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OAKBROOK PLAYERS CELEBRATE AFTER WINNING THE SCISA 2A CHAMPIONSHIP. PHIL ESCE PHOTO

/ 14LADY CAVS LOSE, BUT STILL WIN FREE >>

UPSTATE

MARCH 2013

March 14-April 13, 2013

knight time Oakbrook Prep brings home state championship

>> KAYLA MCAVOY: RISING STAR >> ERIN FROST: QUEEN OF THE COURT >> GO-KART KIDS >> ATHLETES IN ACTION


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Large Groups Welcome

Leading Off

Fast & Curious > 12-13 KIDS GET THEIR START IN GO-KART RACING >7

Tim Tebow makes Impact during Upstate visit

> 16

Oakbrook Knights capture SCISA title

> 19 > 21

Wofford’s Erin Frost juggles hoops & pageants Rising star Kayla McAvoy leaps into Spartans spotlight

Looking for an extra copy? Upstate GameDay is located in more than 250 high-traffic Spartanburg County locations. Copies can be picked up inside many restaurants, including Bojangles, Fuddruckers, Pizza Inn, The Clock, Chick-Fil-A (eastside), bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, sporting goods stores, medical offices, gyms/fitness centers, schools, hair salons, and many more locations.

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From the Publisher

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GAME DAY Youth Sports Magazine

EDITOR & PUBLISHER / LAYOUT/DESIGN EDITOR

WEBSITE www.upstategameday.com issuu.com/upstategameday/docs

Les Timms III les.timms @upstategameday.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR / SENIOR WRITER John Clayton john.clayton@upstategameday.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Kyle Owings Ken Finley Ed Overstreet Pamela Dunlap Tim Lambka To Advertise, Contact les.timms@upstategameday.com 864-804-0068

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 2013 Upstate Game Day Youth Sports Magazine is published 12 times a year by Timms Communications. 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.

<< NOW ENROLLING KICKIN’ KIDS SUMMER CAMP! >>

Welcome to ‘Game Day’

W

elcome to the mid-March edition of Upstate Game Day. What? mid-March? Yes, we publish our magazine the middle of the month because we’ve found that many of the big sporting events that we cover come to a conclusion at times it would be difficult to include in a traditional first-of-the month magazine. We’re proud of this edition of Upstate Game Day. Associate Editor John Clayton has once again done a stellar job writing some compelling stories. His article on Oakbrook Prep and its recent state basketball championship details how far the team came over the season, while a story on go-karts delves into the inner workings of kids and their parents who start their racing dreams early. John’s column on Val Whiteside and her Lady Cavaliers shows how close LES TIMMS III one team nearly tasted a victory on the state’s biggest stage, but how their journey Editor / Publisher together was more important than any championship. We also focus on a beauty queen/Wofford basketball player Erin Frost, a Byrnes alum, and Boiling Springs graduate /USC Upstate volleyball player Kayla McAvoy in the Next Level section. I had the opportunity to attend the Impact Sports dinner featuring Tim Tebow. What an impressive young man. I came away with the feeling if a long-term NFL career doesn’t pan out, he still has an incredibly bright future. We plan on running excerpts from his speech to appear in Game Day beginning next month in a special column. Plus, don’t miss our columnists and expanded photo galleries this month.

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t Upstate Game Day, we are expanding our efforts to find people and businesses who have an interest in youth sports and will support this magazine. We truly believe we offer tremendous value to our marketing partners. Our partners are able to show their support of the community and our youth, be a part of a professionally produced publication and trust that their ads will be in front of a range of potential customers each month. Over the course of the past few months, we have observed that our pickup rates at our routine distribution points throughout Spartanburg and parts of Greenville counties hover around 99 percent, meaning about 99 of every 100 of the thousands of magazines we print each month are read -- and statistics show by usually more than one person. Our secondary website, issuu.com/upstategameday/docs showed that nearly 2,000 additional people saw and read our February magazine online this past month. We’re appreciative to those who support Game Day and believe the magazine has been beneficial to our community and its young people over the past 18 months or so. As folks describe some of our better issues, we’re kind of a mini Sports Illustrated, and that’s what we aspire to be. Please enjoy this issue and tell our advertising partners that you saw their ads in Game Day. And, as always, keep those story ideas and photos coming.GD


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NEWS & NOTES FROM THE LOCAL YOUTH SPORTS SCENE PLEASE SEND YOUR NEWS AND PHOTOS TO LES.TIMMS@UPSTATEGAMEDAY.COM

LANDRUM’S WATERS SIGNS FOR CROSS COUNTRY WITH SMC By JOHN CLAYTON On Twitter @JCTweetsOn

One of Landrum High School’s most successful distance runners decided in February to make the relatively short trip to Spartanburg Methodist College to begin her college career as a cross-country runner. Samantha Waters, a six-time all-state and all-region selection in cross country with all-state and all-region credentials in track distance events as well, leaves Landrum for SMC as one of the Cardinals’ most decorated athletes. Waters, who led Landrum to two state cross-country championships, said she wanted to start her college career close to home. “Landrum’s a really small school, so I felt I could get my

work done at a small school,” she said. “You have a lot more one-on-one. Everyone knows everyone and that’s what I love.” Waters said she would like to shave at least a minute off her current cross-country times while at SMC and then continue her career at a fouryear college or university. “I haven’t thought about another school yet, but I know I want to continue running,” she said. Waters showed a passion for the sport since eschewing softball to join the crosscountry team against her mother’s better judgment as an eighth grader. But she quickly became the Cardinals’ No. 1 runner, a position she has held throughout head coach Jeremy Darby’s career at Landrum. “It’s great watching her go

