It’s Monday morning, which means there’s a whole weekend of sports news to digest and another big week ahead. Welcome to the maiden voyage of the Lowco Lowdown, your weekly glance at the local sports news you need to know to start your week. Here are the hottest local sports topics for the week of July 31:
1. The Dixie World Series (x2) is coming back to Bluffton. The Dixie Boys and Dixie Junior Boys tournaments get underway at 1 p.m. Saturday at Oscar Frazier Park and M.C. Riley Sports Complex, and let me tell you, they’ll play some good baseball. The first time Bluffton hosted the Dixie Junior Boys World Series in 2008, we were treated to the spectacle of a young man from Mississippi named Anthony Alford. It was apparent that Alford would be a big-time athlete later in life, and he is – he went on to play football at Southern Miss and is one of the top prospects in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Don’t miss the next Anthony Alford playing in your backyard.
2. High school football teams across the state started practice last week, beginning the furious three-week preparation period before the season kicks off Aug. 18. LowcoSports.com will have season previews for all 12 area teams rolling out starting this week.
3. Speaking of football, the inaugural Keith Brooking Kids & Pros clinic was a huge success last weekend. More than 150 local kids turned out for the free clinic and had a chance to work with former NFL stars, including Brooking, to learn football fundamentals and life skills. Two things that stood out about the camp were the focus on character traits and the hour-long parent information session addressing safety concerns. All in all, it was one of the most complete and best-organized camps I’ve seen.
4. And shifting to fútbol, we’ll have a story later this week on four local soccer stars who will be training with Atlanta United FC’s development academy for the next year. Hilton Head Island native James Brighton just wrapped up an incredibly successful year with the club’s U-16 team, winning a national championship, and his fellow Storm Soccer Academy alums Alan Leyva, Juan Zuniga, and Mikey Chappelear are joining the club this season.
5. In other soccer new, the USCB women’s soccer team reports for preseason training Tuesday, three weeks before opening the season at home against Life University on Aug. 22. The Sand Sharks are coming off the best season in the program’s six-year history and have an exciting mix of returning stars and talented newcomers. Residents of Beaufort and Jasper counties can join the Sand Shark Club at the new Lowcountry Level for just $40 and get season tickets to all USCB home sporting events.
Also on the radar: Bluffton’s Gus Dean notched his 10th straight top-10 finish on the ARCA circuit … Bluffton’s Bryson Nimmer tees it up at the Western Amateur starting Tuesday … Battery Creek hires former minor-leaguer to coach baseball team.