Hammond soccer set to contend for state title
By David Shelton
Columbia – Though not considered the favorite, the Hammond boys’ soccer team expects to contend for the SCISA AAA state title in 2017.
Perennial powers Cardinal Newman and Porter-Gaud may be listed ahead of Hammond on the list of teams favored to win the title but the Skyhawks of coach Adrian Pinasco will compete.
Entering April, the team’s only loss of the regular season came to Cardinal Newman (2-0). Hammond opened the season with four wins in their first five contests, earning wins over Ridge View (7-0), Ben Lippen (5-1), Gray Collegiate (5-0) and Augusta Christian (5-0).
This year’s roster includes six seniors. Of those six, three are among the team leaders in scoring. Rex Oliver has four goals and three assists while Toni OgunFowora has tallied three goals. Patrick Aitchison has added two goals in the first five outings.
Junior Lucas Prickett has three goals and an assist early on while sophomore Meade Fowler has two goals and four assists. Sophomore Aaron Zalesne matches Fowler with two goals and four assists. Junior Isaac Mikell has found the back of the net twice in the early going.
Working in goal is sophomore keeper James Runge, who has allowed three goals while posting 23 saves. Sophomore Drew Turner also has seen time in goal.
Other seniors on the roster this spring include Briley Lockwood, Ross Moore, and Braxton Newman. Juniors include Nicholas Jean Gilles and Austin Prickett.
Sophomores this season are Charlie Bouknight, Lake Barrett, Sumpter Clarke, Rawlin Dukes and Josh Lipsitz. Freshmen Wade Oliver and John Bailey Moore round out the 2017 squad.
Hammond’s baseball team is struggling a bit this spring, winning just three of its first 15 games. Head coach Ray Derrick, who has 264 career coaching victories, is fielding one of his least experienced teams of his tenure.
The team has four senior leaders – Tyler Lanham, Jack Theodore, Seth Ganbowski and Brad Lewis.
Juniors include Seth Addeo, Ford Pugh, Clarke Anderson, Foster Anderson, Thomas Love and Benjamin Ginsberg.
Rounding out the roster are sophomores Graham Wilson and Rutherford Fawcett, and freshman Andre Wilson.