JOHN CLAYTON PHOTO

Landrum High senior Samantha Waters is surrounded by family, members of the Cardinals coaching staff and Spartanburg Methodist College cross country coach Mike Foley during a signing ceremony.

on. As much success as we’ve had, I’m overjoyed when our kids make it to the next level,” Darby said. “I knew coming through ninth grade, she was going to be one of our first females to do that. . . . She’s been an anchor for our team and she’s going to be missed.” SMC head coach Mike Foley said he is happy to have Waters

in the fold with the Pioneers. “She’s always so positive -- and she’s good,” said Foley of his recruit. “She’s good in a lot of events and we compete in track, cross country and halfmarathons -- and she’s highly competitive in that. She’s one of the best runners in the state, so it’s a no-brainer for us.” GD

FIELD SET FOR 7-ON-7 PASSING TOURNEY IN JUNE The field has been set for the 2013 Palmetto State Showdown National 7-on-7 Passing Tournament hosted by Byrnes High School and organizers say they are thrilled with the level of competition featured at this year’s event. This year’s edition of the Showdown is scheduled for June 14-15 and will again feature 20 teams from several states, incuding Delaware and New Jersey. Most of the teams, however, are from the Carolinas and Georgia. Host Byrnes will field two teams as will perennial state and national power Valdosta (Ga.). Other entries include Bergen Catholic (N.J.), Berkeley, Brunswick (Ga.), Daniel, Dover (Del.), Gainesville (Ga.), Erwin (N.C.), Jack Britt (N.C.), Jefferson County (Ga.), Lakeside (Ga.), Myrtle Beach, North Guilford (N.C.), North Gwinnett (Ga.), Southern Durham (N.C.), Union County and Wren. “We’ve been able to keep stepping it up a notch,” said

Palmetto Showdown head Tony McAbee. “We feel like we have tougher teams this year.” The Showdown is now in its sixth year, but found itself competing directly with a one-day event sponsored by the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte. Organizers of the Palmetto State Showdown have also announced a change in dates for the 2014 tournament to avoid future conflicts with the Panthers’ event. Next year’s Showdown is set for July 11-12. “We feel good about going back to July,” McAbee said. McAbee also said that is one of several changes that could be on the way for the tournament, including an expanded field of teams. “Lights are being put on those fields for soccer, but that means we can expand to 24 or 26 teams because we will be able to play into the night,” he said.

GAME DAY u MARCH 2013 5


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Stump Jump XC Mountain Bike Race Sunday, April 21 Croft State Park

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The 16th Annual Stump Jump XC Mountain Bike Race returns on April 21! Held in Spartanburg, the event takes place at Croft State Natural Area’s Southside trails. The 7.5 mile race course consists of classic Piedmont terrain including undulating singletrack, roots, fast flats, and -of course- a few stumps! Racers ranging from beginner to pro compete for over $7,500 in cash and prizes.

Saturday, April 6 Recreational Float starts at 10AM Downriver Race starts at 11AM Registration fee is $25 per person (by March 29)


TEBOW MAKES IMPACT AT SPORTS MINISTRY FUNDRAISER Tim Tebow, the National Football League quarterback and former Heisman Trophy winner, visited Spartanburg earlier this month and spoke of making an impact in life to hundreds in attendance at the annual Impact Sports Partnership Dinner, held at the Spartanburg Expo Center. Tebow entertained the audience with stories of how he was able to be successful on the gridiron, but much of his talk dealt with the importance in life to be a Godly example, no matter your platform. He shared several personal stories and highlights from his college and pro career, and pointed to service the most important qualities in life. He revealed pieces of advice: “have passion; don’t be normal … be an example; and be great.” In one anecdote, Tebow recalled how the team’s motto going into his junior year at the University of Florida was to “finish strong.” “Every workout, the coaches always said, ‘finish strong, finish what you’re doing.’” Tebow recalled that as the team prepared to face Alabama for the National Championship his junior year, Florida coach Urban Meyer prepared the team. The Gators went into the fourth quarter trailing but pulled out the victory.

TIM TEBOW and SCOTT DUKE, executive director of impact Sports, participate in a Q&A session during the sports ministry’s fundraiser.

“As a team, that was our rallying cry -- to finish strong,” Tebow said. “However old you are, whether you’re in high school or middle school, or a grandparent, you’re never too young, never too old to finish strong. You can have impact in your life.” Tebow’s visit helped to raise funds for Impact Sports’ upcoming mission trips, including a basketball mission trip to East Asia March 29-April 7 and to Nicaragua in June, among others. For more information, go to impactssportsline.org.

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TIM TEBOW shares a story during his time onstage at the Spartanburg Expo Center in March.

LOOK FOR EXCERPTS FROM A Q&A SESSION WITH TIM TEBOW NEXT MONTH IN GAME DAY. PHOTOS PROVIDED BY MARIAN ASHLEY PHOTOGRAPHY ©

Make every move count.

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Please submit your best pics to

photos@upstategameday.com

Athletes in Action

photos by: John Clayton * Tim Lambka • Lorin Browning * Les Timms III * Steve Hinds * Ed Overstreet • Ted Conwell

“Great things are possible if you’re under very tough circumstances.” - Tim Tebow


If you can dream it, you can achieve it.


