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Crestwood's Javion Martin, left, and the Knights will see their first competition this week a scrimmages get underway.

Football scrimmages in SCISA, SCHSL highlight 5 Things to Watch This Year

1. HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCRIMMAGES ON TAPAs the start of the high school football regular season draws nearer, most of the 12 local teams will have scrimmages next week. Sumter, Lakewood and …

Ali Williams is shown pitching for Crestwood High School during his playing days for the Knights. Williams will don the Crestwood jersey once again as he has been named the school's new varsity baseball head coach.

Former Knight, pro Williams to coach Crestwood baseball

Ali Williams knows the issues facing the Crestwood High School varsity baseball team in its 20-plus years of existence. He was part of five non-playoff teams before graduating in 2007. Williams also knows the opportunities that are presented by …

West Florence wins Junior state title

West Florence defeated Fort Mill 4-3 on Thursday at Riley Park to win the Junior American Legion Baseball state tournament. West Florence, the lower state No. 1 seed in the 8-team, double-elimination tournament, finished the season with a 19-3-1 …

Former Sumter High star and current New York Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery pitches during the Yankees' 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Montgomery stops 8-start winless streak as Yankees top Tampa 4-3

Jordan Montgomery stopped an 8-start winless streak, and Aaron Judge singled in his return from COVID-19 as the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 on Tuesday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Montgomery, the left-hander …

Leonard Johnson is back as the head football coach at Scott's Branch just a year after his second stint with the program lasted one season.

Johnson taking third go as Scott's Branch football coach

You really can't say, "The third time's the charm," since Leonard Johnson won two state titles during his first stint as the football head coach at Scott's Branch High School. Leave no doubt about it though. Johnson is back for his third …

From the Wire

The Atlanta Braves acquired outfielder Adam Duvall from the Florida Marlins on Friday. Duvall played for the Braves last season.

Braves stack outfield with Rosario, Duvall

With the NL East still up for grabs, the Atlanta Braves needed another quality hitter for the season's second half. They ended up trading for two. Cleveland made its second significant trade in two days, sending outfielder Eddie Rosario to the …

Novak Djokovic's bid for Olympic gold is over after a loss to Alexander Zverev on Friday.

'I feel so terrible': Djokovic's Golden Slam bid is over

TOKYO - With his Golden Slam bid over for at least another three years, Novak Djokovic rested his head on Alexander Zverev's shoulder as his German opponent and friend consoled him. "I told him that he's the greatest of all time," Zverev said. "I …

The Washington Nationals traded shortstop Trea Turner (7) with ace Max Scherzer to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.

Nats trade Scherzer, Turner to highlight busy day at deadline

The Washington Nationals look very different after the trade line, as most of the team's stars are now gone. The Nats' biggest trade at the deadline was sending Max Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Other moves …

The Chicago Cubs traded Kris Bryant to the San Fransisco Giants on Friday in the midst of trading away almost all of their stars at the trade deadline.

Cubs shed stars, shipping out Bryant, Baez, Kimbrel day after trading Rizzo

The fire sale has officially begun in Chicago. A day after trading first baseman Anthony Rizzo to the Yankees, the Cubs spent Friday shipping the rest of their stars out of town. The infield will look different in Chicago, as the Cubs traded …

New England quarterback Cam Newton (1) is embracing his new friendship with Mac Jones, the Patriots' first-round draft pick that's competing to take his job.

Newton, Jones embracing budding friendship and competition

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Mac Jones is amazed at how Cam Newton can bring instant levity to the meeting room. Though he's sure he could never pull off the veteran's often unique clothing choices. Newton is equally taken aback by how much "swag" his …

Prep Sports

High schools around South Carolina will begin fall practice this week with SCISA kicking off on Thursday and SCHSL starting on Friday.

Football practice begins to highlight 5 Things to Watch This Week

1. HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PRACTICE BEGINS Believe it or not, the first day of fall practice for the South Carolina Independent School Association will begin on Thursday, while the South Carolina High …

Sumter defensive end Davin Jackson will miss the 2021 football season after tearing his ACL at a camp at Clemson.

Sumter High star DE Jackson lost for season with torn ACL

Sumter High School defensive end Davin Jackson, a Football Bowl Subdivision recruit, will miss his senior season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Jackson, a 6-foot-3-inch, 260-pounder, tore the ACL while performing …

Thomas Sumter Academy's Ethan Lisenby, left, and Laurence Manning Academy's Brooke Reed each won the Bill Simpson Award, SCISA's highest honor, this year.

