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Horsing Around: Goodlett jumping to Georgia Early Signings: Coverage, photos from area schools



PLEASE TAKE ONE vol. 3, no. 4

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JADA WALLACE enters her senior season at Broome as the reigning Region III-3A Player of the Year. TIM LAMBKA / LAMBKAPHOTOGRAPHY.COM


Sometimes the football is not all that snaps during the game. Don’t throw in the towel, visit Orthopedic Specialties. For years, we have successfully treated Upstate athletes who have suffered sports-related injuries. We specialize in: • Treatment of Sports-Related Injuries • Knee, Hip, Shoulder Replacement & Revision • Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery • Surgical Treatment of the Back & Neck • Arthroscopic Procedures (Knee and Shoulder) So make an appointment with us, and get back in the game!

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SIGNING DAY: Coverage & photos of area athletes ROLL TIDE: Riverside’s Jonathan Hardee signs with ‘Bama

> 10

LATE ARRIVAL: Vikings’ Keira Moore takes next step

> 12 HORSING AROUND: Liza Goodlett

jumping to Georgia

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Wade Hampton golfer Peyton Roach is captured following the flight of her ball as she follows through on her swing during the second round of the 4A State golf championship in October at Willow Creek. JOHN CLAYTON PHOTO


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Shuler Bentley going ‘bowling’



Rebels’ QB to play in 2 all-star contests Byrnes senior quarterback Shuler Bentley’s recordbreaking season has earned him a spot on the North’s roster for the annual Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl and in the 2014 Offense-Defense AllAmerican Bowl. The Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl, also known as the annual North-South AllStar Game, is set for Dec. 14 at Myrtle Beach High School’s Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium. Bentley, an Old Dominion commit who became Byrnes’ all-time leading passer and broke school and state records this past season, leads a large large contingent of Upstate players into that all-star contest. Also heading to Myrtle Beach are: Byrnes DB Tyreik Lyles; Caleb Brannon and Jonathan Jackson of Dorman; Tre-Shaun Sanderlin and Mason Sanders from Boiling Springs; and Chesnee’s

Shuler Bentley fires a pass against Apopka (Fla) in an early season contest.

Cameron Stepp. Greer running back Quez Nesbitt and offensive lineman Rolland Nall, Gaffney running back and Marshall commit Hyleck Foster and Union

County’s T.J. Foster are also on the North roster. The Offense-Defense AllAmerican Bowl is set for Jan. 3 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Ex-Byrnes standout Dawkins is a Cowboy now Former Byrnes and Florida State defensive lineman Everett Dawkins made his NFL debut with the Dallas Cowboys after the team signed him off of the Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad. Dawkins signed with the Cowboys in early November and made his debut in Week 10 of the NFL season against New Orleans. “Thankful and proud to be a part of #CowboysNation on the 53 man roster!!!” Dawkins

tweeted. The Vikings drafted Dawkins in the seventh round, but was signed to the practice squad after final preseason cuts were made. Dallas, which reportedly had a third-round grade on Dawkins prior to the 2013 NFL Draft, needed to fortify its injury-plagued defensive line. Everett Dawkins signed with the Dallas Cowboys in early November.

he moment in mid-November when thousands of student athletes across the country signed their names to continue athletic careers at the next level must have brought forth a sense of pride that parents and families experienced collectively. Our family shared that as well when our daughter Emily, along with other LES area student athletes, made it TIMMS III “official” by signing a National Letter of Intent, culminating years of hard work, carrying them forth to the next level of college sports. Being a father, or a sports dad like so many of you out there, one can’t help but feel a sense of pride in your kids’ accomplishments, whether academic, sports, or both. This is what Game Day is about. We take pride in highlighting achievements of our student athletes and telling their stories that may not be told elsewhere, especially in a full-color, magazine format which ensures issues will be kept as keepsakes for months or years to come. Inside this issue, we focus on the early signings at area high schools, plus profile basketball standout Jada Wallace of Broome, emerging volleyball star Keira Moore, who has been playing the sport only two years, plus equestrian athlete Liza Goodlett who takes her talents to the University of Georgia, and Riverside golfer Jonathan Hardee who will play golf at Alabama. We also send congratulations to all the sports teams out there who had successful seasons. Please continue to send us your photos and story ideas. Thanks for reading!

GAME DAY u NOV 15 - DEC. 14, 2013 5



& Quotes from Early Signing Day All in the Family. . .

>> Three-time state swimming champion Brad Oberg of Spartanburg High School will join sister Chrissy Oberg and brother Drew in the NCAA Division I swimming ranks. Brad signed with Georgia Tech in November, while Chrissy is in her junior year at Vanderbilt. Drew, a 2009 Spartanburg High graduate, swam at North Carolina.

All in the Family, Part II. . .

>> Byrnes softball star Lauren Duggar will head to Furman, eschewing offers from larger Division I programs to compete with the Paladins in the Southern Conference. “I’m ready to make a difference with the program,” she said. Lauren is the younger sister of former Rebel and Clemson baseball player Steven Duggar and said seeing him go through the recruiting process made things easier for her. “There’s no way I would where I am today without seeing what he went through and following his footsteps,” she said. “It’s a huge honor for me.”

