball and six softball teams this coming season, Tyger River Park will give them a home closer to home. “It’s going to mean the world to us,” said Westside Director Jonathan Evatt. “We don’t have our own facility. . . . We’ve been able to use Duncan Park and we’re very grateful to the City of Spartanburg, but in terms of location and drive time, our parents will be glad to have the new home.” Luton said plans are also under way to host intra-league tournaments and invite teams from throughout Spartanburg County, regardless of affiliation, to compete. “We want to have a county youth preseason champion come out of the tournament,” said Luton. “We should have all 12 fields of play going on at the same time and

may have some games at North Spartanburg as well. We’ll start on a Friday and probably spill over into the next week.” In addition to serving as homes to Westside and District Five programs, Luton said local teams wanting to host events at the facility will receive discounts. Evatt said the new home will probably mean an expansion for his organization. “We’re looking at having an ‘A’ class for our recreation teams and a ‘AA’ class for some more competitive teams,” he said. “I think this has put pressure -- needed pressure -- on us to expand our program. “We can focus on baseball and we have a chance to really improve the quality of baseball in Spartanburg County. . . . A lot of good teams will be coming in because of this facility and we need to be able to represent Spartanburg County well. This gives us a great excuse to rally around baseball.”

• Four interactive nature-themed play areas • Central park clubhouse with event space, concession area and park offices • Over 1,200 parking spaces LES TIMMS III PHOTOS



Onward & Upward Founded in

Spartanburg on a vision and prayer in 1995, this growing ministry uses sports to preach the gospel to thousands of kids, families on courts, fields across N. America By MARY CALDWELL


t their best, sports can encourage children to be physically fit while they learn skills, good sportsmanship, discipline and teamwork.  For some kids, however, the experience is a negative one. Parents and coaches might put too much pressure on them. Or they might sit on the bench for the entire season, never getting a chance to play, improve and build selfconfidence.   Upward Sports aims to emphasize the positive aspects of sports, giving each child equal playing time and incorporating a Christian message.  For Caz McCaslin, founder and president of Upward Sports, the root of the organization began at First Baptist Church in Spartanburg, where he served as church recreation director. He started a basketball league at the church and

Upward has expanded to include over 2,400 churches throughout the U.S. and Canada. More than half a million children now participate in sports like basketball, flag football, soccer and cheerleading.

included values such as integrity, sportsmanship and respect as integral parts of the sports experience. As the league grew, McCaslin formed Upward Sports in 1995.  The organization has expanded to include over 2,400 churches throughout the U.S. and Canada. More than half a million children now participate in sports like basketball, flag football, soccer and cheerleading. Despite its growth, Upward continues to be headquartered on Spartanburg’s west side, just off of Hwy. 29.   “Our goal was to create a league that would honor Christ, allow kids to have fun and experience healthy competition, and where we could incorporate biblical principles into the sports experience,” McCaslin explains.   “A lot of people are looking for an opportunity for their young children to play a sport in a fun environment. Upward Sports guarantees that they will not only learn the sport through equal playing time over the course of the season but also learn virtues such as courage, joy and respect,” he adds.   For Cory Wall, student minister at Green Point Bapist Church in Inman, this sets Upward apart from other leagues.   “We’ve all been to ‘those leagues’ where coaches and parents lose their tempers and things are said that aren’t exactly G-rated. With Upward, we take that out of the picture and replace that




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“A lot of people are looking for an opportunity for their young children to play a sport in a fun environment. Upward Sports guarantees that they will not only learn the sport through equal playing time over the course of the season but also learn virtues such as courage, joy and respect.”


founder & president, Upward Sports

with words of affirmation. The pressure is off, and kids are encouraged to have fun and do their best,” he says.  Green Point is finishing their second year with Upward, having offered flag football, cheerleading and soccer. Wall says that partnering with Upward has allowed the church to get its name out into the community and reach more people, in addition to giving its members an opportunity to serve as coaches, referees, greeters and more.    “In only two years, the number of young families in our church has definitely increased. While all these families may not directly participate in Upward, I like to think they came to Green Point because they heard that we are a church that reaches out to children and their families,” he says.   As they play Upward Sports, children learn virtues that they can utilize in their daily lives, Wall explains. They are given positive encouragement and learn that they are important to God.   Michelle Winebrenner’s two children, Jordan and Bethany, have played Upward soccer and basketball locally.   “I love the fact that they have been able to learn how to play the sports and develop their skills as an athlete in an environment that doesn’t have the pressure of other organized leagues,” she says.   She also appreciates the fact that children are coached by Christian men and women that share her family›s value system.