Teamwork makes the dream work


It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take talent to hustle.

GAME DAY u FEBRUARY 2013 11


FAST

&

CURIOUS

Kids learning curves in go-kart racing JOHN CLAYTON PHOTOS

By JOHN CLAYTON

A

On Twitter @JCTweetsOn

s weekends go for 10-year-olds, the one in early March was about as good as it gets for Dalton Solesbee.

Above, Logan Tucker (42) leads a group of racers out of Turn 4 at Sugar Tit Speedway. Here, Ansley Mason takes the checkers at the end of a heat race. 12 MARCH 2013 u GAME DAY

First, he competed in and won his first heat and then his first go-kart race at Sugar Tit Speedway on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, he turned 10. “It’s not all about winning or anything,” Dalton said. “It’s all about having fun.” Of course, fun comes with a cost and a little bit of worry when you’re watching your soon-to-be 10-year-old sling dust from a dirt track composed of the same red clay that produced Upstate-bred racing legends such as David Pearson and Tiny Lund. At Sugar Tit Speedway, the potential

Sisters Ansley, left, and Haven Mason have found inspiration from their family of racers and Danica Patrick.

racing stars of tomorrow have sometimes only recently made it to elementary school, but are getting an early education in speed and dirt and dust. It is very often, such as the case of the


Solesbees from Greer and the Downey family from Inman, a family affair. The Downey racing effort features a trio of brothers, including the youngest, Tyler, a freshman at Landrum High School. Tyler Downey raced a full season at Sugar Tit Speedway in 2012, winning five times. He is teenager with big dreams that include more checkered flags and NASCAR rides. Someday. “I get to spend time with the family, and it’s always fun,” Tyler said. “We work as a team -- everybody does something.” Tyler was preparing for a 50-lap race that would also include older brothers Kyle and Kane. “I don’t really like racing against them -- I race them different than everbody else,” Tyler said. “I don’t want to tear anything up.” Tyler’s camo-dipped go-kart stands out among his competitors, and he said he is hoping he will stand out enough in this sport to move up racing food chain and eventually land in NASCAR’s top series. “I’m hoping somebody will watch me when I go to big races,” he said. “If I do good enough, maybe they will see me and give me a chance.” Over the past 20 years, more and more of NASCAR’s stars, including Jeff Gordon and Danica Patrick, trace their racing roots to go-karts. Same sport. Different size. But the go-kart racing is more alike its big brother than one might suspect. Sponsorships -- small and large -- help drive the sport. At dirt tracks across the country, the joke goes “that racing is a hole in the dirt that you throw money into.” Brian Mason, a former drag and dirt-track racer himself and the father of racing sisters Ansley, 9, and Haven, 7, said it is easy to spend $5,000 to put together a brand new competitive go-kart. And that price does not include spare parts, extra tires, trailers and travel to tracks across the region. But Mason, who lives with wife Stephanie and their daughters, said the reward easily trumps any expense. “I’ve had tears of my joy when my oldest one her first one and when my second one one her first one,” Mason said. “It’s a rush because it’s your kids out there and you love them, but there is a little bit of danger in it. . . . I have more fun watching them than anything I’ve ever done. I get a real blessing from it.” Like Dalton Solesbee, Ansley and Haven are thirdgeneration racers. The sisters started driving go-karts soon after they could toddle to the family’s track in their backyard. It didn’t take long before they wanted to start racing. “I’ve been riding on a go-kart since I was about 4 years old,” Ansley said. “It’s pretty easy to ride at home, but on other tracks it takes a while to find the groove and learn the track.” To help them, Mason has attached video cameras to the girls’ helmets, something that has proven to be an educational tool for both girls as they learn. “We’ve got it aimed so that we can see their hands on the steering wheel, their feet on the pedals and we can see the groove of the track,” Mason said. “We can tell when they’re getting out and getting in the gas. . . .We can see how the car reacts to some extent.” While racing may be part of the Mason’s DNA,

Ansley Mason works on her go-kart between practices and heat races. A young driver gets ready for the green flag to drop

Tyler Downey, in the No. 11 Camo car, prepares for his next race.

there is also something else at work: Call it, the Danica Effect. Ansley and Haven have not known a racing world without Danica Patrick in it. The popular star has moved from the IndyCar Series to NASCAR and continues to influence a generation of lead-footed girls at the race track. “They’re big Danica fans,” Mason said. Haven is racing her first full season and has already captured a Pee Wee championship driving occasionally last year as a 6-year-old. She’s following right along in her sister’s groove. “I like to race because I saw my sister doing it and she won a lot, so I wanted to do it,” Haven said. Like the Mason sisters, Duncan’s Logan Tucker started driving go-karts in a friend’s backyard, but started driving competitively four years ago at the age of 7. Tucker picked up his first win of the season a couple of weeks after Sugar Tit Speedway opened for 2013 in late February. “It gets tougher (as you get older),” Tucker Brynlee Downey helps her uncle, Tyler Downey, clean tires between races. said. “And you get a lot faster.” GD GAME DAY u MARCH 2013 13


LADY CAVS’ BEACH SIGNS TO RUN AT THE CITADEL Dorman female cross country, track standout looking forward to unique challenge By JOHN CLAYTON On Twitter @JCTweetsOn

ED OVERSTREET PHOTO

“I really like the challenge, first off. .... Everything is planned out, so there’s no time for me to get in trouble.” ASHLEY BEACH

