Daily Archives: 09/11/2018

West Nile virus confirmed in Easley

By Rocky Nimmons

EASLEY — Authorities said Monday that a Greenville County resident had become the first person in the state to die of West Nile virus in 2018, just days

Rocky Nimmons/Courier
Easley fire chief Butch Womack speaks during a news conference announcing a case of West Nile virus had been confirmed in the city on Friday. Listening, from left, are Pickens County councilman Chris Bowers, Easley Police Capt. Rashad Murray and Pickens County Emergency Management director Denise Kwiatek.

after a case of the virus was 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.

Officials said this is the first case ever reported in Pickens County, although

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Hurricane alters football schedule

By Bru Nimmons

Staff Reporter

COUNTY — With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the North and South Carolina coasts, local high school football teams have been forced to make changes to Friday’s scheduled games.

The storm, which led S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster to call for a coastal evacuation, has caused many cancellations in the coastal regions of the state, and even many Upstate teams have moved their games up in order to avoid the torrential rainfall that is expected to come from the storm.

Pickens High School was the first to announce a change early Tuesday morning, as it rescheduled its home game against Berea. The game will be played at 7 p.m. Thursday. Liberty also made plans Tuesday, as it announced  its game at Carolina Academy will also kick of Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Daniel High School will not play this week as their game with Ridge View High was cancelled on Wednesday. The Lions faced the longest odds of getting its game in this week of the four county teams, as the Lions were prepared to travel to Columbia to  face Ridge View High School. However, due to the likely severity of the storm in the Midlands region, the game will not be played.

Finally, Easley High School’s game against Westside High School in Anderson has also been moved to Thursday and will kick off at 7:30 p.m.

To stay up to date with any other changes in this week’s schedule, visit our Facebook page.


Man heads to prison for years of abuse

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — A Pickens man has been sentenced to more than a decade in prison for sexually abusing a child.

Russell Lewis Evans, 35, pleaded guilty on Aug. 29 to third-degree criminal sexual conduct, according to a news release from 13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins.

The case was investigated by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, Wilkins said. Evidence presented at the plea hearing established that Evans sexually abused a child in Pickens County between 2014 and 2016, he said.

The victim was 8 years old when the abuse began, Wilkins said.

Judge Alex Kinlaw sentenced Evans to 15 years in prison.

Upon release, Evans will be required to register as a sex offender and will be on lifetime GPS monitoring.


Clemson interchange named for Skelton

By Greg Oliver

Courtesy The Journal

CLEMSON — Former State Rep. B.R. Skelton has been honored for his life to public service with a concurrent resolution of both houses of the S.C. General Assembly naming “Dr. B.R. Skelton Interchange,” with a total of four signs now featured at the intersection of U.S. Highway 123 and S.C. Highway 93.

“B.R. Skelton has done many things in this community, from his service on (Clemson) City Council to being a member of the (Pickens) County Transportation Committee — not once, but twice,” State Rep. Gary Clary said as he presented the framed resolution. “Every day when I walk in the House (of Representatives), someone always tells me a B.R. Skelton story.”

Clary said replacing Skelton in the legislature “has been quite a task.”

“I appreciate the counsel and guidance he has given me in my time here,” he

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Easley to debut new city brand

EASLEY — Easley officials will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the city’s new identity this week.

The reveal for the city’s new branding will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

The brand, which includes a set of logos, fonts, colors and core messages, unified by an overarching look and feel, is built around Easley’s key strengths,

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Lions get big victory over Westside to stay unbeaten


By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

CENTRAL — The Daniel Lions continued their dominant ways Friday Night, beating the Westside Rams by a final score of 36-14 and getting off to the best start they’ve had under third-year head coach Jeff Fruster.

Many didn’t expect the Lions to be playing this well coming off a 2-9 season, but now Fruster has the Lions clicking and one win away from an undefeated out-of-conference slate.

“We always believed this was just around the corner,” Fruster said. “We believed in one another and what we could do as a family. We play for one another.

“I have to give big ups to my coordinators as well. They are doing a great job game-planning, and every week they seem to put these kids in the best position to be successful. I owe everything I have to these kids and to the coaches.”

“It feels amazing,” junior wideout Hack Hamilton added about the Lions’ unbeaten start. “It feels really good to be 4-0, and I love playing with this team.”

Hamilton had a solid game Friday night, coming up with a miraculous 42-yard catch and run at the end of the first half before taking the opening kickoff of the second half 96 yards for a touchdown.

“Coach told me to find a hole and hit it,” Hamilton said. “I did just that, and it really fired the crowd up in the second half.”

Fruster said Hamilton was “due” for his performance.