 “The impact of the devotions and that we should glorify God in all areas of our life has definitely been something that both of my children can take from their experience with Upward that they may not have gotten from another sports league,” she says.   “I also love that every child gets equal playing time and every child is celebrated after each game with stars for team spirit, offense, defense, Christlikeness, etcetera. It helps build their character,” Winebrenner adds.   Anna Steadman of Boiling Springs also likes that Christian music plays during the games or at halftime and that devotions are offered at halftime.   “Most importantly, I know that my son (Josh) came away from it not caring that he wasn’t the best player or that he didn’t make the most goals, but feeling good about himself and knowing he was a valuable part of a team,” she says.  Josh enjoyed the experience so much that his younger sister, Hope, 5, plans to play her first sport this spring as she participates in Upward soccer.   Upward clearly has had a positive impact on many parents, children and churches, but McCaslin›s goal is to expand the organization›s reach even further.    Through a conversation with a senior pastor whom he respects, he has come to believe that God’s next step for Upward would be for the organization to reach 4 million children and their families during one season. GD

FCA spotlight


Heart inspection By Ryan Gloer “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” [Matthew 23:25-28] My wife and I just recently relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina in response to the burden that the Lord placed on our hearts to step into the founding stages of FCA college ministry here. Through months of seeking the Lord and searching for somewhere to live, He provided the perfect place for us that we now call home. Buying a house is one of the more complicated processes that I have been involved with in recent years; I have no desire to do it again anytime soon. Through our prolonged search, however, the Lord reminded me of the intense passage above that Jesus so boldly proclaimed. Prior to signing on the dotted line to officially close on the house where we currently reside, we were in multiple contracts on other homes in the area. During our house exploration, we found many that we liked, but even more that we didn’t like. I believe that one of the key elements the Lord used to prevent us from moving into the wrong place was something called an inspection report. It is basically an assessment done by a professional who comes out and evaluates the true condition and quality of the property and then relays the information back to the potential buyer. It costs a few extra dollars up front, but it informs you of details that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. From first glance and an initial walk through by Brittney and I, there was one house in particular that completely captured our affection; we were ready to move in as soon as possible. Nothing seemed wrong,

out of place, or broken. It had more space than any house we looked at, the neighborhood was pleasant, the location was ideal, the price was more than attainable, and it appeared to be the place of our future residency, but the inspection report showed us another story. When we received the final word on its examination, our hearts sank. As we reviewed the indepth documentation done by the inspector, we realized we were days away from buying a nightmare of a home. A thought occurred to me: If the Lord was to do an inspection report on our lives and of our heart, what would it reveal? Is what people can see on the outside a reflection of what Jesus sees on the inside? The Pharisees He was rebuking in the above Scripture had an external appearance that seemed righteous, but their internal state was full of hypocrisy. They were ceremonially clean on the outside, but internally their hearts were full of corruption. The book of First Samuel says that man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. In Proverbs 3:1 we are told to let our hearts keep His commandments. Outward application means nothing without inward devotion and dedication. I recently heard a man say, “If you want to look at your eternal destination, it’s not your outward obedience, it’s the obedience of the heart.” God’s Word says His power is made perfect in our weakness, we can do all things through Him who strengthens us, and we are able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us. It is only through Christ are we capable of living a life of obedience and authenticity that honors Him from the inside-out. “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is completely His.” [2 Chronicles 16:9]



“The doctor told my mother I’d never walk again. After I got out of the body cast, I was four, and started playing basketball ... .” Kionna Jeter,

on accident in which she was hit by a car at age 2. She was in a body cast for 1 year.


Jeter with her coach, Sharon Dillon.

Just age 13, Spartan High star Kionna Jeter has the court and her future mapped out By KAREN L. PUCKETT


ust in the eighth grade, Kionna Jeter averages 15 points per game as lead scorer and serves her Spartanburg High School teammates as a co-captain.

In less than five years, she plans to attend the University of North Carolina as a Lady Tarheel basketball player. However, about 12 years ago none of this would have been imaginable. The very sport that Kionna excels at nearly robbed her of the opportunity to just that. When she was two years old, she watched her uncle and his friends playing basketball in the driveway. The ball got away from the players and bounced into the street. Two-year-old Kionna ran after the ball and was hit by a car, causing multiple fractures, including her arm and leg. She was in a body cast for a year. “The doctor told my mother I’d never walk again,” Kionna says. “After I got out of the body cast, I was four, and started playing basketball on my little basketball goal.” She quickly moved past the Little Tykes indoor goal and shooting hoops in her back-


THE STARTING POINT GUARD FOR THE LADY VIKINGS, JETER, AN EIGHTH-GRADER, LEADS THE TEAM IN SCORING AT 15.1 POINTS PER GAME. yard and then in recreational leagues, such as Upward. Lady Vikings Coach Sharon Dillon first heard of Kionna the summer before her seventh grade year. “I watched her play that summer and knew Kionna had no business playing junior high or junior varsity ball,” Dillon recalls. “For her to develop as a player, she needs to be challenged every day.” As the starting point guard who usually plays the entire game, Kionna certainly gets that opportunity. Last year as a starting guard, she averaged 12 points each game. This year as starting point guard, in addition to her scoring contribution of 15.1 points per game, she averages 6.6 steals, 3.4 assists and 4 rebounds. “On defense she’s involved in almost every play. She dives for every loose ball,” Dillon says. “She’s a natural athlete and puts the work into her game and it’s paying off.” When the Lady Vikings leave the court after practice around 5:30 after school each day, Kionna is not finished with her “work.” She goes home to spend some time with her grandmother, Mary Penson, eats dinner, and finds the time to improve her game. “I always do 50 pushups, and I shoot outside on my goal. Then I do drills, ball

In less than five years, Kionna hopes to play at the University of North Carolina.