14 MARCH 2013 u GAME DAY

Ashley Beach is boldly going where few women have gone before. The Dorman cross-country and track standout made The Citadel her school of choice, signing with South Carolina’s Military Institute on National Signing Day in February. “I really like the challenge, first off,” Beach said. “I think it will be great. On top of the academics, I can keep pushing myself.” Currently, 156 women are enrolled at The Citadel as members of the Corps of Cadets, making up 7 percent of the corps. Of that number, exactly half (78) are athletes competing in six different sports as part of the Southern Conference. The Citadel was forced to admit women into the Corps of Cadets due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling declaring the state-supported school’s all-male admissions policy as unconstitutional in 1995. Shannon Faulkner, who sued for the

right to attend the Citadel, became the first female admitted to the Corps of Cadets but did not graduate from the school. She resigned from the corps during her first year, most of which was spent under the protection of the U.S. Marshall’s Service for fear of hazing. Since Faulkner’s departure, however, more than 200 women have graduated from The Citadel. Beach, an all-state and all-region performer and member of Dorman’s 2010 state championship team, said she has talked with her future teammates, and they have enjoyed their experiences as cadets. “They all love it,” she said. “They said it is hard and it is a challenge, but you just have to come in with the right state of mind and be ready for the challenge.” Beach said she is looking forward to the rigors of military discipline and the plebe system in addition to the chance of being a NCAA Division I student-athlete. “I really like the structure,” she said. “Everything is planned out, so there’s no time for me to get in trouble.” GD


SLAM DUNK

Oakbrook Knights make statement with run to SCISA title

Story by JOHN CLAYTON Photos by PHIL ESCE

DeVarte Watson dunks against Spartanburg Christian Academy in the state championship game. GAME DAY u FEBRUARY 2013 15


PHIL ESCE PHOTOS /

SPECIAL TO GAME DAY

Oakbrook Prep players celebrate after their SCISA Class 2A championship victory over rival Spartanburg Christian Academy.

Knights parlay hot hand into school’s first hoops title By JOHN CLAYTON

A

On Twitter @JCTweetsOn

photo mural decorates the walls leading into the Oakbrook Prep gymnasium -- the Kodak moments of the school’s relatively short athletic history. The boys basketball team made its emphatic statement for inclusion on that wall with a S.C. Independent Schools Association Class AA state championship, the first basketball title for the Knights. “We brought back the majority of our team from last year,” said Oakbrook Prep head coach George Burgess. “We had an experienced group even though we’re still young overall. . . . This has been a really good group as far as playing together is concerned. They did a really good job of playing together and playing for each other.” The Knights defeated crosstown rival Spartanburg Christian Academy 78-50 in 16 MARCH 2013 u GAME DAY

Sumter to capture their first state championship in basketball, using the same up-tempo, pressure style of play that helped them to a 93.5 point-per-game scoring average. “It was fun,” said DeVarte Watson, who signed this past November to continue his playing career at Delaware, of the Knights’ style of play. “I think it makes the fans happier, so it’s more fun on the court.” But it wasn’t always fun, at least not for sniper John John Caldwell, a junior who began his varsity career as an eighth grader and who led the Knights with a 30-point performance in the state finals. “I started playing varsity my eighth-grade year, and we came out and got our heads bashed in every night,” Caldwell remembered. “In ninth grade, it was the same story. Then last year, the team kind of came together. This year, we got to the top, and it’s one of the things I’ll remember for the rest of my life because we started at the bottom.” Caldwell and the Knights hung tough. Then players such as Watson and junior Matthew Morris transferred from public schools, giving the Knights an infusion of depth, talent and


athleticism. Watkins became an eraser in the middle, taking his game to a new level in the postseason. “He was unstoppable,” Caldwell said of his Delaware-bound teammate. With that, the Knights, who had lost nine times during the regular season, including twice to finals opponent Spartanburg Christian, began a roll at just the right time. “Our road to the finals was the toughest,” Burgess said. “We had to go through the top seed, Charleston Collegiate and then play Spartanburg Christian a fourth time.” Despite the two regularseason losses to Spartanburg Christian, Watson said the Knights were confident they could beat their rivals when it counted most -- first in the region tournament and then in the state finals. “When we started the region tournament -- in that first game, we felt it,” Watson said. When the postseason began, each of Oakbrook’s opponents became just another “X” on the wall, neither rival nor old friend. “The coaches put up X’s, and after each game we would cross them off,” Caldwell said. “It didn’t matter to us who the X was. We just had to take that X down. It could’ve been the Miami Heat, and they were just an X for us.”

Moore laughed. “Well, maybe the Heat would’ve been different,” he said. But the message behind the X’s was simple -- just go out and play your game. The Knights did just that, beating Spartanburg Christian by 28 points in the title game and looking every bit the part of champion in six postseason contests. “The regular season is like a test,” Moore said. “We knew the postseason was when it counted, so we had to have a short memory.” Still, some players couldn’t help but recall a frustrating past and a playoff run that fell short a year earlier. “The pressure built up from last year,” said Watson, one of two seniors along with Alex Hollis on the team. “It put a monkey on our backs and we had to work harder. This year, it made it even sweeter because we won.” Moore said the feeling on the court after the victory was “surreal” and was finally sinking in a couple of weeks later. And he’s allowed himself to think for a second past a long offseason, which will include a heavy dose of travel-team basketball, toward next season. “I’ve thought about it a little bit,” he said. “I’d like to win it again.” GD

GAME DAY u MARCH 2013 17


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Soccer Congratulations! SCISA State Basketball Champs! Basketball Volleyball Football Baseball Wrestling Swimming Golf Competitive Cheer Congratulations, 2012 Grads! $ Cross Country 3.1 Million Scholarships


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 ...

