Police: Online threats disrupt schools

Gettys student charged EASLEY — A message on social media led to increased police presence at two Easley schools Friday. More »

Fall has arrived

The annual Pumpkin Festival drew hundreds of people as it served as Pickens County’s unofficial kick-off of the fall season More »

Trial opens in Liberty killing

By Greg Oliver Courtesy The Journal PICKENS — The brother of a man shot to death in July 2015 More »

Hope dwindling for Humane Society

By Jason Evans Staff Reporter COUNTY — Pickens County Humane Society officials are focusing on finding forever homes for More »

Pickens volleyball team finishes unbeaten in region play

PICKENS — In her first year as head coach of the Pickens High School Lady Flame volleyball team, Rikki Owens More »

We don’t have to live in fear

Making money isn’t wrong. But killing people to do it is. It doesn’t seem to matter how many American citizens More »


Exciting times for Six Mile

The Town of Six Mile is experiencing some exciting times as of late. During the town’s monthly council meeting held last Tuesday, Nov. 1, council enjoyed an opportunity to celebrate with the Six Mile Cubs 8-and-under baseball team. The Cubs won the 2016 Tri-County Coaches Pitch tournament. Members of the team include Gavin Elrod, Evan Tribble, Eli Stewart, Luke Turner, T.J. Borow, Colten Turner, Sam Blondeau, Mac Bartels, Noah Martinez, Ryan Hendricks and Braidon Galloway. The team is coached by Justin Holliday, Benny Hendricks, Rusty Elrod, Tim Borow and Travis Tribble.

townPictured at left, Six Mile mayor Roy Stoddard presents a proclomation to the team. Council was also pleased to receive a check from Duke Energy’s Emily DeRoberts, shown with Stoddard at right, that will go toward further development of plans for downtown near the recently purchased John Dillard House on Main Street.


Burgess wins Billy Wilkins Award

COUNTY — On Nov. 2, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Rita Burgess was presented the Billy Wilkins Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement.

Tigers crush Orange

Kerry Gilstrap/Courier
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson smiles as he cruises into the end zone for a touchdown against Syracuse on Saturday.

By Scott Adamson
Courtesy The Journal

CLEMSON — After Clemson football fans had to sweat out the final moments of their team’s last two games, the Tigers decided they owed the faithful a drama-free afternoon.

And they gave Solid Orange Nation just that — thanks in large part to a redshirt graduate quarterback who took a star turn.

Devils go down in back-and-forth affair

Team still gets to host postseason opener

By Jimmy Kirby
Courier Sports

LIBERTY — Southside Christian scored the go-ahead touchdown with only two minutes remaining against Liberty on Friday night, winning an exciting back-and-forth game for two teams battling it out for a playoff home game by the score of 29-27.

The Red Devils had just taken the lead on the previous possession as Nick Reeves hooked up with Kevon Tabron from 30 yards on fourth down to give the Red Devils a short-lived 27-23 lead and apparent victory, but the scoring strike of 62 yards by Colton Coulter to Connor Fowler sealed the win for the Sabres.

11-9 Page 1B.inddBoth teams finished the regular season with 1-2 region records and a three-way tie with Ninety Six High School. The Red Devils gained second place in the region based on order of tiebreaker rules. Fewest points allowed determined the outcome of the region standings.

Turnovers were a big key to the game, as the Sabres scored 14 points off of two Red Devil miscues. Short scoring drives starting from the Liberty 24- and 37-yard lines put the Red Devil defense in tough situations.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils were only able to turn a single Southside Christian fumble into points with a second-quarter touchdown drive of 49 yards.

The total yards were almost identical, with Southside Christian holding a 19-yard advantage, 286 to 267. The Red Devils led in rushing yardage, 156 to 65, while the Sabres led in passing yardage, 221 to 111 yards.

After a fairly quiet first quarter, the Sabres were first to get on the board with a 38-yard Charlie Paciocco field goal.

Kevon Tabron scored on a two-yard run early in the second quarter to put the Red Devils up 7-3.