HOBBIES: Reading, especially books about basketball FAVORITE BASKETBALL PLAYERS: Michael Jordan, Candace Parker (L.A. Sparks) BEFORE EVERY GAME: Listens to Gospel music IF SHE DIDN’T PLAY BASKETBALL, SHE’D: Run track FAVORITE TV SHOW: “The Game” on BET FAVORITE MOVIE: “Love and Basketball” COMFORT FOOD: White Rice FAVORITE COLOR: Red PET PEEVES: People who talk about others behind their back; Slow drivers FAVORITE SUBJECT: Math ADVICE TO YOUNGER KIDS WANTING TO PLAY BASKETBALL: “Stay away from the negative. Stay off the street. Try to keep yourself healthy. And put school first.” COLLEGE: Wants to play for University of North Carolina 10 YEARS FROM NOW: Wants to play in the WNBA and own a basketball-related store WHAT COACH SHARON DILLON SAYS: “Kionna was born with a gift, and she leads by example. She’s a natural athlete and definitely has the skill level to play at UNC. As long as she stays on the course she’s on, she will get there.”

handling, foot work, the things I know that I have to work on,” Kionna says. But she emphasizes that as much as she loves basketball, she puts her schoolwork first. “I think about school first,” she adds. While her stats are impressive, the 5-foot-5 Kionna stays grounded, thanks to those around her. “I choose to hang around people who are a good influence. They keep me grounded,” Kionna says, adding that her Grandma still has a list of chores for her to around the house, from taking out the trash to cleaning the bathroom. Dillon is also another positive influence on Kionna’s life. “She spends a lot of time with us,” Kionna says. “She pushes me on the court more because she knows I have four more years here. I’m young, and she knows I’m trying to get somewhere in life using basketball to get there.” Dillon, for her part, looks forward

Kionna plays defense against an opponent during a recent contest.

to seeing Kionna grow as a player and a young woman. “You just have to come watch her play,” Dillon says. “Kionna has so much potential and she will take every name off the (all-time stats) list. You can’t teach what this child has.” GD


Keep reaching for the sky.

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Signing Day all about hopes, dreams


hey’ve always said there are two seasons here -- football season and recruiting season. That pretty-much held true until South Carolina’s baseball team took up permanent residence in Omaha at the NCAA Division I College World Series. Thanks to the Gamecocks there is a college baseball season that gets more than a yawn from sports fans across the state. Even so, National Signing Day -- always the first Wednesday in February each year -- has been one of my favorite sports coverage days. It’s sort of like Opening Day in baseball -when hopes and dreams are given the benefit of the doubt on the scoreboard, even if you’re the Kansas City Royals. That’s the way I look at National Signing Day for football -- and now the November signing period for other sports when softball players, soccer players and others sign on the dotted line as well. Those are the days dreams come true. Those are the days lives are changed. Those dreams JOHN may include CLAYTON Clemson or South Carolina or Georgia or some other powerhouse university with storied football programs and top-notch facilities. Such is the case of Boiling Springs offensive lineman Eddie Gordon, a 6-foot-3, 305-pounder headed to N.C. State to continue his football career. “It has been a dream come true,” Gordon said of Signing Day. “It’s always been my dream to play college football and I achieved it, so I’m pretty happy.” But more often than not those dreams come true in places such as Erskine College in Due West or Presbyterian College in Clinton or North Greenville University in Tigerville or maybe Southern Wesleyan University, a stone’s throw from Clemson in Central. There are the occasional athletes such as D.J. Moore (Broome/Vanderbilt/Chicago Bears) and Prince Miller (Byrnes/Georgia/ Buffalo Bills) who make it to the highest levels of their respective sports (in their case, the NFL) and are paid well to do it. But most who signed letters-of-intent this month and who signed late last year will receive a full or partial ride to college where


