The Item Sports Week in review


By Eddie Litaker | Special to The Sumter Item

MANNING -- Laurence Manning Academy's varsity football team held off a late charge from Florence Christian School to earn a 41-20 win in its home opener on Friday at Billy Chitwood Field.

The Swampcats led 7-0 at the half on the strength of a 49-yard Wyatt Rowland run on LMA's first possession. The Eagles, the defending SCISA 2A state champions, had taken the opening kickoff and drove from their 35-yard line to the LMA 2 before Marshall Brown coughed the ball up following an 11-yard run, setting up a 98-yard drive that also included a 28-yard Rowland run and a 20-yard pass from Burgess Jordan to Rowland.

After Mickey Jordan took the second-half kickoff for 24 yards...


By Tim Leible | tim@theitem.com

Lakewood and Manning had to wait an extra day to face off in their high school football game thanks to Hurricane Dorian, but it was worth the wait for the Gators.

Manning struck first with a 64-yard touchdown on their first offensive play, but after that it was all Lakewood in the Gators’ 33-14 victory on Saturday at J. Frank Baker Stadium.

“This was a must-win for our mentality,” said Lakewood head coach Larry Cornelius, whose team improved to 1-2 on the season. “It’s not a must-win, obviously, for region play or anything like that, but just for our mentality because we’re playing better than it was showing on the scoreboard.”

Lakewood couldn’t find its feet out of the gate, quickly punting...

Introducing Friday Night, a podcast about South Carolina high school football presented by SKF!


By Dennis Brunson | dennis@theitem.com

After struggling in Crestwood High School's 23-0 loss to West Florence to open the football season, quarterback Clayton Feagin found himself on the bench in the Knights' second game against Sumter.

CHS didn't fare any better, falling to the Gamecocks' 63-2. So Feagin found out over the weekend that he would be back taking snaps against Richland Northeast, and he readied himself for the second chance.

"When I found out that I would be starting, I came in ready that Monday," Feagin said. "I was ready to practice."

And he was ready to play on Friday against...


By J. Scott Sewell | jscott@theitem.com

Bishopville - The Crestwood Knights varsity volleyball team improved to 7-0 on the season with a 3-0 sweep of Lee Central on Tuesday night.

The Knights swept Lee Central at home in their season opener back on Aug. 26, and completed the season sweep with the victory on Tuesday.

“We’re a scrappy team,” said Crestwood head coach April Myers. “We made a few mistakes that cost us some points, but overall I think I our team played really well tonight.”

Crestwood opened with a dominant...


By J. Scott Sewell | jscott@theitem.com

Wilson Hall's varsity volleyball team won its fifth straight match on Thursday, improving to 10-4 on the season with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Ben Lippen at Nash Student Center.

Wilson Hall took the first two sets and looked as though it would easily sweep the Falcons. However, Ben Lippen came roaring back to win sets 3 and 4 and ultimately force a decisive fifth set.

It was a special game for the Lady Barons, who were clad in teal #stephaniestrong t-shirts in support of Stephanie Champion, the mother of junior Hayley Champion, who has been undergoing chemotherapy and is scheduled for surgery next week.

"We wanted to do something to show our support for her and just let her know we're here for her," said Wilson Hall head coach Rip Ripley. "We preach family a lot here, and we want Stephanie to not only know we're here for her but also for Hayley as well."

The Lady Barons won the...


By Dennis Brunson | dennis@theitem.com

Lakewood High School hung with Sumter High for practically all of the first quarter of their football game on Friday at Memorial Stadium. Then it got out of hand fast.

Very, very fast.

The Gamecocks scored the game's first touchdown with just eight seconds left in the first quarter. The TDs came and quick fast after that as SHS scored six in the second quarter for a 40-0 halftime lead. Sumter went on to a 61-0 win in their first game of the season on Freddie Solomon Field.

The Gamecocks, ranked seventh in the state among 5A schools in the S.C. Prep Media Football Poll, improved to 3-0 on the season. The Gators, coming off of a 33-14 win over Manning, fell to 1-3.

The start of the game was delayed for 1 hour, 18 minutes, due to a lot of lightning and some rain in the area. Both teams had some ups and downs in the early going.

Sumter had a punt return...


By Tim Leible | tim@theitem.com

COLUMBIA -- The University of South Carolina made things interesting for a while on Saturday as it played host to No. 2 Alabama at Williams-Brice Stadium, but the Crimson Tide ultimately proved to be way too much.

USC only trailed 14-10 at the end of the first quarter, but it was all ‘Bama after that, as the Tide ran away with a 47-23 win.

Alabama hit the ground running, needing just five plays to score the first points of the game following the opening kickoff. Heisman Trophy candidate and Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa hit Najee Harris on a 24-yard strike for a touchdown to start a very productive afternoon for the Alabama running back.

USC came back on the ensuing drive and converted on fourth down at its own 34-yard line to keep its drive alive early. The Gamecocks then caught a break...


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