The month of June was full of change in regards to local high school coaching positions, as several schools saw changes within the coaching roster, with more to come over the next few weeks.
Basketball saw the most change early on this summer. Fort Dorchester lost both the boys and girls basketball head coaches, as boys coach Jacob Smith and girls coach Cesurian Champagne stepped down from their posts.
Smith has landed at Woodland High School as an assistant where he will work with another former Fort Dorchester coach, Leon Wheaton, whom Smith replaced last summer. Thomas McElveen, who has worked in the program for the last few years, was named as Smith’s replacement at Fort Dorchester.
Champagne announced on Facebook that she is retiring from coaching. Her Fort Dorchester girls team finished 23-4 last year, winning its first-ever Region 8-AAAAA title. The next coach will be the fourth in five years at Fort Dorchester.
Jermel President is back on the bench as a head coach, taking over the boys basketball program at Cane Bay. President, a former College of Charleston star, was last seen as the head coach at Oceanside Collegiate. He stepped down in the middle of the 2017-18 season and spent last season as an assistant at Woodland.
First Baptist also has a new boys varsity coach as Antoine Saunders replaces Tony Eady as the head man. Eady stepped down in mid-June.
Long-time Stratford wrestling coach Willie Nearhood has left the program and will begin a program at Cross High next winter. Nearhood won more than 400 matches in his 20-year stint at Stratford. Former Stratford wrestler and assistant Nick Young will take over at Stratford. Young was a four-time state qualifier and posted 166 career wins during his prep career at Stratford.
In football, Colleton Prep and Dorchester Academy will have new head football coaches this fall. Colleton Prep has hired Greg Langdale as the replacement for Rob Gorrell, who left to become the defensive coordinator at Beaufort High.
Dorchester Academy hired former quarterback Thomas McAlhany to replace Chris Myers, who left to become head coach at John Paul II in Beaufort.
Porter-Gaud and West Ashley also have new head coaches. Brad Bowles is the new boss at Porter-Gaud, while William Wineberg will serve as the interim head coach at West Ashley for the 2019 season.
Owens sets mile record
Dolan Owens, a recent graduate of James Island Charter High School, recently ran the fastest mile ever for a South Carolina high school runner at a meet in Raleigh, North Carolina. Owens posted a time of 4:03.50 to break the record of 4:06.40, set by Hilton Head’s Sam Gilman on May 31.
Owens, who will run in college for the University of North Carolina, also won the New Balance Outdoor national championship two weeks ago in the mile run.
Oceanside girls golf shines
The Oceanside Collegiate girls golf team represented the state of South Carolina in the inaugural National High School Golf Invitational last weekend in Orlando, Florida.
The Landsharks were invited to the event as the Class AAA defending state champions in South Carolina, competing against state champions from other states.
Oceanside ended up tying for first place in regulation play with Troy High from California, each school posting 36-hole scores of 584. California won the title after two holes of sudden death playoff.
Rising junior Emma Schimpf led Oceanside with a runner-up finish individually, shooting 143 to finish one stroke out of medalist honors. Rising senior Rachel Rich shot even-par 144 to tie for fourth-place while rising senior Kayla Bartemeyer shot 147 and tied for eighth-place overall.
Senior Abigail Schimpf shot 150 to finish in a tie for 11th-place and sophomore Haven Hobbs shot 202. A total of 91 girls played in the event.
Midfielder Ava Ward and attack Grace Ann Carlson were named All-Americans by US Lacrosse for the 2019 season.
Ward scored 78 goals with 37 assists last spring while Carlson added 62 goals and 64 assists. The duo helped Bishop England finish 19-0 in winning their fourth consecutive state championship. Ward also earned All-American honors in 2018.
Carlson and teammate Morgan Roberts also were selected as Academic All-Americans by the organization. Carlson was a repeat selection as an Academic All-American.