SPARTANBURG HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES SIGN NATIONAL LETTERS OF INTENT. they will receive an education and preparation for a real world that will be upon them before they know it. They will be true student-athletes, juggling a full course load with late-night bus trips and afternoon and/or early morning practices. The bright lights of ESPN rarely find their way to places like Due West, but the kids play on. (And in the case of Erskine, they play on with one of the best nicknames in college sports, the Flying Fleet, regardless of division.) On the first Wednesday in February this year, about 20 football players from across the region were to make their verbal commitments -- if they made them -- official by signing their letters-of-intent. The list of local gridders signing included, Dorman offensive lineman Patrick Destefano (Clemson) and teammate, running back Raymond Smith (Wofford). Woodruff offensive lineman Javarious Leamon a Clemson commit, signed with S.C. State after not qualifying academically at Clemson. Wolverines running back Shun Tribble heads to Georgia Southern and Caleb Smith heads to Gardner-Webb. Greer quarterback Reese Hannon chose Furman over a list that included upstart UNC Charlotte and Southern Utah, while Blue Ridge signal-caller Caleb Rowe is headed to Maryland. “I’m very close with my family,” Hannon said of staying relatively close to home. “But even if Furman was two hours away, Furman was right.” Byrnes kicker/punter Kaleb Patterson chose Miami (Ohio) after a visit to the cam-

pus. At Spartanburg High, defensive lineman JaQuille Odom had committed to Newberry and QB Adrian Kollock to South Carolina State, while three other Vikings will go the juco route. Chesnee linebacker Nathaniel Moore will also be taking his talents to Newberry to join the re-Christened Wolves (nee Indians). Boiling Springs sent a pair of offensive lineman in Gordon and Hunter Kirby to Division I schools across the state line in North Carolina. Gordon is heading to N.C. State and Kirby to the Southern Conference and Western Carolina after switching on his verbal commitment to Appalachian State. Shrine Bowl linebacker Shaquan Burney is headed to N.C. Central and defensive lineman Brendan Miller is off to North Greenville. At Gaffney, quarterback Joey Copeland signed with S.C. State, but All-American wideout Quinshad Davis kept his decision under wraps before announcing that he is headed to North Carolina after visits to Chapel Hill, Tennessee and Wake Forest. Chapman, quarterback Josh Henderson signed with Brevard College, and, in one of the better stories of this Signing Day, Panthers linebacker/fullback Preston “Moose” Durham was to sign with The Citadel. Durham suffered a broken leg early on this past season in a game against Woodruff and soon after a feature on the Panthers’ leader appeared in Game Day. Duke, Appalachian State and The Citadel were among the favorites before the injury, but the Bulldogs reportedly stuck with Durham through the tough times of his injury.

National Signing Day February 1, 2012

BOILING SPRINGS: From left: OL Hunter Kirby (Western Carolina), DL Brendan Miller (North Greenville), OL Eddie Gordon (N.C. State) and LB Shaquan Burney (N.C. Central).

BYRNES: Kicker Kaleb Patterson signs with Miami (Ohio).

CHAPMAN: Preston “Moose” Durham (Citadel) and Josh Henderson (Brevard) sign at Chapman.

CHESNEE: Nathaniel Moore signs with Newberry College.

GREER: Reese Hannon signs with Furman.

WOODRUFF: Alicia Mosteller - Spartanburg Methodist College - soccer; Ryan Perkins - USC Sumter - baseball; Caleb Smith - Gardner-Webb - football; Shun Tribble - Georgia Southern - football

Club ball leads to offer for BSHS senior Jordan Jackson By JOHN CLAYTON Boiling Springs High School senior Jordan Jackson has been playing around 80 softball games a year in summer and fall tournament seasons for the Carolina Crush 18-under travel softball team. That was more than enough for the third-baseman to get noticed by Southern Wesleyan University and first-year SWU head coach Anna Ball, who signed Jackson to a letter-of-intent to play for the Warriors. “I’m just really excited that I get to fulfill my dream of playing college softball,” Jackson said. “The Crush really helped me. They try to make sure that if we want to play in college, we have a chance to be seen by college coaches.” Jackson played in several showcase events attended by scouts with the Crush and that was the difference in her recruitment. She also had an offer from

Jordan Jackson signs her letter-of-intent with Southern Wesleyan University as SWU coach Anna Ball, left, and Carolina Crush coach Davis Parris look on.

Limestone College, but became sold on SWU after a visit to the Central campus. “I fell in love with Southern Wesleyan on my visit,” she said. “I’m really excited to be a part of the good changes that are going on with the program and with Coach Ball.” Jackson hit .311 with a .492 slugging percentage with the Crush and head coach David Parris. Her fielding percentage on the hot corner was a strong .962. She helped her Crush teams to an ASA state title. As a younger player, she won a pair of state championships and a national

title with the Indiana Thunder. Jackson said her work ethic is among the attributes that impressed Ball during the recruiting process. “(Ball) said she liked the way I worked and that I still have the ability to develop and get better,” said Jackson, adding that she expects to remain at third base at SWU. Jackson will be joined at SWU by former Boiling Springs High teammate Jennifer Jacoby, a pitcher, went 14-5 with a 2.08 earned-run average and 102 strike outs in 121 innings as a junior. Jacoby also played for the

N.C. Sun Devils Elite travel team. But Jackson, who plans to major in early elementary education in college, does not expect to return to the Lady Bulldogs for her senior season. She said she plans to resume softball with the Crush in the summer.  “I want to get in shape (before college) and be ready,” she said. “I just want to keep getting better.” SWU hosted a post-signing party for Jackson where she got to meet her future teammates. “I had a chance to meet everyone and just felt like I fit right in,” she said. GD


Parks Wallington signs with North Greenville.

