Oceanside Collegiate Academy, the Lowcountry’s newest charter school, will open its doors in August with a full complement of varsity athletic teams set to compete.
Charlie Stubbs, who will coach the varsity football team and serve as the school’s first athletic director, has completed the hiring process for the school’s varsity programs. Oceanside, located in Mount Pleasant, will field varsity teams in nearly every sport except wrestling and track in its first season.
The most recent hiring for the athletic staff came when longtime baseball coach Jerry Stoots was named to direct the school’s baseball program. Stoots is the area’s winningest coach and his 859 career victories ranks second all-time in state history. He spent the 2016 season as the coach at St. John’s Christian Academy, and also has coached at Northwood Academy and Stall High School.
Jermel President will head up the boys basketball program. President was a star prepster at Burke High School and played collegiately at College of Charleston. Jennifer Payes will coach girls basketball, while Cameron Gribben will coach volleyball.
Former Brazilian Olympic swimmer Ellen Reed will head up the school’s swim program and Nathan Buttrick will coach the boys and girls cross country programs. Grey Ray will coach golf and Denny Doggett will direct the softball program.
Andre Berenzon will coach boys soccer and Andrew Grist will head up the girls soccer program. Working in lacrosse are Thomas Harris and Holly Bronco while Chris Waters is the tennis coach. Kendra Torrick will coach the competitive cheerleading team.
“We’re different than other schools in that here, teachers teach and coaches coach,” Stubbs said. “None of our coaches are teachers and none of our teachers here are coaches. Most of our coaches have outside jobs and some own companies but they are very good coaches in their respective sports. It’s a really fine group of people who will compete very well here.”
Stubbs says a lack of playing facilities is the biggest obstacle in the school’s first year, thus all of the varsity teams will be playing road games in 2016-17. The school will enroll 600 students and has been classified as a Class AA school by the South Carolina High School League. However, the school was not approved to become a league member until mid-April.
“Scheduling was tough because most schools already had their schedules set, but we managed to put schedules together and we look forward to competing this year,” Stubbs said. “We’re mostly freshmen and sophomores, with some juniors as well, so we will be quite young in this first year. We are very excited that summer is here and kids that are transferring from other schools can begin the process of working out here.”
The Charleston Riverdogs will recognize the 2016 All-Lowcountry high school baseball and softball teams on Monday. The All-Lowcountry teams will be announced in Sunday’s edition of The Post and Courier, along with the high school athletes of the year.
The first-team players on the baseball and softball teams, along with the coaches of the year, will be honored on the field immediately after the first game of the RiverDogs’ doubleheader against the Augusta GreenJackets. The first game starts at 6:05 p.m. and will go seven innings. For ticket information, go to riverdogs.com or call 843-723-7241.
Six area high school lacrosse players participated on a South Carolina all-star team at the U.S. Lacrosse National Tournament at Lehigh University in late May.
The South Carolina team posted a 3-1 record in the event, posting wins over Connecticut, Arizona and Central Texas. It was the best-ever showing by a South Carolina team in the event.
Bishop England’s Emma Pizzo led the team in scoring with 10 goals and three assists. Wando’s Morgan Mitchell added six goals and Wando’s Karly Ripple tallied four goals and two assists. Goalie Logan Lille of Wando recorded 11 saves.
Also participating on the team were Ellie Long and Ava Ward — both of Bishop England.