Local teams eye state soccer titles


The Lowcountry should be well represented at the state soccer finals, coming up on May 23-24, with the playoffs beginning next week.

In Class AAAA, Wando's boys and girls teams are considered strong favorites to advance to the finals. The Wando boys are 24-0-1 and ranked No. 1 in AAAA (and in the nation), while the girls' team is 16-2 and ranked second in AAAA.

Academic Magnet's girls' program is shooting for a second straight AA title and appears to be the strong favorite in a relatively weak Lower State field. The Raptors are ranked No. 1 in AA by the South Carolina Soccer Coaches Association heading into the playoffs.

Academic Magnet and Bishop England also have a strong chance to reach the finals in the AA boys ranks. Academic Magnet is ranked No. 1 in AA while the Bishops are ranked third.

A pair of local linebackers stole the show at last Saturday's Shrine Bowl football combine held at Summerville High School. Wando's Tyler Ragsdale and Cane Bay's Matt Rudy impressed all in attendance, including South Carolina head Shrine Bowl coach Ben Freeman of Pelion High School.

Ragsdale, somewhat of an unknown in the rising senior class of in-state players, ran a blazing 4.36 in the 40-yard dash, easily the fastest time of the day. The 6-2, 225-pounder ran the 40 again and posted a time of 4.37.

Rudy, an inside linebacker, bench pressed 185 pounds 37 times, believed to be a Shrine Bowl combine record.

Megan Morris, a junior libero at Wando, has verbally committed to play volleyball at Carson-Newman, Warriors coach Alexis Glover reports.

Morris, an all-region player last season, will sign her national letter of intent in November. Carson-Newman, in Jefferson City, Tenn., is a Division II member of the South Atlantic Conference.

Lowcountry track and field athletes will attempt to qualify for the upcoming state track and field championships at qualifying meets on Saturday.

The AAAA state qualifying meet, which includes region qualifiers from the upper and lower state, takes place at Spring Valley High School. The AAA meet, also a statewide meet, will be held at Lower Richland High.

Class AA breaks down qualifiers into lower and upper state meets. The AA lower state qualifier is at Woodland High School. Class A also has an upper and lower state qualifier and that meet will be at Whale Branch High School.

The state championships are set for May 16-17 in Columbia.

The Charleston RiverDogs will recognize The Post and Courier's All-Lowcountry baseball and softball teams on June 23, when the RiverDogs are home against the Savannah Sand Gnats. Game time at Riley Park is 7:30 p.m.

Porter-Gaud senior Brent Demarest closed out a remarkable career as a prep athlete by claiming three more individual gold medals at last weekend's SCISA state track and field championships. The future Virginia Cavalier established new state standards in the 800 and 1600-meter run and now holds the state record in all three distance races, including the 3200 ... Former West Ashley quarterback Pedro Manigault has transferred to Goose Creek, where he ran track for the Gators this spring ... Berkeley senior catcher Kyle Garrick will leave the baseball program at the Region 8-AAA school as the all-time leader in victories played in, according to head coach Landy Cox. Garrick has played in 94 career victories, breaking into the starting lineup as an eighth-grader. Garrick suffered through an 0-for-23 slump early this season, but now has a 15-game hitting streak and has raised his season average to .433.