Raymond Smith signs with Wofford College.

Patrick Destefano will play football at Clemson.

SPARTANBURG: From left: Kelsey Barnette - Presbyterian - softball; Tanner Defrietas - Wofford - Soccer; QB - Adrian Kollock - S.C. State; Jesse Mack - Highlands Community College; JaQuille Oden - Newberry College; De’Shawn Sims - Highlands Community College; Terry Stewart - Brevard College; Demasio Williams - Highlands Community College.


Landrum’s Brandon Cannon plans to take detour with Greenville Titans By JOHN CLAYTON LANDRUM — For most of the past four football seasons, Brandon Cannon has thrilled Landrum High fans and ignited the Cardinals offense as a dual-threat quarterback and the team’s unquestioned leader. The next step in Cannon’s football future is what he hopes will be only a detour with the Greenville Titans, an amateur team with affiliations to several upstate technical colleges that allows players to improve their academic standings while attending one of the technical schools and playing football for the Titans. Cannon’s numbers on the field were remarkable. He was a four-year starter with the Cardinals who got better ever year as the trigger man of Landrum’s spread offense. Over his final two seasons, Cannon accounted for more than 5,000 yards from scrimmage and 57 touchdowns. But some key stats off the field have left Cannon and the Titans as good options for one another. “I honestly think that if I were three inches taller and had my grades, then I would

be going to N.C. State or a school like that,” Cannon said frankly. “I committed to the Titans (in late January), so I’m going to go to Greenville Tech for two years and get my grades up and then I’m hoping I can go to Appalachian State or some place like that as a preferred walk-on or maybe with a scholarship.” Several NCAA Football Championship Subdivision schools were taking a close look at Cannon but backed away when they found out he would be academically ineligible as a freshman. Overcoming his 5-foot-8 height to get their attention had been an accomplishment, but they couldn’t overlook the classroom. Cannon explained that he was put into college preparatory courses as a junior, but struggled with those rigid requirements. After falling behind, he was moved into other classes to ensure that he would graduate on time. It also ensured that college football at the four-year level would have to wait. There are very few junior-college football programs to choose from in the Southeast, so Cannon was considering prep school at Gray Military Academy in Columbia and the

Brandon Cannon hopes to improve his his academic standing while attending Greenville Tech and playing football.

Titans. “A lot of coaches said they liked my skill set, but they didn’t know if I would get a chance to play because of my height,” Cannon said, adding that he feels he will get a chance with the Titans, whether it be at quarterback, as a slot receiver or as a running back. “I think I can play at tailback or in the slot at receiver and help somebody around here.” GD

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First Tee takes game to schools By KAREN L. PUCKETT Although there are no Hula Hoops on the golf course at The U.S. Open, students at Houston Elementary School know they are an invaluable tool to learning the game. “Safety is a big part of golf,” says Fran Dunn, executive director of The First Tee of Spartanburg. “The kids stand inside of the Hula Hoop if they are not hitting the ball so they keep a safe distance.” In October, Houston became the first school in Spartanburg County to implement The First

HOUSTON ELEMENTARY IS THE FIRST SCHOOL IN SPARTANBURG COUNTY TO IMPLEMENT THE FIRST TEE NATIONAL SCHOOL PROGRAM. Tee National School Program (NSP) in its regular physical education instruction. Add Inman Elementary, Oakland Elemen-

tary, Pacolet Elementary, West View Elementary, Pine Street Elementary, Boyd Elementary and the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind, all of which will began their instruction after the Christmas break, and the total number of children in the county learning golf and life skills grows to nearly 4,000. On a national level, the NSP reaches more than 2 million students in about 4,100 elementary schools, according to Dunn. “A lot of these kids have never held a golf club or have not been exposed to the game before,” Dunn says. As a result, they learn the basics, for example, how to grip a “launcher,” a descriptive word that U.S. Open commentators otherwise refer to as a driver. A putter is a “roller” by the way. As for the life skills part, the NSP “promotes personal character development in a physical education setting and is taught in gyms and on playgrounds by physical education teachers during school hours. Its curriculum includes nine core values (Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy and Judgment) and nine healthy habits (Energy, Play, Safety, Vision, Mind, Family, Friends,