Seated, from left, Liza Goodlett (Georgia/Equestrian), Keira Millery (Gardner Webb/Volleyball), Brad Oberg (Georgia Tech/Swimming) and Banks Wise (Wingate/Baseball) signed their letters of intent at Spartanburg High School.

8 Cavs moving forward

>> Three Dorman volleyball players will head to the next level, with two staying local and another to the Northeast. Outside hitter Johna Robbins will head to Presbyterian College, outside hitter Emily Timms to North Greenville, and defensive specialist Erin Troyer to Roger Williams, in Rhode Island. Basketball standout Khaila Webb signed with UNC-Asheville, and softball’s Caroline Cash with the

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Dorman athletes who signed letters of intent, top row: Jake Smith (Appalachian State/Golf), Wood Benton (USC/ Tennis), Adam Renwick (Clemson/ Baseball). Bottom row: John Robbins (Presbyterian/Volleyball), Emily Timms (North Greenville/Volleyball), Erin Troyer (Roger Williams/Volleyball), Khaila Webb (UNC-Asheville/Basketball), and Caroline Cash (USC/Softball).

NG DAY 2013

At Riverside, from left, Richard DeMatos (Ohio Valley/Lacrosse), Bella Santoro (Wofford/Volleyball), Jonathan Hardee (Alabama/Golf) and Andrew Delahunty (Denison/Swimming) signed their letters of intent.

University of South Carolina. Baseball standout Adam Renwick, who verbally committed to Clemson as a ninth-grader made it official he will be a Tiger next year. “Clemson has always been where I wanted to go,” Renwick said. “I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity. They have a great coaching staff and a great tradition. Golfer Jake Smith will play for Appalachian State, while tennis standout Wood Benton signed with South Carolina. “I chose USC because I grew up a Carolina fan,” Benton said. Cash chose USC because of the “atmosphere and coaching staff. It’s close to home and my family can come watch me play.”

Mountain Man

>> Byrnes pitcher Alex Eubanks will take his talents to the Blue Ridge Mountains after signing with UNC Asheville. He took a second to reflect on a his four-year career at Byrnes, which will conclude this coming spring. “I’ll always remember playing in the state championship game,” Eubanks said. “That is something I’ll never forget.”

From left, Lauren Duggar (Furman/Softball), Alex Eubanks (UNC Ashevile/Baseball) and Kirsten McCraw (Converse/Volleyball) signed their letters of intent at Byrnes.

The Rebels made threestraight Class 4A state finals apparearances from 2010-12.

Staying Close

>> Riverside volleyball standout Bella Santoro and Byrnes’ Kirsten McCraw will be neighbors in Spartanburg as they continue their academic

and athletic careers close to home. Santoro signed with Wofford and McCraw with Converse. “I can’t even believe this is real life,” Santoro said on Signing Day at Riverside. “There are nine or 10 signing (with Wofford) this time, so

it’s going to be a new program, but the girls are great -- I’ve played with them a few times at tournaments and I’ll play with a few more at the NorthSouth (All-Star) game. “I never thought I’d have a chance to play D-I, much less a place as prestigious as Wofford.”

GAME DAY u NOV 15 - DEC. 14, 2013 7

McCraw said she initially thought of going farther away from home, but the offer from Converse was too good to refuse. “It’s a really beautiful school and they have great opportunities for women,” she said. McCraw finished her Byrnes career with 63 aces, 420 kills and 766 digs along with a 92 serving percentage.

Panthers’ Deal to Saints; Cheek to Coastal >> Chapman’s James Deal began his high school career with designs on several sports, including wrestling and baseball. His decision to concentrate on baseball paid off when he signed to continue his career at Limestone College. Deal was the spark-plug of the Panthers offense last season, batting .350 with a .460 on-base percentage at the top of the order. On the mount, Deal had a 2-1 record with three saves and a 3.86 earned-run average. “This is a real good chance for me,” Deal said. “I like the environment there.”

Chapman’s James Deal signed to play baseball at Limestone, and Caitlyn “KK” Cheek, at right, inked to play softball at Coastal Carolina.

Deal will join former Chapman teammate Ben Ziegler on the Saints’ roster next year. >> Chapman’s Caitlyn “K.K.” Cheek has spent several vacations at Myrtle Beach. It will also be the backdrop for the next step in her softball career. The senior outfielder signed to play at Coastal Carolina. Cheek hit .461 in the leadoff spot with a .510 on-base percentage last season. On the

base paths, she was a perfect 19 of 19 on stolen-base attempts. “They see me coming in and doing the same thing -leading off as their slapper,” Cheek said. “I have a chance to come in and start, but I have to go in and work hard and earn it.”

On the Mend

>> Before getting on the baseball diamond at Wingate, Spartanburg’s Banks Wise will be happy just to get back

From left, Woodruff’s Jason Taylor, Jr., Ashlea Hunter and Jake Smith during the Wolvernines’ Signing Day ceremony.