QUEEN of the COURT > WOFFORD’S erin frost JUGGLES HOOPS AND PAGEANT WORLDS By JOHN CLAYTON On Twitter @JCTweetsOn

A

t 5-foot-7, Wofford guard Erin Frost is among the shortest players on the women’s basketball team -- but that’s before she slips into her heels at Miss Laurens County. “When I did my interview for the Miss Laurens County pageant, they asked me how tall I was,” Frost laughed. “I told them 5-7. With the heels I’m around 6-1, so they’re deceiving.” Frost is challenging more than misconceptions about height, competing as both a NCAA Division I athlete and then as a contestant in the Miss America pageant system. By changing chameleon-like from basketball player to beauty queen -- quite often in the same day, Frost bridges two different worlds. In athletics, feminity is viewed by some as weakness and comes with a lack of toughness or pointless emotion. The pageant world, on the other hand, celebrates feminity on stage with spotlights, sparkles and rhinestones. “I always thought growing up that basketball players were less feminine until I fell in love with basketball,” Frost said. “And I can honestly say that this is the most girlie group of girls I’ve played with, ever. “We all wear pink. We do everything people think we’re not supposed to do. We play it up, and I think that’s what is so cool about this team. We’re not stereotypical super-buff athletic girls people think about. We get dressed up on weekends and we go out. The same with pageants -- you get dressed up and transform. It’s the

JUDITH BROWN / LAURENS COUNTY ADVERTISER

same when we put these jerseys on -- we transform into athletes.” In some ways, Frost fell into the pageant world after winning the Miss Byrnes High School pageant. It was her first pageant competition and her first crown. She also played basketball for the Rebels, but was a walk-on at Wofford, joining the Terriers as a sophomore after spending her freshman year on the dance team.

Above, Miss South Carolina and former Miss Laurens County Ali Rogers, left, with her Laurens County successor Erin Frost. Below, Frost surveys the court as shooting guard for Wofford.

ERIN FROST

No. 20, Sr., Guard Wofford College Byrnes High School A senior at Wofford, but with another year of NCAA eligibility. She is considering a return for another season with the Terriers. Titles: Miss Laurens County, Miss Upstate, Miss Byrnes High School, competed in Miss South Carolina pageant in 2012. Hoop notes: Appeared in 31 games as a junior, tying a Wofford record. Three-time all-region selection at Byrnes and team MVP as a senior. Favorite Movie: Water for Elephants

“I was cheering on the basketball team from the sideline,” she said. “My sophomore year, I asked Coach (Edgar) Farmer if I could try out for basketball.” What ensued was a three-month preseason tryout that eventually landed her

TRENT BROWN / WOFFORD COLLEGE

GAME DAY u MARCH 2013 19


NEXT LEVEL

JUDITH BROWN / LAURENS COUNTY ADVERTISER

Erin Frost participates in the swimsuit portion of the Miss Laurens County pageant.

on the Terriers’ roster. Meanwhile, her passion for pageantry was also taking hold. She competed and won Miss Upstate, leading her eventually to the Miss Laurens County pageant, which came with not only a crown but rather large heels to fill. The former reigning Miss Laurens County was Ali Rogers, who went on to win the Miss South Carolina pageant and was first runner-up to Miss America. “Laurens County has the best support right now because of how successful she is,” Frost said. “I was a little iffy about doing Laurens County because I’m not from Laurens County. In the past, every pageant I’ve done has been somewhere close or at the heart of where I’m from. . . . But it’s a new opportunity for me because I get to meet new people.” Her role on the Wofford basketball this past season was limited on the court, but she is frontand-center as an advocate for volunteerism as Miss Laurens County. She will spend this year working to help the Children’s Miracle Network as part of her platform for the Miss South Carolina Pageant. As a recipient of Wofford’s prestigious Bonner Scholarship, Frost is asked to do a minimum of 10 hours per week of community service, and she works with special-needs children. That makes her already busy schedule a little more hectic, but Frost said it is rewarding. “My calendar is color coded for basketball, pageantry, Bonner activity, homework -- everything is a different color,” Frost said. “But I think that has

helped me be successful. It’s kept me busy. It’s kept me out of trouble. I’ve gotten to meet some really amazing people, and I have connections with literally anyone I can think of.” Division I athletics is very much like a job because of the time commitment, and that is one of two major commonalities between the two that life and pageantry, Frost said. The other is confidence. “When you’re playing basketball, if you’re not confident, people can see it n your face. Same thing in the pageant world,” she said. “If you’re not confident on stage people can see it all over your face. You have to be comfortable with your body on stage. You have to be comfortable with what you’re doing, how you’re speaking, how you’re presenting yourself -- just as on the basketball court, it’s preparation. You have to know what plays we’re running. If you don’t know what we’re doing out there on defense, you can read it all over people’s faces. So, confidence is the main connection I see between the two.” Frost said young people hoping to become college athletes or enter the world of pageantry should be prepared to work hard and to be role models. Both come with the territory. “It is an elite group of people -- Division I athletics, it was right at 3 percent of college kids are athletes,” she said. “It’s really awesome to be a part of that group, but you have to know from a young age that it takes a lot of work, just like in the pageant world.” GD

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20 MARCH 2013 u GAME DAY

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Rising

Kayla McAvoy served up an All-Atlantic Sun selection as a sophomore.