“I told him all week it was time for a breakout, and he delivered tonight,” Fruster said.

Junior quarterback Tyler Venables also had another stellar game, scoring three first-half rushing touchdowns while also moving the Lions down the

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Snowball Effect

Costly penalties, miscues help Wren blast Green Wave

By Eugene Jolley
Courier Sports

EASLEY — Wren scored 34 first-half points Friday night en route to a 48-7 win over Easley.

For the Green Wave (1-2), it was a case of several defensive busts in the secondary, another game of failing to stop teams on third and long, several costly penalties and some kicking-game mistakes.

Easley held Wren (3-0) on the opening drive as a fake-punt pass fell incomplete at the Hurricane 40.

Quarterback Weston Black hit Ethan Boyles on a nice sliding catch for 20-yard on third and five on Easley’s first possession, but the drive stalled, and Malaki Aleman tried a 28-yard field goal. Former Green Wave Anthony Goodwin was credited with the block, and the Wren standout recovered the ball and returned it 23 yards to the 27.

“It was frustrating,” Easley coach John Windham said. “We should have gotten points on the board there, we felt like. Looked like the guy came over in the A gap and blocked it. That was disappointing that we couldn’t get on the board there.”

Making matters worse for Easley, the next time the offense stepped on the field the Green Wave already trailed 14-0 thanks to penalties, third-down mistakes and special team miscues.

Safety Chase Turmon had a tackle for a three-yard loss on Wren’s next possession, but the Wave were hit with a personal foul penalty. Then, on third and 12 at the 41, quarterback Tyrell Jackson found Noah Black for 21. The first

score came on third and 12, as Jackson hit Luke Bryant all alone on the left side.

“Third and really extra long, but that is something that we’ve got to get corrected,” Windham said. “We’ve got to find a way to get off the field,

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Liberty finds success on offense for win against St. Joseph’s

By Clay Counts
Special to The Courier

LIBERTY — After struggling through a hard-fought loss against county rival Pickens, the Liberty Red Devils turned their focus to ironing out a few kinks ahead of another non-region tune-up game last Friday against the St. Joseph Knights.

With one last non-region battle planned this week before the heart of the schedule begins with region play, the Devils showed their progression from previous weeks against St. Joseph’s Friday night, putting together their most balanced and sharp game for a 32-16 win.

St. Joseph’s received the opening kick and drove the ball quickly down the field to gain an early 7-0 lead on the Red Devils.

The Knights’ run game appeared to be a struggle for Liberty early on, but quick adjustments by the coaching staff kept St. Joseph’s at bay most of the game.

Not to be outdone, the Red Devil offense brought out its most balanced attack of the season on its opening drive, rushing for 57 yards and going 4-for-4 through the air, with the final Carter Smith pass to Jeremy Cason ending in a six-yard touchdown. An unsuccessful two-point conversion attempt left Liberty down 7-6 with 2:10 remaining in the first quarter.

In a quick turn of events, the opening play of the Knights’ following drive was intercepted by Liberty’s Dale Gantt and returned all the way to the 1-yard line.

Clay Lollis, who led the team with 78 yards on 22 totes, punched in a touchdown on the following play to give Liberty a 12-7 lead.

The second quarter started with a successful drive for St. Joseph’s, ending with a 24-yard K.D. Boyd touchdown run. The PAT put the Knights ahead 14-12.

The following drive for Liberty showed some hope, but quickly stalled, forcing a punt.

St. Joseph’s took over with good field position at its own 46-yard line. The drive stalled after a third-down tackle for loss by Liberty senior Jack Brissey. The Knights attempted to convert on fourth down, but were stopped behind the line of scrimmage in a joint effort from Brissey and Hunter Powell.

With the ball on their own 41-yard line with only 37 seconds until halftime, the Red Devils pass game led by Smith drove the field, finding the end zone on another six-yard

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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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‘Just try us’

Tigers’ secondary remains confident after shaky game

By Alex Maminakis
Courtesy The Journal

CLEMSON — It’s not often that Clemson’s defense gets gashed for 500 yards.

But Texas A&M and quarterback Kellen Mond raided the second-ranked Tigers through the air on Saturday at Kyle Field, racking up 430 passing yards and 501 total.

Most importantly for the Tigers (2-0), they were able to hold off the Aggies and escape Texas with a 28-26 win, but Clemson recognized its defense didn’t live up to its standard last weekend against a tough test.

“We didn’t finish on defense. We have to play four quarters,” Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said Sunday on his weekly teleconference. “There were a lot of positives, but I was really disappointed with the 430 yards passing, and most of that comes in the

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