Category Archives: News

Feeling the Frustration

Pickens drops third game by one score

By Rocky Nimmons

PICKENS — Frustration.

That one word best sums up the Pickens Blue Flame’s season thus far in 2018. Pickens is now 1-3, but the Blue Flame players, coaches and fans know it should be better.

The Blue Flame have lost three one-score games by a combined 14 points. In all of those losses, Pickens was in the contest until the final whistle was blown.

Friday’s game at Bill Isaacs Field was the culmination of the frustration. as the Big Blue fell to the undefeated Travelers Rest Devil Dogs by a single point, 20-19.

The Flame were hoping to end TR’s win streak, but the loss held no more anguish for the Pickens than the first two in 2018 did.

“It is pretty tough, but I wouldn’t say it was any worse than the loss to Pendleton or Easley,” Pickens coach Chad Smith said. “We are right there, but we just have to make plays. There were about 15 plays in this game that if we made them, we win the game.

“Some of them were on us as a coaching staff for not have the correct people in at certain times. Some of it was on the kids. We will get it fixed.”

Turnovers were the biggest issue. The Blue Flame fumbled the ball away five times, with the Devildogs recovering three.

“We turned the ball over, and we can’t turn the ball over, and they were sloppy turnovers,” Smith said. “Give Travelers Rest credit. They take a lot of pride in forcing turnovers, but some of these tonight were not forced. We have to take care of the ball, we have to take care of the penalties and we have to take care of our execution. That is 100 percent on us. If we take care of those things, we will be a difficult team to beat.”

Despite the mistakes, the Flame played hard, like they always do — especially defensive coordinator Eric Houston’s unit. The defense allowed TR only 278 yards of offense all

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Payne named EHS baseball coach

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — There’s a new head man for the Easley High School baseball team, and he’s a familiar face for the Green Wave faithful.

Gill Payne was named as Easley’s new head baseball coach on Aug. 30. Payne was already serving the school as its athletic director and took over the baseball job following the sudden departure of coach Josh Warner a few weeks ago.

The Green Wave were in dire need of a coach as the school year approached and were lucky to already have the more-than-capable Payne on staff.

Payne has an extensive baseball background, with 18 years at the NCAA Division II, NAIA, NJCAA and high school levels. He was a Major League Baseball associate scout

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West Nile Virus confirmed in person in Easley

City and county working together to spray Easley area with insecticide

By Rocky Nimmons


EASLEY — A case of West Nile virus has been confirmed in a person in Easley.

In a special news conference at Easley City Hall on Friday, Pickens County and Easley officials confirmed that a single person in the Easley area had tested positive for the disease.

Pictured are Pickens County Councilman Chris Bowers, Easley Police Capt. Rashad Murray, Easley Fire Chief Butch Womack and Pickens County Emergency Management Director Denise Kwiateck.

This is the first case ever reported in Pickens County, although some have occurred in the Upstate in Greenwood and Spartanburg counties.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) West Nile is a virus most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites. In North America, cases of West Nile virus occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues

Antiques take center stage at annual Dacusville Farm Show

By Pamela Dodson

Staff Reporter

DACUSVILLE — Residents turned out by the thousands this Labor Day weekend at the Dacusville Farm Show, braving the summer heat to browse the many rows of farm equipment and a variety of crafts.

The event has become a Pickens County tradition for those who love old tractors and many other antiques that can always be found at the show.

The sixth annual Dacusville Farm Show was held Saturday and Sunday at Tom Turner’s 55-acre farm off Earls Bridge Road.

The event brought out the young and old to experience a piece of Americana that just can’t be found elsewhere in the Upstate.

Previous years have brought more than 3,000 people to the Dacusville area, and this

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Venables, Lions explode for big

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

SENECA — The Daniel Lions scored early and often in an explosive 51-14 win over the rival Seneca Bobcats on Friday night.

“I challenged these kids to get off the bus and play well,” Daniel coach Jeff Fruster said. “All summer we challenged them to get off to good starts, and that is exactly what we did tonight.”

The Lion offense jumped on Seneca from the get-go, scoring 38 points in the first half, with the star being junior quarterback Tyler Venables. Venables scored his team’s first four touchdowns of the game on the ground to make his impressive season thus far all the more exceptional.

“It was very fun, (and) we’ve got a lot momentum in our hands,” Venables said. “I didn’t do great in the passing game tonight, but the offensive line did a great job of giving me some gaps to run through.”

The Lions’ new offensive staff is hitting its groove right now and putting up numbers that fans haven’t seen in years. In fact, the Lions’ 50-plus points in each of the last two games marks the first time Daniel has scored 50-plus in consecutive weeks since their 2013 state runner-up season.

“The kids believe in them,” Fruster said of his new offensive staff, led by coordinator Page Wofford. “This staff has shown they have a lot of prowess the last couple of weeks. But we knew what we were getting when we hired them. It’s just good to see our offense pick up some momentum.”

The defense was also stellar on the night, as the Lions allowed almost nothing through the air, with Seneca only getting 36 passing yards and throwing three interceptions. The Seneca run game was also held in check outside a 74-yard scoring burst by Bobcat running back Jeremiah Mackey.

“It’s like I said before the game, you can’t stop Mackey,” Fruster said. “The best you can hope for is to contain him, and I thought we did a good job of that.”

