Sports briefs for July 6th-12th

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Welty, two teammates named to PBC team

Francis Marion University senior outfielder Briana Barzola, sophomore shortstop Taylor Johnson, and sophomore catcher Chelsea Welty were named to the 2017 Peach Belt Conference All-Academic Softball Team in the spring. Welty is a Beaufort High School graduate. 

Barzola had a 3.89 cumulative grade point average as a general management and marketing double major at the time she was honored in the spring and earned the conference honor for the third consecutive year. Johnson is a political science major with a history minor and owned a 3.63 GPA, while Welty is a biology and psychology double major and boasted a 3.93 GPA in the spring.

Welty is a graduate of Beaufort High School, where she played for coach Brian Rast. She was a 2015 All-Area selection after batting .417 with six home runs, three doubles and four triples.

The Francis Marion softball team competes in the Peach Belt Conference, along with North Georgia, Armstrong State, Flagler, Young Harris, Georgia College, Columbus State, Montevallo, Lander, USC Aiken, Georgia Southwestern, UNC Pembroke and Augusta. 


Simmons in nine meets during sophomore season

Beaufort High School graduate Malcolm Simmons completed his sophomore season with the Coastal Carolina University men’s track and field team recently. Simmons appeared in nine meets for the Chanticleers during the 2017 season. 

The Beaufort High School graduate opened the 2017 college track and field season strong, finishing first as part of the 4×400 meter relay team at the Battle of the Beaches XII with a time of 3:16.77. He set personal-best and season-best times in the 200-meter event at the War Eagle Invitational with a 22.40. Simmons ran a 50.00 in the 400 meter event at the Tom Jones Memorial for personal-best and season best times.

Simmons appeared in eight meets for the Chanticleers during the 2016 season, his freshman campaign. He finished sixth in the 200-meter event at the Big South Triangular, crossing the finish line in 22.60. The Beaufort High School product ran a season-best 50.25 in the 400-meter event at the Georgia Invitational.

Simmons excelled as a track and field athlete throughout his prep career at Beaufort High School. 


Fickes headed into senior season at Clemson

Beaufort High School graduate Josh Fickes is headed into his senior season with the Clemson University men’s golf team. 

Fickes is a three-year letterman who has been a starter off and on for three years, including the fall of 2016. Prior to the spring 2017 season, Fickes had a 74.42 career average with two top 10s.

Fickes was a starter as Clemson’s number-five man in the first four tournaments of the fall. He finished with a 75.17 stroke average for his 12 rounds. Fickes shot 75 or better in seven of the 12 rounds and had one under-par round.

Prior to coming to Clemson University, the talented Fickes won the South Carolina Golf Association Junior Championship at the Country Club of Lexington when he made a 10-foot  birdie putt on the last hole. He shot a six-under-par 210 for the event and also tied for third at the Carolinas Junior at High Point and was a quarterfinalist at the Carolinas Golf Association Junior Match Play. 

Fickes teamed with another junior golfer to win the South Carolina Junior Golf Association Four Ball  in October of 2013 when he made a birdie on the second playoff hole. 

He also qualified for the Georgia vs. South Carolina Junior Team Matches and was ranked sixth in the class of 2014 by the South Carolina Junior Golf Association. Fickes finished fifth at the 2013 Jimmy Self Tournament in Greenwood and was 19th at the Junior Azalea at Briar Creek.


Delaney fills Canes’ needs for a cornerback

Whale Branch Early College High School graduate Dee Delaney is now a Miami Hurricane. Delaney has been settling in at Miami University as a graduate student. 

Delaney is eligible to play immediately as a graduate transfer from The Citadel, where he was named FCS All-American each of the last two seasons. As a senior in 2016, Delaney recorded 35 tackles, six interceptions and eight pass breakups. He also helped The Citadel win back-to-back Southern Conference championships in 2015-16.

A native of Beaufort, Delaney started the final 36 games of his career at The Citadel, cementing himself as one of the best defensive backs in school history. Delaney ranks second in career interceptions with 13 and fourth in passes defended (32).

The 6-foot-1, 193-pound Delaney also showed a knack for stepping up in big moments, picking off passes on back-to-back defensive plays against Wofford in the second round of the FCS playoffs. He also had a two-interception performance against Furman in 2016.

Delaney received multiple All-America honors in his time at The Citadel, earning first-team All-America by six outlets, including Walter Camp, Athlon and the Associated Press. He was a near-consensus All-American in the preseason and in 2015 and was the first Bulldog in program history to earn Walter Camp All-America honors twice.


Y Youth Flag Football registration underway

The YMCA of Beaufort County is hosting registration for its flag football league, which is to players ages 4-12. The league will open the week of Aug. 28. 

For more information on the youth flag football league, contact YMCA of Beaufort County Sports Director James Penley at or at 843-522-9622. 

Registration is available online at or at the YMCA of Beaufort County in Port Royal.


New size, bag limits for flounder started

Legislation recently passed by the South Carolina General Assembly  increases the size limit and lowers the bag and boat limits for southern, summer and Gulf flounder in state waters.

The law went into effect on July 1.

Flounder rank among South Carolina’s top three most popular fish for recreational anglers, and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) research has shown declines in their numbers over the past two decades. The new measures are intended to help rebuild flounder populations by giving more fish a chance to reproduce before they reach a harvestable size.

The regulations change the minimum legal size for flounder from 14 inches (total length) to 15 inches (total length). Additionally, changes to the bag limit will reduce the number of fish an individual can keep from 15 flounder per day to 10 flounder per day, with a maximum boat limit of 20 flounder per day.

“The Coastal Conservation Association came to SCDNR a couple of years ago with concerns about the state’s flounder population – just as SCDNR scientists were examining survey data that indicated the flounder population was in decline,” said David Whitaker, assistant deputy director of the agency’s Marine Resources Division. “We’ve been working since then to develop recommendations for the legislature to address the decline in the state’s flounder population.”

The changes passed in the 2017 legislative season mark the first adjustments to flounder regulations since 2007.

“The new size and bag limits should be effective in increasing the number of spawning flounder, and hopefully that should result in a recovery of the flounder population,” Whitaker said.

Club meeting to be held July 13

The Beaufort Sportfishing and Diving Club’s July meeting will be held on Thursday, July 13, at the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club on Lady’s Island off of Meridian Road. The social begins at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting will begin at 7 p.m.  

The topic will be king fish. Local Capt. Chris Prince of Cool Cat Sportfishing Charters will discuss techniques about hooking and landing “smoker” king fish.

President Leonard Conapinski’s taste of smoked mackerel has been postponed for a future meeting.

In related news, Paul Spencer won the monthly $50 weigh-in drawing sponsored by Chris Butler at Butler Marine.

Guests are welcome at the meeting and do not need a reservation. Contact Capt. Frank Gibson at 843-522-2122.