The Hanahan boys track and field team has a couple of tuneups this week and then it's time to defend its Class AA state championship.
The Hawks will compete in today's Berkeley County meet at Cane Bay High School. On Saturday, the Hawks return to Cane Bay to compete in the Moe's Invitational. Standout Chris Brown will skip Saturday's meet because he signed to play football for Notre Dame and will be in South Bend, Ind., for the spring game.
The Hawks begin defense of their title April 25 in the Region 6-AA meet at Bishop England.
“We scored 107 points to win state, and lost 67 (of those points) to graduation,” Han-ahan coach Dave Pratt said. “We still have some great people, but we lost a lot of talent.”
Brown was the star of the show at last spring's state meet. He recorded the best long jump in the state in 2011 with a leap of 23 feet, 9 inches. After finishing second in the 200, he leaped 50-8 on his first attempt in the triple jump. On his third jump, he went 51-2½, giving him the nation's two best triple jumps for the spring season.
“He's gotten a last faster,” Pratt said of Brown. “People think you just run down the runway as fast as you can go. But you have to be under control. He's on pace this spring. He's jumped 48 feet.”
Brown has been clocked at 10.71 in the 100-meter dash and is still figuring what events he will compete in. The 100 and triple jumps seem like locks. His other two events will either be the 200, long jump or the 4x100-meter dash.
“Chris wants to do what's best for Hanahan,” Pratt said. “But he has to do what is best for him.”
Other athletes critical to Hanahan's success are Mario Gates, Quan Wade, Jerrod Shaw and Sammy Richardson.
Gates has cleared 6-6 in the high jump and has recorded a triple jump of almost 46 feet. Wade has thrown 151-5 in the discus while Shaw has excellent distances in the triple and long jumps.
Richardson has been hurdling for only three weeks and is coming on strong.
The Region 6-AA meet next week could produce the state champion as Bishop England and Woodland also have excellent performers.
“It's very competitive,” Pratt said. “I think if you took the best athletes in our region and made a team, that team could compete against, if not beat, any region in the state, regardless of size.”
Two local football players made good impressions during Clemson's just completed spring practices.
Former Porter-Gaud standout Stanton Seckinger was named the most improved tight end, while Matt Porter of James Island was named most improved offensive walk-on.
Seckinger, a 6-5, 200-pound freshman, was a record-setting wide receiver at Porter-Gaud School with 105 receptions for 1,833 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior. He has moved to tight end and could be in the mix for a starting spot next fall.
Porter is a 5-11, 180-pound redshirt freshman. He is listed as a wide receiver on the Tigers' roster.
ESPNU updated its top 150 football recruits for 2013, and Goose Creek wide receiver/running back/defensive back Tramel Terry is ranked No. 47 nationally.
Terry, a 6-0, 180-pound junior, is a three-year starter who has 2,714 all-purpose yards and 28 career touchdowns for the Division II-AAA state champions.
He's committed to play for the Georgia Bulldogs.
Ben Boulware, a 6-1, 225-pound inside linebacker, is the only other player from the Palmetto State to crack the top 150. He is ranked No. 124 nationally. He has committed to play for the Clemson Tigers.
Robert Nkemidiche, a 6-5, 265-pound defensive end from Loganville, Ga., is the No. 1 recruit. He has 11 scholarship offers including one from the South Carolina Gamecocks.