Hope everyone got their fill of turkey and football, because a new day has dawned. Basketball and wrestling season are upon us.
We’ve still got a little football knowledge to impart, but for the most part, we’re locked into winter sports mode right now, trying to be quick studies on the area’s hoops and grappling squads.
Here are “Five Things I Think I Know” presented by Coligny:
• May River belongs with the big boys.
It’s going to hurt for a while, especially this weekend when two other teams are playing for the Class 3A state championship in Columbia, but when the sting begins to subside the Sharks will know they have arrived. Last year was a magical ride, but there was no assurance it would happen again. May River’s performance this season, especially in the playoffs, shows that program is built to contend for as long as that coaching staff is intact. If not for a couple of early miscues that led to 14 Dillon points in a 35-28 home loss Friday, the Sharks might have been the ones playing at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday. They’re likely moving to Class 4A next season, but I expect the Sharks will still be playing deep into November.
• The Jaguars don’t rebuild; they reload.
You’re going to be hearing that a lot, because despite losing four starters, a couple key role players, and a legendary coach, Ridgeland-Hardeeville’s boys basketball team looks like it has a chance to be pretty darn good again. The nucleus of players who led the Jaguars to back-to-back trips to the state finals was decimated by graduation, and longtime coach Jeremiah Faber stepped down this fall, but RHHS has picked up where it left off by winning the Earl Campbell Preseason Tournament with an impressive win over a good Whale Branch team.
• Melik Frost is a national treasure.
From the first time I met Melik, I knew he was a special kid. His John Paul II football team had just won a wild game at Hilton Head Prep, and Melik walked up and introduced himself. He didn’t want anything, he just wanted to say hi and thank me for being there. I figured while we there we might as well do an interview, and it was sharp and insightful. I’ve been a fan ever since. So I’ll be waiting anxiously for noon Wednesday to hear the names of the national winners of the Heisman High School Scholarship. Melik is one of six male finalists, and it’s hard to imagine anyone more deserving.
• HHCA’s girls are going to be tough to beat.
The Eagles have to be the favorite to repeat as SCISA 2A champs, thanks to one of the best inside-outside duos you’ll find in the area. Brielle McCarthy is the quintessential high school point guard who can create for herself or dish to others and plays lockdown defense on the perimeter, and Jasmine Campbell is an absolute monster, as evidenced by her 20 points and 25 rebounds in a win at Hammond last week. The Eagles only lost three games last year. I’ll take the under this time around.
• It’s going to be a great weekend for wrestling at May River High School.
Most of the area’s high school teams will be in action Friday and Saturday at the May River Invitational, which will include 20 teams from throughout the Lowcountry and into Georgia. Then, the Lowcountry Wrestling Club will host the inaugural Rumble on the River youth tournament on Sunday. (Full disclosure: I’m the co-founder of the Lowcountry Wrestling Club.) So if you’re a wrestling fan, or just wrestling-curious, come out and see what it’s all about and support local wrestling.
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