It’s Monday morning, and that means it’s time for the Lowco Lowdown — your weekly refresher on the local sports stories everyone should be talking about.
• A handful of Lowcountry ballers are still chasing the NFL dream. This past weekend was a big one for players on the NFL roster bubble, as the deadline for teams to cut their rosters to 53 players came and went. Former Hilton Head High star Poona Ford once again defied conventional wisdom (he’s *too short,* y’know) by making the Seattle Seahawks’ 53-man roster as an undrafted free agent after being one of the most productive rookies in the league in the preseason. Former Beaufort High standout Ron Parker was cut by the Atlanta Falcons but landed back in Kansas City, where he was a key contributor on the Chiefs’ defense the past five seasons. Whale Branch alum Dee Delaney was cut in Jacksonville but signed to the Jaguars’ practice squad, which is as close as you can get to a minor league for the NFL and a great path to a future roster spot.
• Four area high school football teams are still undefeated. Beaufort High, May River, and Thomas Heyward all beat fellow unbeatens on Friday, and Hilton Head High pulled away from Battery Creek to stay undefeated. Three of the four again face fellow undefeated teams this week, as May River travels to Hilton Head High and Beaufort High hosts Wayne County (Ga.), coached by former Bluffton coach Ken Cribb. And while it didn’t involve an undefeated team, John Paul II’s tie/win by forfeit (depending on whom you ask) got a lot of buzz this weekend and raises some interesting questions that might make for good water-cooler fodder.
• The Sharks are #PlayingForMichael. By now you surely have heard the heartbreaking story of Michael Mugrage, the 16-year-old former May River High School student who died last week after a 10-month battle with cancer. The Sharks have honored Michael in various ways thus far this season and are dedicating their season to him. These are the stories that put sports in perspective — there’s so much more to life than these games — but also display the powerful role sports can play in bringing people together as a community and family.
• Beaufort High pitcher Paul Winland commits to Missouri. OK, this probably isn’t huge news to most of y’all, but as a Mizzou graduate with a son named Truman (also our mascot’s name) it’s a big deal to me. And it is a big deal for Beaufort High and Loco Baseball Academy, with whom Winland plays travel ball, to have a player commit to an SEC program.
• USCB women’s soccer is on a three-game winning streak. The Sand Sharks’ women’s soccer team doesn’t get a whole lot of attention, thanks in large part to sharing a season with football, the king of the Southern sports scene, but the team’s start to the season is worth a look. After opening with a loss at NCAA Division I USC Upstate, the Sand Sharks have won three straight games, including their first win in four tries against Brenau (Ga.) on Sunday. Sophomore Hannah Salus scored both goals in Sunday’s 2-0 win and has five goals during the three-game winning streak.
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