8 NOV 15 - DEC. 14, 2013 u GAME DAY

in the outfield. Wise is recovering from a torn anterior-cruciate ligament that required knee surgery and a shoulder injury that kept him out for his junior baseball season. “I tore my ACL this summer playing football and they stuck with me the whole way,” Wise said. “I’m definitely coming back this spring.” Wise also plans to play American Legion for Spartanburg this summer in

Riverside’s Hardee to roll with Tide By JOHN CLAYTON On Twitter @JCTweetsOn


he simplest thing for Riverside golfer Jonathan Hardee to do might have been to make the short drive down I-85 to Clemson to continue his playing career. He thought about it long and hard. But that drive turned out to be a dogleg left. And Hardee rolled to Tuscaloosa, Ala., signing with defending NCAA Division I champion Alabama. “I’ve been looking forward to this since I (made my verbal commitment) on Dec. 7 of last year,” Hardee said, who got 35 recruiting letters soon after a good showing in a 2011 tournament. “I was real excited with the way (Alabama) was able to help make the kids who came in better. They seemed to improve all the kids games, so that was a big part of it. . . I was real excited about the whole atmosphere.” Signing Day came just a couple of weeks after Hardee, ranked among the top juniors in the state, turned in one of the best performances of his junior golf career, a win in the S.C. Junior Golf Association Fall Challenge in Cheraw where he tied the course record. “It was two days of just really good golf,” Hardee said. “I think it helps with my confidence. I get to go try my hand against guys who have already done it, but right now, I’m looking forward to a summer of golf.” Playing against the top competition among AJGA golfers is nothing new for Hardee, so Riverside head coach Sam Oates said the move to the Southeastern Conference should not be an issue for Hardee. “His future is whatever he wants it to be,” Oates said of Hardee. “He’s broken every record Bill Haas (Wake Forest/PGA Tour) held here, so I’m excited to see what he does at Alabama. Hopefully, I’ll be watching him on TV down the line because he’s got that thing that makes him want to work. . . . If I need to find him, I know he’s probably at the golf course. He’d rather be there than just about anywhere.”

preparation for his college career with the Bulldogs.

Close to home

>> At Woodruff High School, baseball players Jake Smith and Jason Taylor signed early to continue their playing and academic careers at North Greenville and Newberry, respectively. Outfielder Ashlea Hunter signed to play softball at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn.

Riverside’s Jonathan Hardee checks his scorecard this past May at the Class 4A state tournament at the Furman University Golf Club..

Chesnee pitcher Jimmy Yelton, who helped the Eagles to the Class 2A championship this past spring, has signed to continue his baseball career at North Greenville. Yelton was 5-0 with a .92 earned-run average last season. >> Spartanburg Christian Academy’s Ryan Kincaid signed to play golf with Anderson University. Kincaid has led the Warriors in scoring average for the past three years.

Fantastic Four

>> Four members of the Blue Ridge High School baseball team signed their scholarship offers -- and two of those are headed to Newberry College. John Mason Reynolds and Robert Westenrieder are headed to Newberry, while Ross Mathis is set for to Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee and Alex Williams signed with Spartanburg Methodist. n

GAME DAY u NOV 15 - DEC. 14, 2013 9

Late Arrival Viking standout KEIRA MOORE quickly grows into GWU offer By JOHN CLAYTON On Twitter @JCTweetsOn Keira Moore found volleyball a little bit late, but just in time for the coaches at Gardner Webb University to find her. 
Moore, a Spartanburg High senior, signed with NCAA Division I and Big South member Gardner Webb when the early signing period opened in mid-November, despite only one year of varsity experience with the Vikings and two seasons of club competition with Club South/Upward Stars.
“ If I would’ve started in maybe ninth grade, I’d be way better than I am now,” said Moore, a 6-foot-2 middle hitter. “But I’m pretty proud of myself and what I’ve been able to accomplish.” 
Moore spent her junior year on the junior varsity squad and moved up to varsity this season.
 Vikings head coach Clay Wiles said he tried to build Moore’s confidence this past season while putting her in a position to succeed as she continued to learn the game.
“ With club teams, a lot of girls have played 12 or 13 seasons by the time they get to the varsity level,” Wiles said. “We wanted to utilize her athleticism and bring her along.”
Moore recorded more than 70 solo

Keira Moore hits the ball over Dorman’s Natalie Boyd (12) and Kaylee Hilton in an early season match.

blocks with an attack percentage at .300.
 Her learning process will continue next year at GWU, where she could be red-shirted under head coach Leo Sayles.
“I think it would be best for me to redshirt, since I’ve only played for two years,” Moore said. “But I’ll do whatever they want me to do.”
Moore said she began filling out questionnaires on national recruiting websites not knowing exactly what to expect.
 Within days, she found out as GWU

coaches scouted a home match. A few days later, Sayles had made a scholarship offer. 
“The fact that they saw her play and gave her an offer five days later tells you everything you need to know,” Wiles said. “Since then, Moore has made an official visit, learning that GWU has one of the nation’s top marketing programs. 
“I want to study marketing, and I loved the campus,” she said. “It just seemed like a great fit.” n

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Liza Goodlett rides Testerosa in competition. Goodlett signed with the University of Georgia equestrian team.