School and Community). “Golf just happens to be the vehicle teaching them character education and healthy habits and it makes it fun for them,” she adds. In order for these children to reach golf and life skills instruction through the NSP curriculum, physical education teachers themselves must learn the program and obtain certification. Twenty area teachers in the county did just that at the training hosted by Spartanburg School District 7 in mid-October. The other key ingredient to making the curriculum a reality in a school is sponsorship. The one-time cost to sponsor a school is $3,090 (or $6.18 per student). The start-up fee includes curriculum, teacher training and equipment. Other school districts in South Carolina include Aiken, Barnwell, Charleston and Greenville. The NSP,which started in 2004, is also a marketing tool for the local First Program in Spartanburg. In 2011, 520 kids participated in The First Tee programs on its two campuses-- The Creek Golf Club and Woodfin Ridge Golf Club. With further exposure and recommendation from physical education teachers, more children are expected to join that number this year. GD

For anyone with the desire to play sports at the college or professional level, the road is long and hard. This regular feature is about local athletes, living their dream, competing at ...

Former SHS standout Santresa Jamison aiming to end track career at Coastal on high note By JOHN CLAYTON


oastal Carolina and former Spartanburg High track standout Santresa Jamison would hardly recognize the college freshman version of herself these days. Jamison, a senior, has won four (and counting) Big South Conference indoor and outdoor track and field championships and is poised to graduate from Coastal Carolina in May. But four years ago, a less confident, homesick recent high school graduate was asking to return home to Spartanburg. “It was a big transition. I had never been away from home and I wanted to quit. I wanted to get in my car and come back home,” Jamison said. “But my mom (Nicole) said no. She was very determined that I was not coming back to Spartanburg.” Jamison, who graduated from Spartanbug High in 2008 and was redshirted as a freshman at Coastal Carolina, starred in track and cross country with the Vikings, earning all-state honors in cross country six times and winning three-straight Class AAAA state titles in track and field. She was also a Nike All-American selection in the sprint medley relay as a sophomore and won a 400-meter state title as a senior. She was the Vikings team captain and MVP as a senior as well. That impressive resume landed her on scholarship at Coastal Carolina where Jamison overcame her freshman doubts and bouts with homesickness to become a leader with the Chanticleers. Jamison easily sees the differences in herself. For starters, she is stronger and faster than she was in high school, but that’s only part of the story. “I’m a lot stronger, but I’m also more

Coastal Carolina’s Santresa Jamison competes in a recent track meet.

disciplined,” she said as the team traveled to the Clemson Invitational. “I’ve learned to be disciplined with myself. I’m on time -- not just on time, but I’ve learned to be early for things. I’ve never missed a meet or an event since I’ve been here.” That discipline also includes her diet. “I used to run cross country, too, so I could pretty much eat anything, but I’ve learned to be careful with what I take into my body,” she said. Jamison captured Big South titles in the 2011 and 2009 Outdoor Championships on Coastal’s 4X400 relay teams as well as the 2010 indoor 4x400 relay team. She was also last year’s indoor champion in the 400 meters. With those four Big South titles on her

resume with the 2012 championships to be contested, Jamison, who is majoring in exercise science, said she is glad she was convinced to stick it out as a freshman. “I have no regrets,” she said. “I love my coaches and I love my teammates here. Jamison said she was lucky to have a great support system with both her family at home and at Coastal Carolina, among several things she said young athletes can benefit from. She also offered advice to younger athletes: “Keep working and keep staying positive,” she said. “Stay true to who you are -I’m really the same Santresa I’ve always been -- and you do that by staying positive and by not giving up.” GD

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sports injuries 101

Treatment & prevention: The name of the game requires medical treatment. There is never a good reason to try to “work through” the pain of an injury. When you have pain from a particular movement or activity, STOP! Continuing the activity may only cause further harm.

By STEVEN B. SINGLETON, MD, FACS Village Orthopaedic Surgery


hether it’s running, tennis, golf, bicycling or even a weekend basketball game, there’s always a risk of injury. However, most sports injuries can be treated effectively. But even better, many sports injuries can be prevented if people take the proper precautions. Poor training practices, improper equipment, lack of conditioning, or insufficient warm-up and stretching are popular culprits. Although virtually any part of your body can be injured during sports or exercise, the term sports injury is usually reserved for injuries that involve the musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, bones and associated tissues like cartilage.

Common types of sports injuries: u Sprains and strains u Tears of the ligaments that hold joints together u Tears of the tendons that support joints and allow them to move u Dislocated joints u Fractured bones, including vertebrae A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament, the band of connective tissues that joins the end of one bone with another. A strain is a twist, pull, or tear of a muscle or tendon, a cord of tissue connecting muscle to bone. It is an acute, noncontact injury that results from overstretching or overcontraction. Because of its complex structure and weight-bearing capacity, the knee is the most commonly injured joint. Each year, more than 5.5 million people visit orthopaedic surgeons for knee problems. While the term shin splints has been widely used to describe any sort of leg pain associated with exercise, the term actually refers to pain along the tibia or shin bone. Shin splints are primarily seen in runners, particularly those just starting a running program. Risk factors for shin splints include overuse or incorrect use of the lower leg; improper stretching, warm-up or exercise technique; overtraining; running or jumping on hard surfaces; and running in shoes that don’t have enough support.