11-9 Page 1B.inddJonathan Alexander scored from four yards out to complete a four-play, 24-yard drive to put the Sabres back up 10-7. That was the first Red Devil turnover that led to points for the Sabres.

Doug Tate/Photo
Liberty running back Cavaugio Butler tries to get past a Southside Christian defender during their game Friday night.

The Red Devils took the lead into the half with a seven-play, 72-yard drive. Reeves found Michael Spruill open in the back of the end zone for a 14-10 lead at the break.

Southside Christian took the lead with a touchdown in the third quarter as Coulter found Brayden Bennett for a 17-yard scoring strike.

The Red Devil offense was stagnant in the third quarter and unable to put points on the board.

11-9 Page 1B.inddLiberty came to life just as the quarter ended and started a drive that went into the fourth quarter for the lead once again 20-17. The one-yard scoring run by Tabron capped off a 12-play, 70-yard drive.

Doug Tate/Photo
Liberty running back Shaun Karr prepares for a collision with a Southside Christian defender during their game Friday night.

The Sabres scored two series later after Hudson King picked off a Reeves pass in the right flat and returned it three yards to the Liberty 37-yard line. Coulter completed passes of 16 yards to Jacob Najambadi, 15 yards to Alexander and nine yards to John Taylor for the score on the drive to put the Sabres back in front, 23-20.

The Red Devil defense stood despite losing the starting field position battle. The Sabres’ average starting field position was the midfield stripe, while the Red Devils’ starting field position was their own 29-yard line.

Except for the long scoring toss just over the outstretched hands of the Liberty defense, the Sabres found the going tough on the ground. Aaron Bates had a huge defensive game for the Red Devils in the loss, as he had 15 tackles, two assists, two tackles for loss and one sack.

Cavaugio Butler led the Red Devils on offense with 91 yards on 16 carries. Tabron followed with 42 yards and the two scores. Most of his yardage came out of the wildcat formation, taking the snaps directly from center.

11-9 Page 1B.inddReeves finished with 111 yards passing on 6-of-16, with two touchdowns and two costly interceptions.

Doug Tate/Photo
Liberty’s Ethan Harris takes down a Southside Christian ballcarrier during their game Friday night.

The Red Devils now have a week off as they wait for lower state teams to complete regular-season play following the cancellation of games due to Hurricane Matthew.

Although the brackets have not been finalized, the Red Devils appear to have a home game in the first round of the playoffs on Nov. 18 against the Central High School Eagles from Pageland. This would be a rematch of a 2011 second-round game in which Central won 29-7. The Eagles went on to play for the Class 2A state championship that year, losing 10-0 to Bishop England.


Flame season ends with loss to Daniel

By Eugene Jolley
Courier Sports

PICKENS — Perhaps we will never know the three-way tiebreaker in Region I-4A.

Daniel clinched third place outright Friday night by holding off Pickens, 38-21.

The loss ended Pickens’ season with a 2-8 record, 0-4 in the region. Daniel is now 6-4 overall and 2-2 in the region and will play on the road in two weeks when the state playoffs begin.

Needing a win to force the three-way tie, Pickens got down 21-0 in the first half as Daniel quarterback Ben Batson hit two deep passes where the coverage broke down.

11-9 Page 1B.indd

Tommy McGaha/
Pickens quarterback Jared Pace pitches the ball back to Brandon Batson during the Flame’s season finale Friday against Daniel.

“Things we talked about that we couldn’t have happen,” Pickens coach Chad Seaborn said. “We had to limit their big plays and we had a couple of busted coverages and a couple of turnovers. We had a fumbled snap on the punt and we fumbled a handoff. I told them if that happened we would have to make up for it somewhere else. I thought they did that.”

Pickens came out in the gray pants and blue tops, an old-school look hoping to provide a spark. But four plays into the game, the Blue Flame fumbled and Daniel’s Peter Cote recovered at the Blue Flame 37.