Making A


Spartanburg’s LIZA GOODLETT joining National Champ Dawgs By JOHN CLAYTON On Twitter @JCTweetsOn It all started with “Nibbles.” That was Liza Goodlett’s first pony, and together, they learned to jump and to not fear the new heights set out before them. Goodlett, now a senior at Spartanburg High School, will continue her formal education and the one in the saddle and among the barns at the University of Georgia after signing a scholarship offer to join Georgia’s top-ranked equestrian team. Since “Nibbles,” Goodlett has graduated to larger horses, which she counts off fondly the way some teen-aged girls count off old boyfriends, and higher jumps, competing for some of the top Equitation championships in the country atop “Testarosa” (aka “Frisco”). Testarosa, large at 18 hands and athletic, cleared Goodlett over the difficult 3.5-foot jumps and helped her get Georgia’s attention. “I never thought I’d be recruited by the 12 NOV 15 - DEC. 14, 2013 u GAME DAY

No. 1 school,” Goodlett said. “I started sending them DVD’s last year and they started mailing me back and it just snowballed from there.” Georgia is among some 22 schools fielding equestrian teams at the NCAA level. The teams -- all female -- consist of 70 riders with 35 each competing in Western and English riding disciplines. Equitation is judged by how well riders can control their horses through a series of jumps over a predetermined course. Riding Testerosa, Goodlett won the Overall Equitation Championship at the Tryon Riding and Hunt Club. She also accumulated the points needed to qualify for the ASPCA Maclay Regionals in Jacksonville, Fla., and the Pessoa Medal Finals in Harrisburg, Pa. At Georgia, Goodlett will continue riding English -- as she has been doing since the age of 3 -- but said she is interested in learning more about the Western style. To this point, Goodlett has been under the tutelage of mother Ashley and Landrum-

based trainer Holli Adams. Ashley grew up riding English and passed down a passion for horses on to her daughter. “My mom has been a big influence on my riding,” Liza said. “When I was little, I was kind of shy and afraid. I would fall off my pony and cry, and she’d tell me to get back on and try again. “It’s how you’re raised as a pony kid. I was always raised in English, but Western is really cool. As a kid, all I thought about was English, but I would love to try Western one day just for fun and to see how different it is.” Ashley said she has watched with pride as her daughter has risen through the ranks of equestrian competition to the NCAA level. Liza said she is looking forward to the challenge and the coaching of Georgia Equestrian Head Coach Meghan Boenig. But more than that, she is looking forward to being part of a team for the first time.

More about Liza Goodlett . . .

“The coaches (at Georgia) were amazing, so I cannot wait to get down there,” Liza said. “I’ve never been on an equestrian team, I’ve always competed as an individual. Now, when I show in college, it will be me riding for 70 other girls. “I know there will be pressure, but it’s a good pressure. It’s going to be fun. It’ll be interesting to learn how the team interacts at a horse show. I’ve never had that before.” Testarosa, however, will not make the trip to Athens. Goodlett will compete on randomly assigned mounts from the school’s stables. She said she will miss that relationship and connection with one horse, but looks at it as part of the learning process at college. “I’ll have to be able to get along with all of (the horses),” she said. “I’m sure I’ll find favorites that I love and maybe one or two that I don’t get along with that well, but I don’t demand a lot of them. I’m a soft rider. I let them be, so hopefully that will play a part in college.” n

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n addition to her first pony, Nibbles, Liza has also owned horses named Lucky, who no longer competes but lives on the family farm, and Roland. Testerosa (or Frisco) is a lease. At 5-foot-9, Liza has a custom-made saddle to accommodate her longer legs, which she says help her control her mounts better. •

Spartanburg senior Liza Goodlett with her mount, Testerosa (aka Frisco)

Liza is actively involved in Spartanburgbased HALTER (Handicapped Athletes Learning to Enjoy Riding), a therapeutic program designed to help people with disabilities through horse riding. Visit Georgia is one of 22 schools with Equestrian teams competing at the NCAA level. That list also includes South Carolina, the College of Charleston, Auburn, Baylor, Texas, Kansas State, Texas A&M, Delaware, Southern Methodist, New Mexico State and South Dakota State in Division I. In Division II, Seton Hill, MinnesotaCrookston, Stonehill and West Texas A&M, Liza enjoys jogging and routinely runs 2-3 miles with her father, Robert, and one of the family dogs, Lacy. She has never lifted weights but will be put on a weightlifting program by a Georgia strength-and-conditioning coach upon her arrival in Athens. . . . She also enjoys reading, including novels by Jodi Picoult and Nicholas Sparks as well as the Hunger Games Trilogy.

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Hunger Game Broome’s Jada Wallace eager to live up to accolades By JOHN CLAYTON On Twitter @JCTweetsOn


ada Wallace’s backyard at home in Pacolet has a hoop -- and has had for as long as she can remember.

