The Woodland boys track team will not compete Saturday in Bishop England’s Father Kelly Classic, but the Wolverines and Bishops are on a collision course.
The teams will battle April 24 for the Region 6-AA championship at Woodland, and don’t be surprised if Woodland and BE finish 1-2 at the state meet May 11.
“We’re on break and a lot of kids are out of town this weekend,” Woodland coach Harris Cabaniss said. “There’s no point to take just a few athletes over to Bishop England, unfortunately.”
The Wolverines are loaded with some of the state’s top performers — most of them seniors — and Cabaniss knows there’s pressure to win the state title.
“If I can’t do something with this group, I might want to resign,” said Cabaniss.
An Upstate native who played football and graduated from Newberry in 2011, Cabaniss was hired as an assistant football coach at Woodland. Soon after, he was hired to fill the open track coaching position. He said BE track coach Tony Colizzi helped him make the transition to coaching track.
“He really helped me out,” Cabaniss said. “If I had a question, he was the first person I called.”
Bishop England won the Class AA state title last year with 99 points, while Woodland was fourth (47½).
The Wolverines have elite hurdler Christopher Gaddist, who has top times of 14.72 seconds in the 110-meter high hurdles and 55.70 in the 400 low hurdles. He won the 400 hurdles at state last year and was third in the high hurdles.
“A guy like him comes around only once every 20 years,” said Cabaniss.
Jhuadon Chandler has already cleared 6 feet, 9 inches in the high jump.
“He believes he can jump 7-2, and so do I,” Cabaniss said. “He keeps going up and up in practice. He wants to set the state record.”
The Wolverines might be the deepest in the long jump. Rameak Smith has the best jump in the Lowcountry at 22-7, and Michael Wamer is right behind at 22-0. Wamer also will contend for the state triple jump crown.
Both athletes will play college football — Wamer at S.C. State; Smith at Georgia State.
LaQuan White finished eighth in the state last year in the long jump, but is currently third on the team behind Smith and Wamer.
The Wolverines should also score points at state in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
The High School League’s lacrosse playoffs got under way Tuesday and will continue with the second round Thursday.
The Upper and Lower State championships are next Tuesday and the state championships are April 13 at White Knoll High School. The girls championship is at 11 a.m.; the boys at 1:30 p.m.
Four area boys teams qualified and two remain in the playoff hunt: defending state champion Wando, the No. 1 seed, and Academic Magnet, a No. 6 seed. Four area girls teams qualified, including No. 1 seed Wando and No. 2 seed Bishop England.
Baseball coaches are asked to email hitting and pitching statistics to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is noon Thursday.
Follow Philip M. Bowman on Twitter: @PandCPhil.