BOWMAN COLUMN: Academic Magnet-Bishops soccer rivalry heating up
The Academic Magnet boys soccer team made the transition from Class A to Class AA last spring and reached the Class AA Lower State championship.
Academic Magnet, in its 16th season of play, has beefed up its schedule in an attempt to win an elusive state title.
The Raptors played state power Irmo in a scrimmage and beat Chapin in the Lake Murray Classic. They lost to SCISA state power Cardinal Newman, but upset Fort Dorchester, 4-2, last week. The Patriots feature future USC players Wes Eads and Devin L'Amoreaux.
"That was a game that was added late in our scheduling process," Academic Magnet coach Jason Hamil said. "Going in, we thought it could go either way, but we had everything working. That's the best overall game we had this year."
The Raptors still have two games left with Bishop England and also play Stratford (Ga.) Academy.
"Stratford Academy is coming up to play Bishop England, Wando and us," Hamil said. "That tells you something about their team."
The Raptors, 5-1 on the season, have developed a good rivalry with the Bishops in girls and boys soccer.
The Bishop boys topped Academic Magnet, 1-0, en route to a state title, and the Raptors girls team knocked the Bishops from the playoffs for the second straight year. The Bishop girls had won nine straight state titles. Academic Magnet won the girls state title last spring.
"To have a true rivalry, we have to break that ice against Bishop England," Hamil said. "I like playing Bishop England and all that, but to make a breakthrough, we have to beat them in the regular season or especially in the playoffs."
Marion tabbed coach
West Ashley's Bobby Marion was named the coach of the Class AAAA-A South team that will compete in the North-South Softball All-Star Games that will be held June 12-14 at USC Aiken.
Marion has coached softball since 1991.
He is in his fifth season at West Ashley after serving as assistant head coach and head junior varsity coach at Stratford High.
At Stratford, he was an assistant for a program that won 11 region championships and appeared in three state championship series, winning one.
His JV team at Stratford didn't lose a game in his final three years at the school.
Two Bishop England student-athletes committed to play sports in college.
Volleyball player Katherine Westbrook committed to play for Emerson College in Boston. She was an outside hitter for the Bishops' state championship team.
Right-handed pitcher Shawn Singletary committed to play for Brunswick Community College, which is located in Leland, N.C. He was an all- region selection as a junior.
Follow Phil Bowman on Twitter at @pandcphil.