That’s where she first heard the sound of the basketball whispering through the nylon net. That’s where it started whispering to her. When the boys would come over, dribbling their way down the street, it was time to play. It was always time to play. “The guys would come to the door and say, ‘C’mon, Jada, let’s go play ball,’ and I’d get my shoes,” Wallace said. “We’d go out there until it was time to come in, and then the next day, we’d do the same thing. “We played pick-up ball or one-on-one, whatever. I always played with the boys, so they made me tougher. We’d play form day until night. . . . It was one of those things that got me prepared and made me tougher.” The results from those out-


JADA WALLACE enters her senior season at Broome as the reigning Region III-3A Player of the Year.

door pickup game have translated into Wallace being named one of the Top Five Senior 3A Players in the state by the S.C. Basketball Coaches Association. Over the course of her standout career at Broome High School, Wallace has scored nearly 1,500 points (she sits 62 away from that plateau). Statistically speaking, should grab her 1,000th rebound 10 games or so into the season. In addition to her preseason accolades, those numbers will put Wallace in rarified air among a long line of very good players to have played for the Centurions over the years. “I’d rank her right up there with Kianna Smith, Whitney Huey, Seneca Turner and Madison Floyd,” said Broome Athletic Directory Skip Frye. “A couple of those were 2A Players of the Year.” Wallace is the reigning Region III-3A Player of the Year and averaged 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.8 steals per game as a junior. “We’ve always had tremendous success at Broome, and Jada played with a lot of good players,” said Broome Head Coach Kim Goode, herself a former Broome player. “She’s always been good; she has god given talent, so this recent honor of being top 5 in 3A is not surprising. She has somewhat been in the shadow of former great players such as Tamyra Bell, and recent graduate Madison Floyd, who was a Top 5 in 2A, all state, and region player of the year also.” Floyd, who is now playing at Anderson University, is among a group of talented players who could share the weight -- particularly on offense -- with a younger Wallace. Now, Wallace is the only senior on a youthful team she hopes will grow together into a region title contender -- and she said it’s up to her to provide the leadership to help those younger teammates there. “I think I’ve grown as a person, and I’ve grown as a player,” said Wallace. “I’ve grown as a leader. As a senior, I have to lead my team.” In addition to playing whatever position she is asked to by Goode -- from “point forward”

“I think I’ve grown as a person, and I’ve grown as a player. I’ve grown as a leader. As a senior, I have to lead my team.” JADA WALLACE

to power forward -- leadership will be part of the job description for Wallace in her final season at Broome. “I know I’m going to ask a lot of her -- maybe too much,” Goode said. But Wallace is not shying away from the challenge. “This is my last year,” she said. “This is my last go-around in high school. I want to make it as good as possible because I won’t be coming back.” Although self-described as “goofy,” Wallace said she is serious about this year and her future. Gone is some of the teen angst and anger that she says impeded her on the court and in the classroom. The grades are good -- A’s and B’s -- and on the court, she wants to show that she’s worthy of that Top Five honor. “I’ve been bettering myself. I’ve been working on myself and on my attitude,” Wallace said. “To me, my attitude was my downfall. With me bettering my attitude, it’s gotten me where I am today as a player. “I used to get down on myself and mad at myself. I’d stop making plays the whole (94) feet. ... Now, if I don’t make a shot, I still keep working hard.” She said she wants that hard

work to pay of at playoff time for the Centurions. “I’m driving myself,” she said. “I want to reach our goal of making it to state. That’s my goal and ambition this year.” There is also the matter of college recruiting. The letters are still rolling in, and Wallace has already visited Limestone with a late-December trip to Savannah State on the schedule for the holidays. But she is waiting to make a decision, weighing her options while pursuing just the right fit. “I want to go where I fit in and can make friends,” Wallace said. “The people will be a big part of the choice of where I go.” Beyond Broome and beyond college, the dreams are big. She would liketo go to medical school and become a surgeon -- unless the game continues to whisper to her like a ball spinning through the net. The odds are long, but . . . “I’d love to be the next big thing -- maybe play in the WNBA,” Wallace said. “That’s my goal. I want to give back to my community. I want to help my family. I don’t want my mom to have to work anymore. . . . I have to keep working so my mom won’t have to work all her life.” n

More about JADA WALLACE . . .


t the beginning of the season, Wallace was 62 points away from 1,500 in her Broome High School career and fewer than 100 rebounds away from the 1,000-board plateau. • •

• •

Plays for the AAU Carolina Cougars travel team. Was voted among the Top 5 Senior Players in Class 3A this preaseason by the S.C. Basketball Coaches Association. Former Baylor and WNBA Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner is her hero on the court. Off the court, her hero is her mom. Cousin Marquese “Bobby” Draper, a Dorman graduate, is an offensive lineman at Limestone. Mother Wanda played basketball at Pacolet High School. Would like to attend medical school after college.

