The weekly televised high school football games on WMMP-TV, previously titled "Thursday Night Lights," will continue in 2014, but with a twist. The network will move to Friday night broadcasts this fall.
The scheduled list of games will begin on Aug. 22 with James Island playing at Hanahan in a week zero regular-season contest. The following week has Beaufort at Colleton County. There will be no broadcasted games on Sept. 5 and Oct. 24th.
The highlighted games to be televised this fall include Goose Creek at Fort Dorchester (Sept. 19), Berkeley at Timberland (Sept. 26), Stratford at Summerville (Oct. 3) and Summerville at Ashley Ridge (Oct. 31).
Rounding out the schedule are Porter-Gaud at Bishop England (Sept. 12), Wando at West Ashley (Oct. 10), Burke at St. John's (Oct. 17), and Wando at James Island (Nov. 7).
Former West Ashley High placekicker and girls' soccer player Caroline Cashion is the recipient of the 2014 Andy Stone Scholarship Award, given annually to a male and female member of US Soccer Region 3, which encompasses nine states. The award is named for Andy Stone, former Region 3 Director, who passed away suddenly in 1998.
Cashion is a six-year starter for the South Carolina United Mount Pleasant 95 Elite team, which won state titles in 2012 and 2013. She also is a four-year member of the South Carolina Olympic Development Team.
Cashion ranked in the top 10 percent of her graduating class at West Ashley, sporting a 4.5 grade-point-average. She is attending The Citadel this fall as a member of the women's soccer program.
While most of the attention in August focuses on the start of the prep football season, the Lowcountry also is home to some of the top high school volleyball programs in the Palmetto State. In 2014, several area teams will once again contend for state championships in their respective classifications.
Porter-Gaud enters this season seeking a fourth consecutive SCISA class AAA state championship. Second-year coach Megan Parkerson did not have a senior on last year's winning team and returns a loaded lineup led by junior middle Gracie Mogul (360 kills in 2013), senior setter Tanner Renken (607 assists) and senior defensive specialist Marla Sagatelian (233 digs, 205 assists).
Junior outside hitter Maggie Cochrane (242 kills) and senior middle Chelsea McKelvey (145 kills, 41 blocks) also return.
Wando, 48-6 and Class AAAA Lower State champion last season, is set to make another championship run under the state's winningest coach, Alexis Glover. The Warriors return seniors Samantha DeJong and Elisa Aldrich at the net. The pair combined for more than 500 kills and nearly 300 blocks last season.
Also back are seniors Daley Gosnell (240 kills, 277 digs), Megan Morris (541 digs) and Maggie Marsh (101 assists).
Bishop England enters 2014 seeking its 15th consecutive class AA state championship. The Bishops have won a national record 24 state titles in volleyball.
Coach Cindy Baggott has coached the last seven state title teams and is looking at replacing eight graduating seniors from last year's roster. Juniors Montana Swanson and Ashley Brazzell are the only returning starters this fall, and Baggott will not have a senior on this year's roster.
"We are very young but we are athletic," says the coach. "This year will be a challenge but I like this group. A lot of young players will have to step up in bigger roles, but they are excited and ready to give their best effort."
First Baptist, coached by Cole Dawley, will make a strong run at the SCISA AAA title this fall. The Hurricanes are led by senior outside McKala Rhodes, widely considered one of the best all-around players in SCISA. Veterans Emily Peters, Mary Alvanos and Olivia LaRoche also return.
Ashley Hall, a state finalist in SCISA for 16 consecutive seasons, returns two key seniors in Lauren Percy (280 kills, 383 digs) and Rosie Alterman (559 digs). Juniors Bel Thompson (138 kills, 173 blocks) and Amelia Parker also return from last year's state runner-up team.
Many of the area's top programs will be on display in the Porter-Gaud Invitational tournament, set for Aug. 29-30.