You should call a health professional if: The injury causes severe pain, swelling or numbness You can’t tolerate any weight on the area The pain or dull ache of an old injury is accompanied by increased swelling or joint instability If you don’t have any of the above symptoms, it’s probably safe to treat the injury at home—at least at first. Use the RICE method to relieve pain and inflammation and speed healing.


A stretch, tear or irritation to the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscle to the back of the heel, can be sudden and agonizing. The most common cause of Achilles tendon tears is a problem called tendinitis, a degenerative condition caused by aging or overuse. When a tendon is weakened, trauma can cause it to rupture. Achilles tendon injuries are common in middle-aged “weekend warriors” who may not exercise regularly or take time to stretch properly before an activity. A fracture is a break in the bone that can occur from either a quick, one-time injury to the bone (acute fracture) or from repeated stress to the bone over time (stress fracture). The most common symptom of a stress fracture is pain at the site that worsens with weight-bearing activity. Tenderness and swelling often accompany the pain. When the two bones that come together to form a joint become separated, the joint is described as being dislocated. Contact sports such as football and basketball, as well as high-impact sports and sports that can result in excessive stretching or falling, cause a majority of dislocations. A dislocated joint is an emergency situation that

Follow these four steps immediately after injury and continue for at least 48 hours: Rest—Reduce regular exercise or activities of daily living as needed. Ice—Apply an ice pack to the injured area for 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times a day. Compression—Compression of the injured area may help reduce swelling. Compression can be achieved with elastic wraps, special boots, air casts and splints. Elevation—If possible, keep the injured ankle, knee, elbow or wrist elevated on a pillow, above the level of the heart to help decrease swelling. Depending on your preference and the severity of your injury or the likelihood that your injury may cause ongoing, long-term problems, you may want to see or have your primary healthcare professional refer you to one of the following: Orthopaedic surgeon: A doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves. Physical therapist: A healthcare professional who can develop a rehabilitation program. Your primary care physician may refer you to a physical therapist after you begin to recover from your injury to help strengthen muscles and joints and prevent further injury. GD

For more information, visit

youth fitness

Introducing strength training in young athletes


ention Charles Atlas and most likely only men over 50 years old will know who you are talking about.

Every young boy in America during the late 1950s and early 1960s eagerly searched for the Charles Atlas ad in the back of their comic books. Upon placing their order for the Charles Atlas Bodybuilding course, they anxiously awaited the day when their package arrived in the mail, certain that they would soon have huge muscles like their hero. I never had enough money to order one of those Charles Atlas courses so I had to settle for an iron pipe with bricks on both ends. At 12 years old I would do almost anything to look like Charles Atlas. I am amazed that almost 50 years later I am still pursuing that goal, although now I am pumping iron, not bricks! I have seen a lot of changes in fitness over

the last 50 years, but there is one thing that hasn’t changed. Young people want to be as physically fit as possible. whether it is to run faster, jump higher, or just to have a buff body. They are willing to do almost anything to achieve this.  The problem is that most haven’t a clue where to start.

Also, machines help to strengthen the tendons and ligaments before embarking on a free weight program. Work the major muscle groups every other day for the first 8 weeks.


They see the “freaks” on steroids and their eyes get big, but there is a lot more to it than putting a potentially deadly drug in your body. Nothing can replace old fashioned hardwork and dedication. There must be a proper balance between rest, nutrition and exercise for optimum results. For 10-13 year olds, weight machines are preferable initially because the movement is more controlled and reduces the likelihood of injury.  

At the end of this period there needs to be a re-evaluation before going to a more advanced program. Remember, that kids have a lot of energy and will over train or could injury themselves if not supervised by a qualified person. One of the most important things we can instill in young people is the value of taking care of their bodies and how to correctly achieve this. Your body is a gift from God and what you do with your body is your gift back to Him. Let›s encourage our youth to be strong and stay focused. GD John Lankford is the owner of Nautilus Fitness Center in Spartanburg. He has over 30 years experience as a trainer, bodybuilder and fitness expert.