Daniel received the opening kickoff and Venables started his impressive game with two

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Easley exits bye week looking for more consistency

By Eugene Jolley
Courier Sports

EASLEY — As odd as it may be, the Easley High School football team’s open date was taken care of before August ended Friday night.

The open date in years past has rolled around after the non-region schedule was over for teams in September, but after playing in Week 0, the Green Wave had an off week in Week 2.

Heading into this week’s home game with Wren, both sides of the ball have questions to answer for Easley.

Offensively, the first question would be: What is the identity of the offense? In the first game against Pickens, Easley only attempted nine passes with a three-year starter in Weston Black. Black did go to the air a little more against Daniel in the second game, hooking up several times with senior Ethan Boyles.

The Green Wave (1-1) would like to be balanced with the pass and run, and with the

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Liberty has no answer for tough Pickens run game

By Clay Counts
Special to The Courier

LIBERTY — Riding high after a big win over Berea, the Liberty Red Devils hosted county rival Pickens on Friday night hoping to keep the momentum.

But licking their wounds after a tough loss the Pendleton the previous week, the Blue Flame used their steady, hard-nosed power run game to chip away at Liberty in an 18-0 win.

After receiving the opening kick, Pickens came out of the gate clicking on all cylinders, beginning with an 18-play drive that spanned 63 yards and ate nearly 10 minutes off the clock. The drive above all exemplified the no-frills, fight-for-every-inch gameplay the Red Devils would have to struggle against on the night. Pickens converted on two fourth downs and had only one play that went for more than nine yards on the opening drive.

The Red Devil defense ultimately prevailed on the possession, though, after stalling the Blue Flame offense at the 16-yard line and forcing a missed field goal.

Liberty’s bend-but-don’t-break defensive strategy caused Pickens to leave a lot of points on the field and proved successful in keeping the Red Devils in the fight.

Another highlight of the opening half for Liberty was an impressive goal line stand, with a touchdown-saving tackle by senior linebacker Jack Brissey forcing a turnover on downs at the Red Devils’ 1-yard line.

The ensuing offensive drive held some promise, but was ultimately driven backward, ending in a Red Devil safety to give Pickens a 2-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

The Blue Flame offense stretched its lead to 5-0 at halftime with a 45-yard Collier

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Pickens shuts out Red Devils to pick up first win

By Rocky Nimmons

LIBERTY — The Pickens Blue Flame were hungry.

Going into the third game of the young season on Friday night, they were the only football team in Pickens County without a victory in 2018.

Pickens head coach Chad Smith knew his young team needed something good to happen, and something did when they traveled to face the always-tough Liberty Red Devils.

The Blue Flame found more offense, and defensive coordinator Eric Houston had his unit ready as Pickens came away with an 18-0 shutout win.

“We have a ton to work on, but you know our kids played hard,” Smith said after the game. “Liberty is a quality program. Kyle Stewart and Jabo Burgess do a fantastic job. You know they have tough kids. We are happy to come in here and get a win. That is a big deal for us.”

The Blue Flame’s methodical style of football dominated the statistics on the night, racking up 326 yards of total offense, while holding the Devils to only 112. The bulk of the Pickens offense came from runner Jarod Barton. Barton seemed to find a new home in the backfield, as Smith and company ran him at fullback most of the night. Barton’s relentless pounding of the rock garnered him 156 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries.

“That is going to make a big difference for us down the line,” Smith said of switching Barton to fullback. “We have to get some other kids up to speed, because when we move those positions some aren’t used to playing them, and they are going to have to play more now. Those kids did a good job tonight. We will just get better with that lineup in.”

It was classic Smith football from the get-go. Pickens pounded out an 18-play drive that ate 9:33 from the clock to open the game. The combo of Barton and wingback Brady Batson were a 1-2 punch that kept the Liberty defense on its heels. The drive even included a rare pass from Pickens quarterback Cole Beaty to Barton for seven yards. The series started at the Pickens 21-yard line and saw Barton

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Dazzling Debut

Clemson freshmen impress in season-opening victory

By Alex Maminakis
Courtesy The Journal

CLEMSON — The Clemson Tigers got a glimpse of their future during Saturday’s season-opening win over Furman, and the future is bright.

In No. 2 Clemson’s 48-7 win over the Paladins at Memorial Stadium, the Tigers got the chance to play many of their true freshmen for the first time, and the young players made the most of their first collegiate snaps.

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence made his highly anticipated Clemson debut and finished 9-for-15 passing for 137 yards and three touchdowns as he shared time with starter Kelly Bryant and Chase Brice at the position.

But Lawrence was only one of a number of freshmen to make an impact in Saturday’s win.

“To see the veterans play well, then also all the young guys play good, too — we’re really meshing and playing really good at the best time, the start of the season, so it’s exciting,” Lawrence said after the game.

On offense, tight end Braden Galloway, a Seneca High School graduate, running back Lyn-J Dixon and wide receivers Justyn Ross and Derion Kendrick all made big plays against

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Arrest made in armed bank robbery

CLEMSON — Police arrested a suspect in an armed robbery at a bank in downtown Clemson Monday afternoon after a chase that stretched into Anderson County.

Megan Ramon White, 46, of Rock Hill, was being held at the Pickens County Detention Center on a combined $33,000 surety bond on Tuesday afternoon, according to online records.

Clemson Police Department deputy chief Jeff Stone said officers were dispatched to the Bank of America on College Avenue at around 1:15 p.m.

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