Category Archives: Sports

Pickens Rec basketball signups open until Friday

PICKENS — Basketball registration is open through Friday at the Pickens Recreation Center on Sangamo Road in Pickens.

The following age divisions are offered: 5-6 coed instructional; 7-8 boys and girls; 9-10 boys and girls; 11-12 boys and girls; and 13-14 boys and girls (provided enough girls register). Following registration, a skills/evaluation day will be held for each age division.

The registration fee, which provides a jersey to be kept, is $45 for in-city residents and $55 for out-of-city residents.

Birth certificates are required at registration. Birthdate cut-off is Sept. 1, 2018. Those interested in coaching or who need more information should call the recreation department at 878-2296.


After tough loss, Flame enter finale with playoff hopes

By Rocky Nimmons

Pickens — The Pickens Blue Flame knew they had a tough row to hoe when they hosted the undefeated Daniel Lions at Bill Isaacs Field last Friday.

They knew they need to make plays and keep the turnovers and penalties to a minimum if they wanted to walk away with an upset victory.

The atmosphere was electric, with the Blue Flame coming out fired up and ready to play, but even though they held the turnovers to one apiece and won the penalty battle, the Blue Flame just could not find an answer to slowing the Daniel air attack and fell to the Lions, 42-17.

Pickens, which is known for its hard-hitting ground-and-pound Wing-T offense, hit the Daniel defense hard, outgaining the Lions 219-116 on the ground. Through the air, though, Daniel dominated, piling up 313 yards to Pickens’ 62.

That proved to be the difference in the contest, but the Blue Flame have no reason to hang their heads, as they slugged it out with one of the state’s toughest teams, putting points on the board in the process.

“We played hard. We really do, we play hard,” Blue Flame coach Chad Smith said. “We were not very disciplined, and it cost us. It was rough.

“Give Coach (Jeff) Fruster and his staff a ton of credit. They have a good program, but we are getting there. So I am pretty excited.”

Smith knows his team will have to leave that loss in Pickens, as their last opportunity to squeeze into the Class 4A playoffs happens this week when they travel to Williamston to take on Palmetto. The Flame will need some help to take Region I-4A’s fourth spot in the postseason, but a head-to-head win over Walhalla earlier this month leaves the door open.

“We have got to beat Palmetto, and it looks like we are going to be a little

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With loss to Pendleton, Liberty postseason berth at stake Friday

By Clay Counts
Special to The Courier

LIBERTY — In a battle with perennial power Pendleton on Friday night, a pair of early miscues proved to be too much to overcome for the Liberty Red Devils in a 22-6 loss.

After a solid 33-7 win over an old region rival at West-Oak the week prior, the Red Devils returned home for a senior night showdown against the Bulldogs on Friday night. In addition to the recognition of the Liberty seniors for the last home game of their playing careers, the night held extra significance as a crucial game in Region I-3A as the playoff picture takes shape.

Playing with an undermanned squad, the Devils still had their chances to pull out the win, as they had more first downs and outrushed Pendleton on the night. However, an early interception that turned into quick points for the Bulldogs and a defensive bust that allowed Pendleton to break off a long touchdown put Liberty behind the 8-ball early and created a deficit the Devils were unable to overcome.

“Proud of these guys’ effort,” Liberty coach Kyle Stewart said after the game. “We had 20 guys dress tonight, and they got after it, you know, we just needed to hit a play or two here or there and we’re in this game.

“We have to capitalize on those situations, but I’m really proud of the

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Green Wave come up short against Woodmont

By Eugene Jolley
Courier Sports

EASLEY — Two teams battled for a possible home playoff berth Friday night at Bill Carr Stadium.

Unfortunately for the host Easley Green Wave, it was the Woodmont Wildcats continuing a five-game win streak, escaping with a 28-21 win.

The Wildcats, 5-4 overall and 5-1 in Region I-5A, will now play T.L Hanna this Friday night for the region title.

At 4-5 overall and 3-3 in the region, Easley now needs to win at Laurens on Friday night to further secure its playoff berth.

It was an odd game Friday night. Easley recovered two squib/pooch kicks in Wildcat territory to end the first half and to begin the second half and didn’t convert on either. The Green Wave didn’t even pick up a first down after either recovery.

Woodmont took advantage of an Easley miscue on the opening kickoff, recovering at the Green Wave 30. Seven plays later, quarterback Clay Bartunek hit Nicholas Boatwright behind the secondary for a 13-yard score, making it 7-0 with 8:35 left in the first quarter.

“That was a tough way to start the game,” Easley coach John Windham said. “We had worked on that, but we just were not able to get it back and get on it. That was tough to give them the ball there right off the get-go.”

Easley answered with a five-play, 65-yard drive. Quarterback Dallas Odom hit Ethan Boyles on third and five for 18 to the Woodmont 42. On the next play, Jeremy Harried, one of 21 Easket seniors honored on senior night, scooted untouched for a 42-yard

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Lions handle Pickens to set up region title showdown

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

PICKENS — The Daniel High School football team entered Friday’s matchup at Pickens firing on all cylinders.

