Our weekly dose of pseudo-knowledge was delayed this week due to the think-knower coaching travel baseball all weekend and a busy Monday highlighted by the annual RBC Heritage Presented By Boeing Media Day and a bunch of great basketball playoff games, but we’ve finally had time to digest what has happened over the past few days and pull it together to bring you “Five Things I Think I Know” presented by Coligny.
It’s heartbreak season.
One of the unfortunate truths of the sports world is that almost everyone loses their last game of the season, which for many athletes ends up being the last game of their career. Only a handful of teams get to end their season with a celebration, and even those who are rejoicing now are likely to be reduced to tears before it’s all over. Ironically, the deeper teams go, the more it seems to hurt when the inevitable end comes. The proximity to achieving the ultimate goal of a state championship seems to enhance the sting of falling short, and the finality is especially harsh for seniors, who at the least are playing their last high school game, if not the last truly competitive game of their lives (sorry, rec sports weekend warriors, but it isn’t the same).
Seabrook is swelling with pride.
I travel all over the Lowco to watch games, and I see how each fanbase reacts to the game stories we post on social media, and let me tell you, nobody loves their teams more than Warrior Nation. Whale Branch has plenty to proud of right now, as the boys basketball team is one win away from playing in the Class 2A state championship game, the girls came up one point short of making the same trip to Florence for the Lower State finals and will have the bulk of their top players back next season, and Whale Branch is sending two wrestlers to the state tournament. Expect a sea of purple and gold at the Florence Center on Saturday, and if Nick Pringle, Shawn Chisolm, and the rest of the cast can get the job done there, Warrior Nation will be in Columbia the following weekend.
Wrestling is on the rise in the Lowco.
As a wrestling fan and someone who is personally trying to help grow the sport here, this weekend was pretty special. Bluffton was the epicenter for wrestling in the Lower State, with both the Class 4A and Class 3A Lower State qualifiers held here Friday and Saturday. And the Lowco squads made an impressive showing, sending a total of 28 wrestlers to the state championships from those two qualifiers, along with the two Whale Branch wrestlers bound for Anderson this weekend. May River alone is sending a dirty dozen to state. And with youth programs now going strong in every part of the county — with more to come — the future of wrestling in this area is bright.
CT Pan is a class act, and so is his wife.
In my 15 years covering sports in the Lowcountry, I’ve seen many RBC Heritage Presented By Boeing champions come and go. Some skate through their year as defending champs while doing the bare minimum, but others go all out to help the tournament. Few have been more accommodating than Pan, who was on hand Monday for Media Day with his lovely wife, Michelle, along for the ride. Michelle had never been to Harbour Town — she stayed back to run the couple’s first AJGA event in Houston the week her husband won his first PGA Tour title — but you get the feeling they’ll be regular visitors and great ambassadors for years to come.
I like the Lowco’s chances of crowning at least one state champion this weekend.
This might seem a bold claim on the surface, but it really isn’t. Hilton Head Christian Academy’s girls haven’t truly been challenged in months, and I don’t see that changing in Thursday’s semifinals for Saturday’s championship game. If the Eagles should somehow falter, I also like Beaufort Academy’s chances of claiming a SCISA 1A title. And if all goes well, they’ll both return from Sumter with some serious hardware Saturday afternoon.
That’s all I think I know for now. Until next time, #GoLOWCO!