Sports briefs for August 17th-23rd

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Photo above by Bob Sofaly.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL 

Following are the 2017 football schedules for Whale Branch Early College High School and Battery Creek High School.

Whale Branch

Aug. 25: Hilton Head Island
Sept. 1: May River
Sept. 8: Beaufort High
Sept. 15: @ Battery Creek
Sept. 22: @ Bluffton
Sept. 29: @ Woodland
Oct. 6: North Charleston
Oct. 13: @ Academic Magnet
Oct. 20: Garrett Academy Tech
Oct. 27: @ Burke

Battery Creek

Aug. 18: Swansea
Aug. 25: @ Beaufort
Sept. 1: @ Hilton Head
Sept. 8: @ Charleston Math & Science
Sept. 15: Whale Branch
Sept. 22: Calhoun County
Sept. 29: @ Wade Hampton
Oct. 6: Bluffton
Oct. 13: @ Ridgeland/Hardeeville
Oct. 20: May River

Smalls back on field after battling injuries

Whale Branch Early College High School quarterback Marion Smalls is back on the field after suffering a pair of injuries during the 2016 season.

The Warriors, under the direction of veteran head coach Jerry Hatcher, compiled a 7-5 record in 2016. Whale Branch lost to Carvers Bay in the second round of the 2016 Class 2A State Playoffs. 

The Warriors compete in Region 6 of Class 2A. 

Hatcher will carry a 34-31 overall record into the latest campaign. The Whale Branch will look to add to his win total when the Warriors take the field for their season opener. 

Along with Smalls, Whale Branch returns Irvin Mulligan (RB), Jamel Moultrie (WR), Anthony McVay (OL), Carus Epps (OL), CJ Brown (DB), Jaheem Hazel (DB) and Jordan Reeves (DB). Mulligan thrived throughout the 2016 season, rushing for 1,678 yards and 26 touchdowns as a sophomore. 

Whale Branch is set to host longtime rival Hilton Head Island for its season opener on Aug. 25. Additional opponents for Whale Branch during the 2017 season will include May River, Beaufort, Battery Creek, Bluffton, Woodland, North Charleston and Garrett Academy Tech. 

The Warriors have made strides throughout the preseason. However, heading into its season opener, Whale Branch features a small roster of only 20-plus players. 

Whale Branch is a former region champion. The Warriors’ 2017 schedule features other games versus May River, Beaufort High, Battery Creek, Bluffton, Woodland, North Charleston, Garrett Academy Tech and Burke. 

GOLF

Greg Jones wins South Carolina Amateur

Former Clemson All-American and 2003 National Champion team starter Gregg Jones won the South Carolina Amateur at Florence Country Club on Sunday, Aug. 6. Jones joined a select group to win the South Carolina Junior Amateur and the South Carolina Amateur. 

Jones was tied for the lead entering the final round, then shot his worst round of the week (71), but came away with a two-shot victory as the golfers found the Florence Country Club course to be challenging in the final round.

Jones played the front nine at one-over-par and slipped out of the lead, but came back with couple of key birdies on the back nine to win by two shots over Ryan Marter of Columbia and R.J. Keur of Charleston.

Jones, who was playing at his home course, turned in rounds of 69-67-65-71 for a 272 total, eight-under-par on the par 70 course. An All-American in 2002 and an All-ACC selection in 2002, 2003 and 2004, Jones finished 35th at the 2003 NCAA Championship, helping Larry Penley’s program to its first national title.

With Jones’s victory, 17 former or current Clemson golfers have won the South Carolina Amateur dating to 1975 when Parker Moore was the champion. Carson Young, a senior on the 2017 Clemson team, won the title in 2013 and 2016.

Two current Clemson players competed in the tournament this weekend. Coleman Self finished 23rd with a 284 score after rounds of 70-74-70-70, while Josh Fickes was 52nd with a 293 total after rounds of 71-71-74-75. Fickes is a Beaufort native.

COLLEGE SPORTS

USC fan appreciation day set for Aug. 19

University of South Carolina fans are invited to Colonial Life Arena on Saturday, Aug. 19 for the annual Colonial Life Fan Appreciation Day.

Coaches and student-athletes from the Gamecocks’ football, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, equestrian, cross country and men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams will be on hand to sign autographs for this free event. 

Doors will open to the public at 1:30 p.m. with the football team scheduled to arrive at 2 p.m. and sign until 3:30 p.m.

Only the main entrance to CLA will be available for the public to enter. Parking will be available in the lots adjacent to Colonial Life Arena.

Due to our commitment to NCAA compliance, student-athletes will only sign the official South Carolina Athletics team poster or autograph card that will be provided at the event free of charge. Fans should not bring or ask student-athletes to sign other items. Bag checks will occur at the arena entrance and fans will not be allowed to bring in other memorabilia.

With a large crowd expected and a limited amount of time available, it is highly unlikely that fans will be able to receive an autograph of every student-athlete in attendance.