Match PointA look at tennis and high school sports in southern Beaufort County.
A pair of junior tennis players on Hilton Head Island have captured USTA awards this year, the association announced in a press release today.
Hampton Drake of Hilton Head Christian Academy was the headliner, as the Eagles captured the 2012 USTA S.C. Junior Boy Player of the Year Award. Drake has put together an impressive 105-34 career record and is currently ranked No. 1 in-state and No. 4 in the Southern Section. The release says he has a 14-5 record at the USTA National Championships.
Bluffton ran through the first half of its schedule with ease to the surprise of virtually no one. Now comes the real test.
The Bobcats are preparing for their first Class 4-A bout Friday night against Beaufort High, a game coach Ken Cribb calls the true measuring stick so far for his football program. A win would give Bluffton — which is already presumed the favorite in what has been a down year in Region 8-AAAA — an early advantage in league play.
Word on the streets of Beaufort County is there is a little bit of bad blood between the Hilton Head Island High and Bluffton high school football teams nowadays.
Maybe it has something to do with Bluffton pounding the Seahawks last Friday night. Whatever it was, it got Hilton Head High riled up enough to go to the school district earlier this week with some complaints.
We’ve finally reached the big game.
Hilton Head Island High and Bluffton High will line it up once again Friday night in the annual Bridge Bowl. Both teams have started with some success, thanks in part to a pair of pretty successful offenses.
But the question on the minds of those in Beaufort County is a pretty simple one, and it has nothing to do with new coaches, new regions, past results or anything else.
Will Hilton Head High finally give its cross-town rivals a game?
Championships have been rolling in of late for the Smith Stearns Tennis Academy.
Headlining the winners was Hilton Head Christian Academy standout Hampton Drake, who transitioned into the boys 18 and under division in style at his first Bullfrog USTA Southern Section Designated from Sept. 7-10 in Memphis, Tenn.
The Eagle claimed the title in the 18's after defeating Christian Garay 7-5, 1-6, 6-2 in the semifinals before taking down Will Showers in the championship match. Drake claimed the first set 6-0 before Showers retired with an injury.
It’s been smooth sailing so far for the Bluffton High School football team, which has won each of its first three games of the season by a whopping 152-8 margin. I know, shocking, right?
And while the same can’t be said for Hilton Head Island High, the Seahawks still managed to get past a frustrating season opening loss to Whale Branch by routing area foe Ridgeland-Hardeeville, 54-12, last week.
It seems like whenever anyone wants to talk about Bluffton's 2012 football team, one of the prerequisites for conversation is bringing up the Bobcats' move from Class 3-A to Class 4-A.
Coach Ken Cribb's team will get its first taste of that level tomorrow night at Bobcat Stadium. The only difference, though, is their opponent doesn't hail from South Carolina.
Bluffton (2-0) welcomes South Effingham, a Class 4-A program from Georgia which begins the season with its own share of high expectations. The Bobcats, meanwhile, are gunning for their third consecutive 3-0 start to the season.
Bluffton's impressive run over the last two-plus seasons has naturally made the Bobcats the focal point of football in the Lowcountry. But coach Ken Cribb's team will have to take a backseat this week, because the B.J. Payne era is about to begin at Hilton Head Island High School.
Payne, who was hired in January to replace Tim Singleton, will make his debut as coach of the Seahawks Friday night against Whale Branch Early College High School. Kick-off is set for 7:30 at Hilton Head Island Community Stadium.
The Hilton Head Beach and Tennis Land Sharks, as the name suggests, play most of their tennis near the coast.
But now the team moving inland.
One of the club's 14-and-under teams captured the state championship in the intermediate division at the USTA SC Jr. Team Tennis State Championships this past weekend in Florence. The title means the Land Sharks advance to the Southern Section Championships in Auburn, Ala., which will be held Aug. 17-19.
Nick Bautista’s high school career may be over, but that hasn’t stopped the honors from pouring in for the Hilton Head Island High lacrosse standout.
The Seahawks’ star has been selected to the Champion All-American Showcase, a U.S. Lacrosse event as part of the ESPNHS Games. The showcase features 96 of the country’s best seniors, who will play in a four-team format over three days at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.