GAME DAY u NOV 15 - DEC. 14, 2013 15

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Top wrestling squads set for Southern Slam By JOHN CLAYTON On Twitter @JCTweetsOn The Southern Slam is in its second decade as one of the premier early season wrestling tournaments in the southeast. And it’s not getting any easier. “It’s a meat grinder right off the bat,” said Eastside head wrestling coach Jack Kosmicki. “But that’s the intent.” The Southern Slam is scheduled for Dec. 6-7 at Eastside High School. Matches will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday and 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. This year’s field features 40 teams from five states, including Thompson (Ala.) and Archer (Ga.) as well as Lexington, Bamberg-Erhardt and host Eastside from South Carolina. Four other teams were state runners-up. Archer is also the two-time defending Southern Slam champion. “Half the field won a title at the

region or district level,” Kosmicki said. “I think this wakes them up early in the season. If there is some complacency they’re battling because of success from last year, this wakes them up and reminds them of how tough it is to get to that point.” Eastside, which has won nine state titles since 2000 including last year’s, has never won the Southern Slam. “I think this tournament is tougher than the state tournament because you have such a deep field with champions from different states,” Kosmicki said. The Eagles return state champions Cole Anderson (126 pounds) and Mikey Fernandez (152 pounds), and neither got close to the podium. “That’s been the whole design,” Kosmicki said. “We wanted to bring in the numbers and then work on the quality of the teams, and we’ve done that. We’ve been adding the best teams around.” n

Warrior runners set records with state championship The Riverside girls cross country team captured the Class 4A state championship in record fashion, setting a new mark for average time among its runners and topping runner-up J.L. Mann by 127 points. Wade Hampton finished third. All seven Riverside runners, led by individual state runner-up Allie Arsiniega, came in under the 19:30 mark and finished in the top 20. Arsiniega led the pack in 18:19.72. Abigail Smith (18:56.41), Carly Howell (18:58.01), Emma Spencer (19:03.61), Cate Ambrose (19:08.515), Mikie Harris (19:08.816) and Carter Marchbanks (19:28.520) completed the Riverside runs. Smith, Howell, Spencer, Ambrose and Arsiniega earned all-state honors. Warriors head coach Eric Cummings was also named Class 4A Coach of the Year.


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Cardinals cross country continues dynasty with another state title Staff Reports

Valentine ninth; and freshman Another year, another parade through Grace Furman 14th. downtown Landrum. Walter placed 21st, The Landrum girls cross country team edging a Bishop won its second straight Class 2A state chamEngland runner pionship and its third state title in the last six by a half-second years. Since 2008, the Landrum girls program to earn a critical also has three runner-up finishes at the state spot. Herbst was meet and the boys team has won three state 34th and freshman championships as well. Savannah Bengston This victory was especially special for 60th. McLellan, seniors Sarah Cash and Elizabeth Walter, Annie-Lee Bouboth seniors who have been running with wkamp and Ashley the varsity team since seventh grade and Blanton made the have collected all six first- and second-place trip to the state medals. meet as alternates. “We’ve been through just about every“I had the The Landrum girls cross country team captured a second onsecutive Class 2A thing you can go through with another inclination that it state championship. Above, the Cardinals pose with their trophy. teammate, so winning this one as seniors was going to be close was really special,” said Cash, who overcame before the gun ever that us as a team worked so hard and accoma stress fracture in her leg this past summer went off,” said Landrum head coach Jeremy plished so much.” to return for her senior season and another Darby, who was subsequently named Class When the scores were tallied, Landrum, state-title run. 2A Coach of the Year. “The two other top which won by tiebreak in 2012, had defeated Paige Herbst and Morgan McLellan were teams -- Bishop England and Pelion -- all runner-up Bishop England by a single point the Cardinals’ other two seniors, but McLelthree of us are pretty identical as far as the (56-57) and only three points separated the lan was unable to compete in the state meet Cardinals from third-place Pelion (56-59), so types of runners we have.” because she was recovering from a stress Landrum’s tradition of honoring its state every spot counted. fracture in her leg. champions with a parade that features the Landrum, led by eighth-grader Laura “We were running for another senior, Ford in sixth, placed three runners in the top students atop fire trucks continued on Nov. Morgan, because she was hurt and couldn’t 10 and four in the top 15 for all-state honors. 25. run,” Walter said. “I think it’s pretty amazing “That’s always fun,” Cash said. n Cash finished seventh; eighth-grader Grace


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Shrine Bowl has become wonderful holiday tradition holiday cheer is tempered by the thoughts of troops overseas, tough economic times that have impacted most everyone and the realities of senseless violence at home. We’re looking for one guy in a red suit, who will certainly make an appearance, but there will be a lot of guys around here in their signature red hats doing the yeoman’s work of a cadre of elves. And I believe in those guys, too. The Shriners have done too much good for too many children and their families over the years to be doubted, and the annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas is the centerpiece of local fundraising efforts. The motto is: “Strong Legs Run So Weak Legs May Walk.” The players from North and South Carolina annually make a trip to Shriner’s Hospital in Greenville to visit the children there. All come away moved and most count that trip as the most memorable of their Shrine Bowl experiences. Local players such as Byrnes’ Ben Watson and Shaedon Meadors, Woodruff ’s Blake Bone, Dorman’s Zack Cooper and Chapman’s Deebo Samuel will take part in this year’s

game and become part of a long legacy that exemplifies the spirit of the holidays. Spartanburg has supported the game since its arrival here several years ago and, as always, buying a ticket means much more than any other game you will ever attend. Or any other game I will ever cover. Just like the chicken, that feeling is thankfully the same every year. But at least one thing will be different this time around -- long-time Rock Hill Herald sports writer Barry Byers won’t be there after losing his long fight with cancer in November. Unfortunately, press row will be a little quieter. The game, though, will go on -- strong legs will continue to run -- and weaker legs will be helped once again. n