However, the Blue Flame, who played spoiler to Walhalla just two weeks earlier, gashed the Lions and entered the second quarter driving once more.

The Lions’ defense managed to stop the imposing threat by forcing a fumble, and Tyler Venables took care of his team the rest of the way, as the junior quarterback tossed three of his five touchdowns passes in the quarter to help Daniel pull away for a 42-17 victory.

“Those kids for Pickens fought hard tonight,” Daniel head coach Jeff Fruster said. “I have to commend (head coach Chad Smith) for what he has done with this program and getting them to the level of play they are at right now.”

The win moved the undefeated Lions (8-0, 4-0 Region I-4A) to within one game of winning their first region title since 2013. They’ll get their chance at home this week in a winner-take-all showdown with Belton-Honea Path, which trounced Wren by a final score of 41-24 on Friday night.

“The success these kids have had so far is commendable,” Fruster said. “The kind of turnaround they’ve shown from one season to the next is all on the staff and the kids for believing in what it is we presented them. I’m awful proud of them tonight and the effort they showed.”

Offensively, the Lions were paced by Venables, who enjoyed another outstanding outing. He posted one of his best passing nights of the year, throwing for 308 yards and adding five

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Lady Sparks finish perfect for 5th year in a row

PICKENS — The Pickens Middle School volleyball team completed its fifth consecutive undefeated season by winning the AOP Conference Division II Tournament title under the direction of head coach Mellie Crumpton.

The win gave the Sparks their sixth end-of-year tournament championship in the last seven years and extended the Sparks’ winning streak to an incredible 80 matches.

The Sparks won the regular-season title with a perfect record of 12-0 and

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Gettys wears throwbacks

EASLEY — When Easley Junior High School opened its doors in 1962, Richard H. Gettys was the school’s first principal.

Easley Junior High became known by its mascot, the Breakers, and the  school colors were maroon and gold. The colors later on became more of a crimson or cardinal shade of red and gold.

In 1996, the school formally changed its name from Easley Junior High School to Gettys Middle School. Once the school

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EHS hall of fame class honored

EASLEY — Easley High School inducted a new class into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday night during the Green Wave’s game against Greenwood.

The group of Green Wave athletes joined an already prestigious group in the hallows of Easley fame.

Sammy Galloway, a 1969 EHS graduate, earned three letters in football, along with two in baseball and one in track. A member of the 1967 Class 2A State championship football team, he was named one of the top 100 players in the country his senior season. He was selected to play in the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association North-South All-Star Game. He signed a grant-in-aid with South Carolina to play football and was a

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Blue Flame finish region undefeated on senior night

PICKENS — Once again, it’s in the books. In her second year as coach of the Lady Flame, Rikki Owens and second year assistant coach Pamela Clarkson led the 2018 Lady Flame volleyball team to another undefeated

Pickens Blue Flame seniors are L-R front row
Jewell Porterfield, Sabrina Stewart, Sarah Stewart and Sydney Skipper. Back Row; Savannah Noblitt, Abigail Durham, Sydney Bolding and Lexi Wierzbicki

Region I-4A championship.

The Lady Flame wrapped up the region title by defeating Daniel on Oct. 8, but needed to defeat Palmetto on senior night Oct. 10 to remain undefeated, and that they did, defeating the Mustangs 3-0.

On the night of the final region match, eight seniors huddled together then took their places on the court. The eight seniors, most of whom have played together since the seventh grade or competed against each other while some were students at Dacusville Middle, led their team to a 3-0 victory.

This group of seniors defeated Palmetto 25-13, 25-9, 25-4, sealing the deal on another undefeated season in region play.

As they do before each home match, Sarah and Sabrina Stewart led the

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BHP beats Pickens at its own game to spoil homecoming

By Rocky Nimmons

PICKENS — The Pickens Blue Flame entered Friday night’s contest with Belton-Honea Path with plenty of momentum.

After handing the undefeated Walhalla Razorbacks their first loss of the season the week before, the Flame had every right to be pumped to play a BHP Bear team that had already fallen to Walhalla on Sept. 28.

The fans were ready, the coaches were ready and the players were set to ride the Walhalla win to more victories — the only problem was BHP didn’t get the memo and the Bears started posting touchdowns from the opening whistle, handing Pickens a 27-10 homecoming loss at Bill Isaacs Field.

“I give BHP all the credit in the world,” Pickens coach Chad Smith said after the game. “They lined up and did what we try to do to people, and we couldn’t hold them out.

“(BHP coach) Russell Blackston and his crowd get all the credit in the world — they came in and punched us in the face and did a great job in the first half. We dug ourselves too deep of a hole.”

BHP pounded the Pickens defense, scoring on the first four times it had the ball. Pickens just couldn’t answer, and as a result the Bears dominated the stats, posting 404 yards of offense compared to the Flame’s 146.

The game started with BHP taking the opening kickoff and putting the ball

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