Star > KAYLA McAVOY LEAPS INTO SPARTANS’ SPOTLIGHT By JOHN CLAYTON On Twitter @JCTweetsOn

K

ayla McAvoy came to volleyball relatively late when compared to some, but she quickly became a rising star. She gained a spot on a Spartanburg-based Club South club team to play national-level competition early on and went on to earn the scholarship she had wanted from the very beginning. And that star is still rising at USC Upstate. At 5-foot-10, McAvoy is average height for a NCAA Division I hitter, but her natural leaping ability aided by coaching at USC Upstate’s Performance Center helped her earn All-Atlantic Sun honors this past fall as a sophomore. “I’ve always been able to jump and that’s grown over time. . . . I love to be that person who steps up, and I love to be that go-to person,” McAvoy said. “I used to not be, but now when my teammates need a kill and come to me, I want to be that person and execute.” McAvoy’s vertical jump has improved from 19 to 24.5 inches PROVIDED / USC UPSTATE GAME DAY u FEBRUARY 2013 21


RISING STAR / from page 21 since she arrived on campus. USC Upstate Performance Center Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Scott Senger said the goal is to add three more inches to McAvoy’s vertical, a number that would put her in the top 10 percent among her peers. As a sophomore this past season, the Boiling Springs High School product led the Spartans in hitting with 3.25 kills per set with a .299 attack percentage. She also led the team in blocks with 74. McAvoy recorded double-digit kills 22 times this past season and notched careerhigh kills with 18 against UNC Asheville and East Tennessee State. But those are only statistics. McAvoy said the biggest improvements in her game and life cannot be measured by numbers. “At first, when I came here, I was actually very quiet and nervous, but on this team, everybody has a voice,” she said. “So, I’ve actually stepped up and become a leader. I’m much more confident.” That confidence has carried over off the court as well. McAvoy turned in a 4.0 gradepoint average last semester and represents her team on the school’s Student Advisory Committee. Time has not only brought confidence

22 MARCH 2013 u GAME DAY

PROVIDED / USC UPSTATE

Kayla McAvoy has improved her vertical jump by 4.5 inches since arriving at USC Upstate from Boiling Springs High School.

and improved skills, but also an improved appreciation for her mother, Mindi Calvert, who raised McAvoy early on as a single mother.

McAvoy listed her mother as her hero on her USC Upstate biography. “For a while, it was just me and her, so she raised me,” McAvoy said. “I really admire her because she always gave me everything I’ve needed, and I’ve always been able to count on her for everything. She never lets me down. She’s always had my back and she’d my No. 1 fan, and I really love her. “She was a very young mother and I’ve passed that age, so I can definitely see how hard it could’ve been for her.” The family has grown since then with Calvert’s marriage and the birth of a son and that love of family played a key role in McAvoy choosing USC Upstate. “I have a younger brother, and I knew I wanted to stay close to home and watch him grow up,” McAvoy said. She also knows she made the right choice -- not only for family reasons, but she also feels right at home at USC Upstate and with her Spartan teammates. “It’s been awesome. My freshman year was great. I loved the leaders on my team,” McAvoy said. “What I love most is the closeness of the team because I’d never really had that. When I came here, it was amazing how these girls made me feel.” GD


CE!!

IFFEREN D E T A T S P U E NCE TH

Experience the

EXPERIE

SESSIONS BEGINNING IN APRIL

upstatevolleyball.net

/ CONTINUING THROUGH JULY

TRAINING OPTIONS

DATES FOR SUMMER TRAINING

20 SESSION PACKAGE

subject to change

$450 members/$525 non members 20 training sessions- 1 hr of speed and agility/1 hr of skill- total of 2 hours each session. 5:30 pm-7:30 pm on dates listed

APRIL 30 MAY 2,7,9,14,16,28,30

8 SESSION PACKAGE

$275 members/$300 non members 8 training sessions- 1 hr of speed and agility/ 1 hr of skill- total of 2 hours each session. 5:30 pm-7:30 pm on dates listed

INDIVIDUAL SESSIONS

$40 members/$45 non members

Includes 1 hour of speed and agility/ 1 hour of skill- total of 2 hours each session. 5:30 pm-7:30 pm on dates listed ***If you would like to purchase sessions for speed and agility only or skill work only contact Amber Wiles by email amber@upstatevolleyball.net for pricing***

JUNE 11,13, 18,20,25,27

TRAINING WILL BE LED BY

JULY 9,11,16,18,23,25

UPstate Volleyball Club COACHES

>> Coach Greg Mosely, N. Greenville Univ. >>Coach Amber Wiles, former player, NGU; Oakbrook Prep coach >> Coach Clay Wiles, former All-American football player, NGU

