St. John’s football coach Bowles takes job in Charlotte


St. John’s High School head football coach Brad Bowles has stepped down after two seasons to become the head football coach at Providence High School in Charlotte.

Bowles, 14-9 in two seasons at St. John’s, takes over a program that finished 10-4 in 2014 and won 18 games over the last two seasons.

“It’s a great opportunity as a coach, and we have family in that area, so it’s a family decision as well,” said Bowles. “I will certainly miss these kids here. The toughest part about leaving is the kids. But I know the school is committed to finding a replacement that will continue to build the St. John’s program. I am very thankful for my two years here.”

Bowles came to St. John’s after three seasons on Chuck Reedy’s staff at Goose Creek. He is a 2004 graduate of East Tennessee State.

Bowles led the Islanders to back-to-back Region 6-A championships, winning eight games in 2014. The Islanders have a bevy of talented underclassmen in the program.

“The program is strong and they will continue to win here,” said Bowles.

Three area high school basketball openings continue to draw interest from coaches in and out of the Lowcountry. The most prominent opening is at Wando, where coach David Eaton announced in March that he was leaving for a job in Georgia.

Wando has become one of the premier basketball jobs in the area and is attracting plenty of interest in terms of applications. Chris Warzynski, a Wando assistant for the last several years, is one of the leading candidates.

Another name to surface is former Goose Creek head coach Brad Dobbels, who compiled a 282-92 record in 14 seasons at the Region 7-AAAA school. Dobbels led the Gators to one state title and five Lower State title appearances before stepping down after the 2010-11 season. He spent three years as an assistant at Charleston Southern and did not coach last season.

Ashley Ridge and Cane Bay also have openings in boys basketball. Cane Bay would appear to have some interest in Dobbels and Warzynski. Midland Valley coach Mark Snelgrove, fresh off a Class AAA state championship this season, is also rumored to be interested in all three of the local openings.

Ashley Ridge is also seeking a new athletic director, as Bobby Behr stepped down last month after serving as the school’s athletic director since the school opened in 2007.

Bishop England will host the 12th annual Father Kelly Classic on Saturday with action beginning at 9 a.m. The track meet will attract many of the area’s top teams and athletes. There is a $5 admission fee for spectators.

Speaking of track, several local athletes currently set the pace in various events with the top times or marks in the state this spring.

Goose Creek’s Deandre Daniels holds the top time (48.45 seconds) in the state in the 400 meters. Garrett Tech’s Omega Smalls has cleared 6 feet, 8 inches in the high jump, which rates tops in the state. Wando’s Gauge Wood is setting the pace with a 14-foot pole vault and Summerville’s Zack Bailey has a season-best shot put of 56-6.

West Ashley’s 400-meter relay team boasts the top time in the state at 42.32 seconds.

James Island’s Makyla Stanley is the state’s top 100-meter sprinter (12.08 seconds) and top long long jumper (18-4). Woodland’s Victoria Wamer has a state best triple jump of 37-2½ and Wando’s 3200-meter relay team holds the best time in the state to date at 10:07.99.

Cane Bay senior left-hander Chris Hitchman recently made a verbal commitment to USC-Salkehatchie. Hitchman is a third-year varsity performer and one of the Cobras’ top pitchers this season.