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youth fitness

The art of developing speed and agility


hen you see an your strength training should athlete with great include a variety of movement speed or agility patterns moving from two leg that image just stance exercises such as squats seems to stick with you. and cleans to lunges, step ups They just seem to glide and single leg squats. across the court or field. Many people think these 2. Great athletes things are natural must possess the born and to a certain ability to absorb extent that is true. But force as well as without developing produce force. these ‘God-given gifts’ In other words you’ll never rise to the you must be able to top of athletic success. slow down before So how do you develop you can speed up. the ability to blow past In order to make a person or stop on a sharp cut the athlete dime? has to decelerate First, let’s define a little in order to KEN what speed and agility move along a differFINLEY are. The strict definient path before action of speed simply celerating along that means to run to a point faster path. Like a race car driver must than someone else can. People tap onto the break going into the think of a 40 yard sprint when turn before hitting the gas down you talk about speed. Most the straight away. sports however are played in a This is trained through much shorter window say 10 to proper jump training. This in15 yards and require a sudden volves first learning to stand on change of direction followed by one leg then hop (land on the a short burst of speed. That is the same leg) or leap (land on the true essence of agility-the ability opposite leg of the one you start to avoid, evade, get past or get on) and absorb the force by around someone. holding or ‘sticking’ the landing In order to possess these for several seconds. You must abilities you must first develop practice hopping and leaping body control. You know when in different directions i.e. to the you see it but what is it? Here is side, forward backward and at a list of the components of great different angles. Gradually you body control that need to be began to hop or leap absorbdeveloped in order to have speed ing the force and then quickly and agility on the athletic field. push into another direction. This takes time to perfect and 1. First, the athlete must pos- usually requires a skillful coach sess great body awareness. to guide the athlete through Also known in the medical field the process and ensure that the as proprioception it is the ability technique is solid. of the nerves in your muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons 3. Great athletes get into to tell your brain where all the and stray in good positions parts of your body are and how in order to be successful. This fast they are moving. This allows means they have the ability to your brain to make the adjustreposition the feet ments needed to balance and in any direction around their coordinate the body so that it center of mass. Learning to moves efficiently and effectively. do this takes a lot of practice This quality can be improved and a watchful coach to help and trained in a variety of ways. provide feedback to the athlete Single leg training such as hops while training. By rehearsing and leaps on one leg are a great the various cutting patterns way to improve this quality. Also (sharp, speed, and spin) and

understanding how to correctly position your body with each possible pattern you can expect to make yourself have true game speed. It is not usually who can run the fastest in a straight line but who can make the quick adjustments needed to accomplish the play. 4. Great athletes must have the proper combination of flexibility and strength. If you lack flexibility you’ll have to modify your movements making them less efficient and possibly leading to injury. Without a great base of strength you will lack acceleration and the ability to handle the high forces placed on the body during competition. Both of these components are essentially for injury prevention. As mentioned previously your strength training should include a steady diet of single leg strength and the ability to resist a high rate of force produced not

only by on field collisions but by the simple fact of an athlete changing directions quickly. Also understanding your sport and what muscles you tend to use or overuse can help you design the proper flexibility training program which should include some type of soft tissue massage using a foam roller or massage ‘stick’ on a daily basis. You can see from this short list that your training needs some guidance but shouldn’t be overly complicated. Having a plan that encompasses each one of these areas mentioned will go a long way toward helping each athlete reach there given potential. You can’t go out a just perform a series of random drills but rather you must develop the skills it takes to get into and stay in the proper athletic positions. Are you practicing excellence or just practicing hoping for excellence? GD


Square the clubface for straighter shots

When the club is parallel to the ground on your backswing, you should have the sensation you are shaking hands with your right hand.


Golfers are always looking for golf swing consistency, and the main focus should be a square clubface at impact. Impact is the moment of truth in a golf swing. If your clubface is not square to the target line, the ball will go offline, most likely with sidespin creating missed fairways and higher golf scores. The golf swing happens in less than 2 seconds, KYLE but it is OWINGS actually pretty simple to have an idea of where your clubface is at all times. If you are right-handed, and you have a good grip, think of your right hand as your clubface. When the club is parallel to the ground on your backswing, you

On the follow through, have the same thought, a “mirror image’ that you have on your backswing.

should have the sensation you are shaking hands with your right hand. (PicA) The same can be said on the follow through. Have the same thought. I use the term “mirror image” for the clubface on the backswing and follow through. (PicB) This will help you with proper clubface rotation. Now it is great to rotate the clubface to create power, but all of this is no good without a square clubface at impact. I tell my students to think of their right hand as giving the golf ball a low five at impact. If your grip is sound, your right hand should be similar in direction to your clubhead. In Pic C, you can see my clubface and my right hand are square together at impact. Try these drills and keep these thoughts when trying to put the clubface square on the ball next time you work on your game. Happy Golfing! GD

Reach the Kyle Owings Golf Academy at (864)205-4221



My clubface and my right hand are square together at impact.

Air Ball HIllcrest’s Tre Smith, left, and Whitefield’s Lorenzo Carter engage in a battle above the rim during the Upward Classic at Dorman recently.




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Upstate Game Day_February 2012  

Magazine covering youth sports in Upstate South Carolina.

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