On the next play, quarterback Batson found Brysen Smith behind the secondary for a 37-yard scoring strike with 10:22 left in the opening quarter. Nick Muchow’s kick made it 7-0.

The Blue Flame struggled all night to get something going on the ground. The longest run of the night was for five yards. Pickens only had 15 yards rushing at the half and finished with just 13.

The next Daniel score came again after a Pickens mistake. Punter Stone Prince dropped the snap, and Tyler Venables and Michael Becker tackled him at the Blue Flame 27.

11-9 Page 1B.inddFollowing a Daniel penalty and a Robert Jones pass breakup, Batson scrambled and found Isaac Weaver, who had strayed behind the safety, for the 38-yard scoring strike with 1:42 left in the quarter, making it 14-0.

Early in the second quarter, Daniel made it 21-0 on an eight-play, 53-yard drive. Kiandre Sims took it the final three yards with 8:23 left in the half.

Pickens held there, as linebacker Cole Seaborn picked off a Batson pass at the 15 and then on fourth and two, Batson came up inches short as Seaborn and Jared Barton stopped him

“It could have been a lot worse in the first half, but we got a couple of fourth-down stops,” Chad Seaborn said. “If there is ever a game that summarizes their season, it was this right here. We got down early, kept battling and made some mistakes, overcome them, then make some plays and find a way. They kept doing that, and I was proud of them.”

The Lions went up 28-0 as Batson hooked up with Smith again. This time, Smith out-jumped cornerback Daniel Hooper in the end zone on a 31-yard pass with 4:24 left in the third quarter.

The Blue Flame answered through the air. Quarterback Jared Pace hit Jones for 11. Then on third and eight, Pace hit Kyle Day for 23 on a wheel route to the Daniel 34. Three plays later, Pace threw a perfect ball to Jones, who made a great catch with two defenders on him in the left end zone for 35 yards with 38 seconds left in the third quarter, making it 28-7.

The Lion defense set up the next score as Pace was sacked by Chris Barnes. The Lions then marched 53 yards in seven plays, with Batson keeping around the right side for the two-yard score with 5:30 left in the game, making it 35-7.

Pickens got a big kick return by Jones to the Daniel 44. Two plays later, Pace scrambled left and found tight end Stone Prince behind the secondary for a 45-yard scoring strike with 4:25 to play.

11-9 Page 1B.inddThe Blue Flame defense then came up with a big play as linebacker Colin Hinkle stripped Cody Barnes and returned it 23-yards for the score with 3:19 left.

Daniel recovered the on-side kick and sealed the win when Muchow connected on a 19-yard field goal with 56 seconds left.

Tommy McGaha/
Pickens’ Jared Pace celebrates with teammates after a big play against Daniel on Friday night.

“We got behind too quick, and with what we’re trying to do, it’s hard to come back,” Seaborn said. “Their effort and their fight was inspiring to me.”

Pickens senior Cole Seaborn switched from his normal No. 5 jersey to No. 60 Friday night as he started at right tackle, along with inside linebacker. He never came off the field, playing on special teams, too.

“I’m very proud of him for more than just the on-the-field stuff,” an emotional Chad Seaborn said of his son. “He loves Pickens. He bleeds blue, and there is a bunch of them that do. I hate it more for them, I really do. They want it and they battle, and he’s an example of that. I’m proud of all of them though.”


Lions snuff Flame in season finale

Tommy McGaha/

By Rocky Nimmons

PICKENS — The Daniel Lions got it done in crunch time against Pickens on Friday night.

First-year Lions coach Jeff Fruster and his staff and players knew they had their backs to a wall. The Lions had to hit the road to play a cross-county and region rival in an electric environment with the season on the line.

A win meant a third-place finish in the Region I-4A standing and a trip to the playoffs to extend the season. A loss could have kicked them entirely out and ended the season.

The Blue Flame were coming off a big 33-0 shutout win over Travelers Rest. The stage was set for slobberknocker, and that is just what those in attendance got to see as the two squared off. The Lions dominated the first half and held off the Flame in the second to come away with a 38-21 victory.