ADDITIONAL INFO may be found at

upstatevolleyball.net email: amber@upstatevolleyball.net 864-616-6987


COMMENTARY

LADY CAVS DIDN’T WIN BATTLE, BUT THEY WON COLUMBIA -- They didn’t win. Oh, the Dorman Cavaliers had their chances to upset unbeaten Dutch Fork and bring home the Class 4A state championship but they were undone by the usual basketball suspects -- too many turnovers, too many good looks that inexplicably could not find the basket with a GPS. And it hurt, too, after the final buzzer sounded and the Foxes celebrated a 46-43 victory on the floor of USC’s Colonial Life Center. It hurt because losses are painful and because Dorman was maybe the only team all season that hung with Dutch Fork. Really, more than that -- the Cavaliers had a six-point lead in the fourth JOHN quarter before an CLAYTON inexplicable scoring drought that lasted more than seven minutes and about a dozen possessions allowed the Foxes to retake the lead for good. So, there were some tears back in the tunnel leading to the lockerooms. There were thoughts about the one that got away. But sometimes games are not about trophies and titles and this one -- as disappointing as it was for Dorman’s players and coaches -- had more meaning than that. This game was about a journey. It just happened to include a state championship as

of inspiration is precious and Whiteside’s fight, which she won this past summer, gave that to her players every day. This year, the Cavs were 24-5, often coming from behind to find victories, showing the same kind of resolve their coach did. “We did fight,” said center Kenya ED OVERSTREET PHOTO Olley. “We’re proud Dorman coach Val Whiteside and her players accept the runnerup trophy of that. We think she following their loss to Dutch Fork in Columbia at USC’s Colonial Life Center. is proud of that, too.” She was. an aside. While Dorman This journey began in the offseason with went Tundra-cold in the fourth quarter, Dutch Coach Val Whiteside battling breast cancer. Fork seemed to wilt against the Cavs’ no-quit (We told her story in a column that appeared defense -- just not enough. Not quite. in the July 2012 edition of Game Day.) So, there was no Cinderella, feel-good story It ended in Columbia with each Dorman for Dorman after 32 minutes of game time. player wearing pink socks as a tribute to breast But the sum of this game can’t be found in cancer victims and survivors. But the players the final score. said they wanted one more tribute to the There are no scoreboards for journeys of survivor closest to them. the heart, mind and spirit. Leave those to settle “I think maybe we pushed too hard,” said the mere games. Dorman guard K.J. Jones. “We wanted to win The important stuff was strewn along so bad. . . . We wanted to win it for Coach tough, winding road to Columbia. Whiteside. She always had our back and we “I’m not sad because we lost,” Whiteside wanted her to know that we had hers, too.” said. “I’m sad because this is the last time I’ll The players remembered all the times be with this team. We helped one another Whiteside willed herself through practices through a lot.” GD and games over the past two years. The gift

All Sports - All Spartanburg - All the Time www.espnspartanburg.com 24 MARCH 2013 u GAME DAY


HIGH5

celebrating athletes & achievements

Send your team pics to photos@upstategameday.com

THE HUB CITY HEAT 10-U baseball team was victorious in a USSSA tourney at Tyger River Park in March.

The Upstate Lady Eagles girls basketball team won the HSPN East Coast Homeschool Basketball Tournament Class 3A championship recently at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. The Lady Eagles finished their season wirh a 20-6 record.

TRade TRade GUESS THE PIC

up in october event

contest

Take your best shot and guess where thIS photo was taken and receive a $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE FROM SPARTAN PHOTO. Email your guess to photos@upstategameday.com. A correct winner will be selected in a random drawing. Only one guess per individual. Sponsored by SPARTAN PHOTO CENTER

Congratulations to DIANNE CROOK, winner of the Guess the Pic contest in the FEBRUARY edition. She correctly identified TYGER RIVER PARK.

197 East Saint John Street • Spartanburg, SC 29306 • 864-583-6835 Next to Papa’s Breakfast Nook, across from the Chapman Cultural Center

send submissions to: photos@upstategameday.com GAME DAY u MARCH 2013 25


youth fitness

H

IN-SEASON TRAINING MAINTAINS SUCCESS

during the season seems igh school athletes difficult to fit in and why would have a remarkably busy schedule these days. They you want to be more tired than you probably already are. must be able to budget As a coach or player here their time extremely well. For is a list of reasons in competitive season training will give athletes the time you a big competitive and energy to advantage. succeed in their sport is as intense as ever these > It will lower your days. Taking risk of injury when into account done properly. Doing the importance regular soft tissue work (hopefully) of (foam rolling, stick academic studies work, etc.) for mobility and that time KEN and doing low volume, commitment we FINLEY high intensity stability have a generation training has been shown of youth who couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get much busier during to reduce the likelihood of an injury. Any contact injury you their sport season. do receive will likely be less Like anything in life it is severe and muscle strains are paramount that we prioritize likely to be avoided altogether. what is important and make time for that. Strength training

Training in-season will have a positive impact on the conditioning of athletes.

> Proper training will actually give you more energy and not less. Foam rolling increases blood flow to tired muscles and helps them to recover more rapidly from practices and games. Strength workouts that emphasize lighter but intense power movements will energize your nervous system. The combined result is that will feel fresher during the tough parts of your season. > Training in-season will have a positive impact on your conditioning. We are always fighting the effects of gravity which is always trying to pull us down. This affects our posture which in turn affects our movement efficiency. Poor posture during movement wastes energy and results in greater fatigue. Training the stability through our trunk and shoulders will improve your posture. This results in more efficient movements and less wasted energy allowing you to play hard deeper into games. > The most obvious benefit is that you will maintain a greater percentage of gains you made during the off-season of training. Those hard earned gains will not fade and when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to train again next off season you will be farther along in you strength progression. If a high school athlete fails to train during in-season they

26 MARCH 2013 u GAME DAY

will effectively lose a whole year of training during their four years of high school. It is important to know that your in-season training will be much less intense. You wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be able to maintain 100 percent of what you built. However, if you can keep 75 percentof what you gained and not 25 percent, then come playoff time you will be better when it matters most. This type of training can also strengthen your resolve. The willingness to do what others are not is often the difference in achieving athletic success. For the high school athlete who is balancing sports and academics during their season, finding a way to devote one hour each week to improving their explosiveness, strength, conditioning, and energy levels is a clear advantage for them. At a time when everyone is looking for competitive advantages to separate themselves from the competition, a well thought out in-season workout routine can have one of the biggest impacts on your individual or team success as anything else you could do. GD Ken Finley is a physical therapist and certified youth speed and agility specialist. To learn more about his youth athletic development programs you can contact him at kfinley@finleypt.com.


