Florence area athletes competing hard in spring
By David Shelton
Florence – The spring sports season will enter the world of state playoff competition by the end of April and athletes at West Florence and South Florence High School are putting in extra work to earn postseason play.
Both schools have several athletic teams that sit in contention for a state playoff berth in class AAAAA as the calendar turns to April.
One team sure to be involved in the state playoffs is the West Florence boys’ tennis team, which again is headed for a region championship. Entering the month of April, the Knights were 11-1 overall on the season with a perfect 7-0 record in region 6-AAAAA play.
Hale Emerson continues in his role as the number one singles performer and has been very consistent this season.
Austin Tyler occupies the number two spot in the singles ladder, followed by Worth Player at number three. David Dubose plays four singles and Patterson Kannon is playing the fifth singles position.
When needed, the number two doubles team of Robbie Fleschner and Michael Asper are a formidable tandem.
The West Florence boys’ golf team also hopes to qualify for the AAAAA state tournament in May. The team’s top four scoring players so far this spring have been James Potter, Colton Hackman, Wilson Josey and Douglas Lorenz.
South Florence’s golf team also competes in region 6-AAAAA. The Bruins’ top performers have been Kameron Tyler, Duncan Summersett, Ashley Miller and Grayson Heyward.
West Florence’s soccer team are in contention for a AAAAA playoff berth with the girls’ team challenging for a region title. West Florence is off to an 8-1 start overall and 7-1 in region play. The boys’ team is 6-8 overall with a 4-4 record in region competition.
South Florence’s soccer teams have some work ahead of them if they hope to earn a top four finish in the region six standings. The top four teams qualify for the lower state playoffs.
The boys’ soccer team sits at 4-6 overall and 2-4 against region competition. The Bruins have been led in scoring by junior Zach Bull, who has scored 10 goals in the first 10 outings of the season.
Senior Sultan Sakiev has scored five goals while senior Trebor Wilson has added three tallies.
Other seniors on the roster this spring include Krishawn Hardy, Mohammed Adlzan, Jordan Young, Shane Neal, Kenny Segerra and Havol Nina.
South Florence’s girls’ soccer team sits at 6-7 overall and 2-5 in region play. Freshman Alexa Cribb is team’s leading scorer with 14 goals and four assists. Senior Annabelle Smith has added four goals and senior Cher Pitiranggon has two goals and three assists.
Pitiranggon is a team captain this spring, along with seniors Christin Baylor, Margaret Ann Kennebeck and Kiersten Camlin. Ruth Gonzalez also is a senior on the roster.
In baseball, the South Florence squad sits at 14-2 overall and 6-2 in region play. The Bruins trail region leader Sumter by two games but appear in good shape to finish in second-place in the final standings.
West Florence is battling for a top four finish in the region, splitting their first eight region games while posting an 8-7 overall record.
The 2017 track season is about halfway complete as teams and athletes seek to qualify for the state championship meet on May 12-13.
At West Florence, Ailym Ford is the boys’ team leader in the sprints and long jump. Patrick Morgan is tops in the middle distance and distance events while Antonio Dinkins is the top 400-meter runner.
Nicholas Boatwright is the team’s top hurdler while Chandler Jarrell and Anthony Dawkins compete in the jumps. Devin Merrick handles the pole vault with Chris Wilson (shot put) and Steven Doctor (discus) leading the way in the throwing events.
The girls’ team at West Florence is led by sprinter Kiana Jones and Darrian Cole in the distance events. Alexis Jeffery competes in the triple jump and 400 while Sarah Spence is the top hurdler. Caroline Falcone is the team’s top 3200-meter runner.
Savannah Jordan is the top high jumper and Miracle Davis is the top long jumper. Gabryelle Bittle leads the way in the pole vault with Thandi Stewart and Kaitlyn Cimney working the throws.
At South Florence, the top sprinters on the boys’ team are Aquanzie Bethea and Chase Thornhill, while Michael Griffin anchors the middle distance and distance events. Ryan Joe and Jaquez Johnson are the top hurdlers and Jamiah Graham is the top jumper. Darrell Brown throws the discus and Charles Spears works in the shot.
Kaia Evans and Albany Wilson are the top sprinters for the girls’ team. Rachel Shumate runs the 800 and Jordan Danford runs the 1600 and 3200.
Raven Singleton and Saphire Campbell are the top hurdlers, with Campbell, Naadira Jones and Kyiea Burch working the jumps.
Aliyah Overton and Briana Mouzon throw shot put and discus, respectively.