11-9 Page 1B.indd“The kids had a great two weeks of preparation. I can tell by the score that Pickens did as well,” Fruster said following the win. “It’s like I have said all along, I think these kids have a lot of fight and a lot of hunger in them. I can guarantee you that our kids are not ready for it to be over. As long as that is our mindset we will do OK.”

Fuster lauded the play of his opponents and the job the Flame did in making adjustments during the contest.

“My hat’s off to Coach (Chad) Seaborn and that Pickens staff,” he said. “Everyone is afforded an opportunity to adjust, and that is what they did. They changed some blocking schemes and changed the way they attacked us. That made us have to go back and change some things we were doing. Pickens came out fighting and trying to win themselves a ballgame in their last home game.”

The Lions entered the game swinging and jumped to a quick 21-0 lead. The Daniel defensive unit was the first to roar, with a big hit on Pickens’ Brandon Batson that led to a fumble recovery by the Lions at the Blue Flame 37-yard line.

It took a single snap for the Lions’ potent offense to get six. Quarterback Ben Batson didn’t waste time, as the young signal caller spied wideout Brysen Smith open over the middle and zipped him the ball. Smith did the rest, as he found a couple of blocks and raced in for the game’s first points with 10:22 left in the first quarter. Nick Muchow hammered home the PAT to give the Lions an early 7-0 lead.

The Lion defense kept up the pressure and again forced Pickens to punt the ball away without a first down.

Batson and company took control on the Daniel 22. This time, Daniel mounted a 10-play drive that covered 25 yards. The Pickens defense hung tough, however, forcing a turnover on downs with a fourth-down stop.

11-9 Page 1B.indd

Tommy McGaha/
Daniel quarterback Ben Batson escapes the grasp of a Pickens defender during their game Friday night.

Pickens took over at the Daniel 47, but the Blue Flame offense just could not gain any footing and was forced into a punting situation after losing three yards on as many plays. Disaster stuck for the Flame, as Stone Prince bobbled the snap from center and the Lions took charge at the 27-yard line. A personal foul call on the Lions pushed the ball back to the Pickens 38. Batson first tried to hit receiver Drew Swinney, but missed with the ball falling incomplete. The misfire did not deter Batson, as he again went to the air on second down, this time zeroing in on wide receiver Isaac Weaver for a 38-yard touchdown with 1:42 left in the first. Muchow remained true, pushing the lead to 14-0.

Following the ensuing kickoff, the Lion defense continued to play tough, again shutting down the Flame attack for another three-and-out, forcing Prince to punt the ball away.

The Lions began with great field position near midfield at the 47. Nine plays later, Fru’s crew was in the end zone again. Batson was on fire on the series, going 3-for-4 through the air with completions of 12, 5 and 13 yards. Batson also showed his running ability, picking up 14 yards down to the Pickens 2-yard line, setting up a touchdown run by running back Kiandre Sims to cap the drive with 8:33 left before the half.

“I thought Batson controlled the ball well,” Fruster said. “He made some good decisions, especially late in the game when we needed them. He is definitely grooming himself as a starting quarterback.”

11-9 Page 1B.inddNeither team could muster any more points prior to intermission. As the second half started, the Lions continued to dominate early. The second time the Lions had the ball after intermission, Daniel again produced points, this time on a five-play series that covered 56 yards.

Tommy McGaha/
Daniel’s Brysen Smith hauls in a 31-yard pass over Pickens’ Daniel Hooper for a touchdown during their game Friday night.

Batson again picked the Flame defense apart, going a perfect 3-of-3 through the air with a completion for seven yards to Will Swinney, then a pair to Smith, the first for 18 and the final one for 31 and a score. Muchow hit the PAT with 4:24 to play, and the Lions looked to be rolling, 28-0.

The Blue Flame never quit, though, continuing to battle.