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t has become one of my favorite Christmas-time meals -- the cold fried chicken with a Little Debbie cake in a styrofoam to-go box. It’s the same every year in the Shrine Bowl press box at Wofford’s Gibbs Stadium -- that I can count on. Of course, the Shriners are used to being counted on -they’ve been putting on the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas since 1937 and have raised JOHN more than $75 million CLAYTON for Shriner’s Children’s Hospitals, including $1.7 million since the 2013 game. This year’s game is set for Saturday, Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. Sometimes we have to look too hard to find the things we need to believe in at this time of year. We spend too much time shopping and too little time truly giving. Our


What to do when you don’t want to do Let’s face it. We have all lacked the motivation to get up and get our workouts done. Some days I just don’t feel like getting up and working out. Lacking the motivation isn’t the problem. Following through on what we know we need to do is. Whether it’s sports, school or a job, there will always be days when you wake up

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and feel like saying no. It may be your diet, it may be your lack of sleep, may be you exhausted your body the day before. Whatever the reason, you have to overcome the excuses and lack of desire. Feeling unmotivated and FORCING KEN yourself to get out of FINLEY bed and get to work is what makes the difference between average and legendary. Creating the motivation that isn’t there is essential if you’re going to play at the highest level. You must be willing to do things that others are not willing to do in order to realize your goals and dreams. Our success is determined by our willingness to fight when others won’t. Often we think we are tired, but tired often is a mindset. The only way to win is discipline. We have to fight our laziness and remember that there are no guarantees in

life. Our next breath is a gift. Do what you need to make sure you get up and get your workout in. You can even take steps to FORCE yourself out of bed if you’re having trouble getting up. • 1. Set your alarm clock all the way across the room • 2 Set multiple alarms 2-minutes apart • 3. Set the volume on your alarm as loud as possible with an annoyingly loud song. • 4. Get a silent-alarm to wear on your wrist • 5. Alternate days with your workout partner where you call each other. The key is, though, you have to get up and get to work. If you’re not willing you must KNOW there are those out there more willing to achieve your goals than you. Be strong! n 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@

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The Treasure of the Journey


s I walked into the locker room, I slowed everything down in my mind to take as many mental pictures as I could. I looked into the tear-stained eyes of “my brothers” as I walked over to my locker and sat down. We were all facing the center of the locker room as Coach Bagwell made his way in to speak to us after we had just played our last game of the season. We needed to win to advance to the playoffs and we had fallen one touchdown short of accomplishing that goal. I was crying like a baby as I realized that this chapter of my life had come to a close with guys who I still consider part of my family. Coach Bagwell was teary-eyed as he looked at us. His voice began to crack as he spoke. While some people (fans in the stands) did not agree with his play calling or decisions, the players loved him and knew that he loved us. He surveyed the room and began to tell us how proud he was of us. He reminded us of the adversity that we had faced through the season with several players being injured and being out-manned in many games but still battling for four quarters every week. He reminded us of how it was experiences like this that prepare us for the game of life. He then looked at us and said words that I have treasured ever since that game from November of 1981. “I am proud to have gone through this season with you. I love each and every one of you, and if I can ever do anything for you, let me know. “Always remember that a lot of people can say that they played football, but very few can say that they played for the Mighty Green Wave!” With those words there was a tearful and mighty shout that emerged from each player as we stood emotionally and began to embrace one another with tears

A senior All-American and Dorman graduate, Jacob Buckley finished up his punting career at North Greenville University this fall.

flowing. The Scene that I have just described will be repeated in a variety of scenarios throughout the year as teams battle in the effort to win that magical championship. The truth is…the championship is in the journey, not the destination. It is the relationships along the way that become the eternal treasure, not the ring or trophy that ends up collecting dust. While some coaches, players, and fans seek desperately to win those rings or trophies as the ultimate prize, it is a beautiful thing to see the coaches, players, and fans who are treasuring the journey even more than the goal of the destination. As my oldest son, Jacob, finishes up his punting career at North Greenville University this season where he has been recognized as an All-American and has established school records along the way, it is interesting to note though, that the highlight of his career really began the week of Oct. 14. During a Chapel service at NGU, eight football players prayed to surrender their hearts to Christ

and as a result, Jacob started a Bible Study with those players to disciple them and help them in their walk. This is an eternal treasure that is immeasurable. The life lesson learned for him is that the journey is much more precious when you experience it with those around you. If you focus only on the things that are perishable, then at some

point you will be left feeling empty. But if you focus on the things that matter most, it is a treasure that keeps on giving. As author Jeffrey Marx puts it, at the end of the day, the two things that matter most are the relationships that we have with those around us and living our life for a cause that is bigger than ourselves. Playing sports has taught me, my wife, and my sons these principles in very practical ways which can be summed up in the words of Jesus when he said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” If your treasure is for earthly things, then there will never be enough championships and rings to satisfy your heart. But, if your treasure is in eternal things, then you will find your hearts pounding as you treasure the journey of life with those around you. n

