KEEPING UP

Lakewood grad Belcher earns Arena League honor

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Nick Belcher is excelling for a different football team this season.

The Lakewood High School graduate signed in December with the Jacksonville Sharks of the National Arena League, which has eight teams. The place-kicker spent last year playing for Cedar Rapids of the Indoor Football League.

Now a Charleston resident, Belcher was named on April 5 as the special teams player of the week for the third week of play. The 26-year-old was recognized for kicking a 38-yard field goal and six extra points in a win over Lehigh Valley. He averaged 38 yards on nine kickoffs.

Through four games, Belcher scored 38 points, second on the team. He converted three of seven field-goal attempts and 27 of 31 extra-point tries. He averaged 46.1 yards on 38 kickoffs.

As of Thursday, he was second among league kickers with 9.5 points per game.

While with Cedar Rapids, Belcher was recognized multiple times as the special teams player of the week.

BASEBALL

Sumter High School graduate Bruce Caldwell opened the season with the St. Louis Cardinals Double-A affiliate. The 25-year-old batted .275 with two home runs and 10 runs batted in through 12 games.

Former Gamecock Travis Witherspoon signed in March to return to the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League. The 28-year-old spent most of last year with York, batting .293 with eight home runs and 34 RBI in 81 games. He led the team in stolen bases.

SOFTBALL

Furman University sophomore pitcher Emily Demonte had a 7-8 record and 3.44 earned run average in 19 appearances. The Thomas Sumter Academy graduate had one save.

Also from Thomas Sumter, Haley Hawkins batted .345 through 32 games for USC Beaufort. The freshman had two home runs and eight RBI.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Center Brittany Starling averaged 12.1 points and 7.9 rebounds in 19 games for the Kangoeroes of a Belgium league. The past Gamecock had 19 points and 10 rebounds in an April 16 round 2 semifinal win against Waregem.

Send updates about area athletes to Barbara Boxleitner at jdanddoc@gmail.com.