Pickens finally got rolling as the Flame started a touchdown march of their own. The drive went 69 yards and lasted nine plays. Pickens quarterback Jared Pace began to heat up on the series with nice passes to Kyle Day and Robert Jones. Day snagged one midway through for 31 yards, while Jones picked up 11 early and hauled in a pass for the final 31 with 35 seconds left in the third. Dylan Baynard tacked on the extra point, making the score 28-7 in favor of the Lions.

Daniel answered late in the fourth with a seven-play, 53-yard series that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Batson, who ran for 43 yards on the series and passed for 10 more. Muchow added the PAT, pushing the Lions to a 35-7 lead with 5:30 to play.

The Blue Flame responded like lightning. Pickens quickly answered with a two-play drive that covered 34 yards. The series was set up by a great return by Jones to the Lions’ 34-yard line. On the drive’s second snap, Pace reared back and heaved a long one toward the end zone, with Prince hauling it in for a touchdown. Baynard split the uprights on the PAT, bringing the Flame to within 21 at 35-14.

11-9 Page 1B.inddThe score fired up the Flame defense, and the unit made a play the next time they were on the field. Daniel’s Cody Barnes mishandled a Batson handoff, and the ball popped free. Pickens’ Colin Hinkle corralled the pigskin, scooping it up and racing 23 yards for a Blue Flame touchdown with only 3:19 left in the contest. Baynard added the PAT, making the score 35-21.

Daniel then went to the run in order to work the clock. The Lions pushed the ball downfield, with Sims carrying the load. In seven plays the Lions were knocking at the door, but facing fourth and one from the Pickens 2-yard line, Fruster sent Muchow on to add three with a 19-yard field goal with just 56 seconds to play making the final score 38-21 in favor of the Lions.

The win now gives the Lions two weeks to get ready to start playoff action. The Lions will have to travel to York to face the Cougars in round one.

“With the win this week we ensured a winning season. That is something we have really worked toward,” Fruster said. “At the end of the day a win is a win, and we will take them anyway we can get them.”

The Lions finished third in the region and knew a long road trip was in the cards.

“You are absolutely correct it will be a long trip, but you know we have had them before,” Fruster said. “We went down to Ninety Six, and we have made some long trips already, so this one will not be any different.”

The win was also a milestone in the young head coach’s resume.

“I think it’s big (getting a playoff berth in the first year as head coach),” Fruster said. “It is kind of like new life. Our kids have the opportunity to continue playing and a chance at some success that those that aren’t there do not have. I preached to the kids all week that we have to do a better job of playing a complete game. For the most part we did that against Pickens. We played very good on both sides of the ball and for the majority of the quarters. We did let some plays get away from us, but that is to the credit of Pickens.

“We are going to take the next two weeks with the mindset that we want to get a victory and play smarter this week.”

Fruster also wants a sea of Columbia blue in York on Nov. 18.

“Our fan base at an away game is as big as anything,” he said. “As always, I encourage people to come out and support this group of kids. They are a special group and they are just looking for someone to believe in them as much as this staff does.”

York finished the year 5-5, with a 4-1 mark and a second-place finish in Region III-4A behind perennial power South Pointe.


Courier Obituaries 11-9-16

The Pickens County Courier runs In-County Obituaries free of charge. Please ask your funeral home about this service. Click below to read obituaries at no cost!

Courier Legals 11-9-16

The publisher shall only be liable for an amount less than or equal to the charge for the space of the item in error in the case of errors in or omissions from any advertisement, and only for the first incorrect insertion.

Courier Notice to Creditors 11-9-16

The publisher shall only be liable for an amount less than or equal to the charge for the space of the item in error in the case of errors in or omissions from any advertisement, and only for the first incorrect insertion.

Courier Trespass Notices 11-9-16

In the state of South Carolina, trespass after notice is a misdemeanor criminal offense prohibited by section 16-11-620 for the South Carolina Code. Those who enter upon the lands of others without the permission of the owner or manager shall be deemed guilty of misdemeanor trespassing. All persons are hereby notified and warned not to hunt, fish, cut timber or trespass in any manner whatsoever upon the lands of the undersigned:

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