GAME DAY u NOV 15 - DEC. 14, 2013 27


The re-making of You


or many parents, the teenage years can be incredibly difficult. You watch your beautiful little princess and your obedient, smiling prince turn into things you hardly even recognize as they enter adolescence. Your teenager begins to keep you at arm’s length and push you even further away as they learn to grow and embrace adulthood. For many parents, this causes an almost involuntary reaction to “give them their space.” This is the worst possible thing you can do. If that’s you, however, there is always hope and a way to reconnect. Relying on God can yield fruit in relationships that have all but dried up. “Behold, I am doing

a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43.19 Here are a few simple ways: • RE-member they’re still in there…somewhere! During the teenage years, it’s like the top of their head opens up and their brain takes a vacation for about 10 years. Don’t worry, it does come back. Renowned psychologist and author James Dobson used to say that the key to the teenage years was just to get them to the other side of it alive. As you try to dig in with them to find the child you used to have, think back to the things that used to bring you together, and try

a few of those things. Maybe it’s a special location you used to go, or a time of year or special date that means a lot to them. Take your son or daughter on a road trip just you and them, and make it a journey of remembrance over the milestones of their life so far. Use this to reconnect with them emotionally. • RE-flect together. Try your best to end each day at their bed-side. I know this can become difficult with our hectic lives and busy schedules, but as much as you can, end each day kneeling beside them, eye-to-eye, and asking about their day, their hopes, and their future. Ask them about their conversations in the locker rooms, how they felt when they made that big play, how practices are going and who they admire on their team and why. You’d be surprised just how much your teenager who doesn’t want to be with you really does want to be with you. • RE-think your listening skills. Most teenagers aren’t really saying what you think they’re saying. In sports, the coach calls the play, the player run the play, and if it doesn’t work the coach regroups and shows the players how to run it correctly. Sometimes we are too quick to do that as parents. Rather than beginning to formulate your well planned and wise response as your teenager is talking, simply listen to them. Restate to them what they just said, so that they know you understand. Even if their feelings are completely off-base, they do actually feel them. And to them, those feelings are reality. • RE-spond with grace. Your teenager will make a mess of something in their life. They’ll fall down, break something, wreck something, smoke something,

28 NOV 15 - DEC. 14, 2013 u GAME DAY

go somewhere, and make many mistakes. Always respond less than your emotions would lead you to respond. My son, when he was about 3 years old, came up to me one day and looked up at me with big puppy-dog eyes and said, “Daddy, I made a big mistake.” I don’t even remember now what he did. I’m sure he broke something or disobeyed somehow, but the reason I remember this is because he came straight to me. Be the kind of mom or dad who are the first your teenager would think to run to when they make a big mistake. You want them to come to you, and that will never happen if you overreact when they do come. • RE-start if needed. If you’ve really messed up as a parent, don’t be afraid to restart. Pull your kids aside and tell them that you’re committing to become the parent they need most. Admit your failures as a parent openly to them and commit to them that the old you is gone. Be really vulnerable and ask them to identify 3 or 4 things that would make you a better mom or better dad. You may be surprised at what you find. And always remember, you can’t be the parent you need to be without Christ. It’s simply impossible. n

Bucky Rogers is the Pastor of Students and Worship Arts at theMill in Spartanburg SC where he and his wife Julie have served for the past 7 years. They have 4 children and plan to adopt many more. Bucky leads IgniteSpartanburg, is on the advisory board for the International Center for Youth Ministry, has written curriculum for Student Life and Nav Press, speaks at various camps and retreats, is the author of ‘Rooted in the Ancient Words’, and blogs at


LIMIT LATERAL MOVEMENT TO HAVE CONSISTENCY often leave the ball to the right Golfers that struggle with because they are stuck. Stuck is consistency and try to force simply getting your hips good shots by through before your manipulating arms get through the their swing often strike of the ball. have one key characteristic: they In Pic B, you can move their body see I am forcing Josh to towards the target. turn his hips in order to swing the club. You may I call this have been told in your moving “laterally” golfing career to swing towards the target. like you are in a barrel. This move makes KYLE I like that analogy, but I sense because most OWINGS would like to say it in a athletes feel they can different way, and that control the outcome is to swing around your by forcing their spine angle. body to produce a result. Golf is definitely one sport that this is Thinking like this can help not true. you have a better turn in your swing and more power. Try Josh Rhyne, a Gaffney turning and not sliding to High School standout has been produce better results. working on this move. Happy Golfing! n In Pic A, you can see Josh has moved laterally with his hips. For him, his miss is a hook because he is out of position and Reach the Kyle Owings Golf he flips his hands to compensate. Academy at (864) 205-4221 Most golfers that have this move




Gaffney High School golfer Josh Rhyne is attempting to move his hips laterally, but instead is out of position. The end result is often a hook.

Be ready to Compete! Ask “Dr. Mom” At left, Instructor Kyle Owings is forcing Josh to turn his hips in order to swing the club around his spine angle.




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Nov / Dec 2013_Upstate Game Day  
Nov / Dec 2013_Upstate Game Day  

Magazine covering youth sports and active lifestyles in Upstate South Carolina.