The  CAGE…..”Where  Players  DO  Work”  

www.hitatthecage.com    

 

The  CAGE  is  Upstate  SC’s  premier  year-­‐round  indoor  training  facility,  committed  to  providing  quality     individual  and  team  instruction  &  practice  to  develop  the  skills  necessary  to  take  your  game  to  the  next  level.  

   

 

• Batting  Cages/Tunnels   • Pitching  Mounds/Bullpen  Area   • Infield/Outfield/Speed  &  Agility  Training  Areas-­‐-­‐Video  Analysis   • Professional  Individual  Instruction/Lessons(by  appointment)   • Individual  &  Team  Rental  Specials……Call  now  for  more  info!!!  

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One-Day Bath Remodeling

GAME DAY u MARCH 2013 27


APRIL • MAY special SUMMER CAMP issues

S

hare valuable news about your camp to an active audience of soccer moms, dads and grandparents in the Upstate’s ONLY Youth Sports Magazine.

Publishing

April 17 • May 13 >> AD & COPY DEADLINES: April 8 • May 3

More information: Les Timms III les.timms@upstategameday.com


GOLF ACADEMY

SWING IN CONTROL FOR POWER I am often asked by many juniors and adults how to achieve more power in the golf swing. Everyone wants to maximize their power and hit the ball further than their counterparts. Golfers say that they will do anything to hit the ball further, but often they don’t like the answer I give them. Long golf shots simply start with two keys: 1) Proper balance throughout the swing and 2) Solid contact. I know that these sound quite simple, but many golfers overswing and simply waste so much KYLE movement in their OWINGS swing. One of my students, Gavin Hart has been working on this recently. Gavin is a young golfer and he comes from a golfing family. One problem with this is that he wants to hit the ball as far as possible to fit in with his family and he developed a swing that wasted energy and length. In PIC A, you can see Gavin’s weight is outside of his right foot and he has broken down at the top

of his swing. This makes him out of balance and he will have to manipulate the downswing to hit the ball solid resulting in a loss of power. Since becoming aware of this, Gavin has worked on balance and focusing his power at impact instead of the whole swing being length driven. In PIC B you can see a much more balanced golfer with a much better chance of hitting a good drive. If you are struggling with your game and consistency, try keeping your weight on the inside of your heels and focusing you power between your feet and not in your transition. This will produce a “whipping” move at the ball and more power. Spring is finally here, so get out on the range and work on your balance and contact. Happy golfing. GD

A

B

Gavin Hart’s weight is outside of his right foot in Pic A, but above, Pic B, he is a much Reach the Kyle Owings Golf Academy more balanced golfer with a better chance to at (864) 205-4221 hit a good drive.

   AYSO  Region  132   2013  Spring  Season   April  6  -­‐  May  18   Full Breakfast All Day >> Lunch, dinner & dessert served

 

www.ayso132.org    

MUST  email:  registration@ayso132.org   for  team  availability  before  registering       Boys  &  Girls-­‐-­‐Ages:  4-­‐18  (MUST  be  4  by  July  31,  2012)   Birth  Certificates  required  for  all  new  players     AYSO IS AN ALL VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION

    For  more  information:  www.ayso132.org     or  email:  registration@ayso132.org   call  574-­‐1720    

JOIN THE FAMILY

A short drive for an authentic taste of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Gift shop. Crafts. Catering. Parties.

6 am - 9 pm Mon-Sat Hwy 176, Campobello

Orders and reservations, call

864-468-4584

GAME DAY u MARCH 2013 29


All-Sports Performance Training at the

Speed Academy

of Finley Physical Therapy & Sport Training

Now offering classes on the Westside at All-Star Bat Saturdays 9 am to 10 am for athletes 10 yrs to 18 yrs of age. $15 per session or 4 sessions for $50. SPRING STRENGTH TRAINING. Call for schedule and to sign up.

864.342.0180 1420 Skylyn Drive / Spartanburg, SC facebook.com/FinleySports

At each session, athletes are taught sport-specific skills that will help increase vertical leap, improve speed and core strength while reducing the risk of injury.

Contact us today to see how we can help your young athlete. 22 DECEMBER 2012 u GAME 24 MAY 2012 u GAME DAY DAY

M

iddle and High School coaches are looking for young athletes with foot speed, agility and explosive quickness. Many young athletes are not prepared physically for middle school and high school sports. At The Speed Academy of Finley Physical Therapy and Sport Training, young athletes receive a structured training program to help them gain a competitive edge.


better stronger

faster Don’t let injury knock you out of the tournament. Is an injury preventing you from being your best? Get professional orthopaedic treatment and preventative care to train right and play right, no matter the game. We are experts in treating all sports injuries from the fingers to the toes and everything in between: • • • •

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MARCH 2013_UPSTATE GAME DAY