TSA's Lisenby, LMA's Reed win SCISA's Bill Simpson Award

Thomas Sumter Academy's Ethan Lisenby and Laurence Manning Academy's Brooke Reed each finished off their senior years with a special surprise, as each was awarded with the South Carolina Independent School Association's Bill Simpson Award. The …

Sumter High track star Nicole Wells, left, is presented with the Hines Furniture Athlete of the Year by The Item's assistant sports editor, Tim Leible, center, and publisher Vince Johnson at the Item office on Tuesday.

Sumter High's Wells runs, jumps her way to Hines Furniture Athlete of the Year

When Sumter High School's Nicole Wells started her sophomore track and field season, she wasn't sure what to expect. She missed almost her entire freshman season due to COVID-19. By the time her sophomore year ended though, Wells finished in the top …

Sumter High School's Ashauna Leverette signed to continue her dance career at Louisville, earning a spot with the 20-time national champion Ladybirds.

THE GRIND: Sumter High's Leverette earns a spot on the Louisville dance team

Ashauna Leverette has been dancing for as long as she can remember. While she didn't get into dance as early as some, Leverette found her true passion in the studio around the age of four and never looked back. "I honestly don't remember being in …

CLEMSON

Art Baker speaks to the crowd during the induction ceremony for the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame last week in Greenville. Baker, who was a head coach at Furman, The Citadel and East Carolina, was one of five people inducted.

A Hall of Fame career: Baker reflects on his coaching career with induction into S.C. Football Hall of Fame

Art Baker has known for over one year that he was going to be inducted into the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame. The longtime college football coach from Sumter was selected for the honor in 2020, but the induction ceremony was canceled due to …

Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross (8) is one of eight Tigers on the preseason All-ACC football team announced on Tuesday.

Clemson places eight players on Preseason All-ACC team

Six-time defending champion Clemson had eight players selected to the 27-member All-Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Football Team announced on Tuesday. Six of the Tigers selected to the team were defensive players while two were on the …

Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei (5) and the Tigers are the preseason favorites to win the Atlantic Coast Conference this year.

Tigers again: Clemson is favorite for 7th straight ACC title

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Clemson is the preseason favorite to win a seventh straight Atlantic Coast Conference championship The Tigers were picked on 125 of 147 votes from media members attending the ACC Kickoff preseason media days last week. …

South Carolina defensive end Kingsley Enagbare, right, was named to the preseason All-SEC first-team squad on Friday.

USC DE Enagbare selected to preseason All-SEC first team

University of South Carolina senior defensive end Kingsley Enagbare was named to the 2021 preseason All-Southeastern Conference first-team squad, according to a poll of media covering the annual Media Days in Hoover, Alabama. Junior running back …

Clemson to add 2 women's sports to varsity roster

CLEMSON (AP) - Clemson is adding two women's sports to its varsity roster. The school announced in a news release Thursday that it would add women's lacrosse and women's gymnastics in the next two years. Lacrosse is projected to begin …

USC

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey may soon be dealing with an expanded conference, as Texas and Oklahoma are expected to announce their departure from the Big 12 for the SEC.

New commissioners thrust into conference realignment chaos

INDIANAPOLIS - Conference realignment is back on the table in college sports just as three Power Five conferences are breaking in relatively new commissioners. While the Big 12 is trying to keep Oklahoma and Texas from being poached by the …

South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer speaks to reporters during Southeastern Conference Media Days on Monday in Hoover, Alabama.

Southeastern Conference's four new head coaches face different challenges

HOOVER, Ala. - The Southeastern Conference's four new head coaches inherit very different situations but sport the standard new regime optimism. Tennessee's Josh Heupel is trying to rescue a proud program whose struggles now include an NCAA …

Florida head coach Dan Mullen speaks to reporters during Southeastern Conference Media Days on Monday in Hoover, Alabama.

Mullen, Gators adapting to life with new QB, playmakers

HOOVER, Ala. - Florida coach Dan Mullen puts a positive spin on losing his three best offensive playmakers. The Gators are replacing Heisman Trophy finalist Kyle Trask at quarterback and two first-round NFL draft picks, wide receiver Kadarius …

South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer spent the first day of the South Eastern Conference Media Days selling his program.

Carolina's Beamer delivers sales pitch at first SEC Media Days

Sell, sell, sell. That's what new University of South Carolina football head coach Shane Beamer was doing on Monday, but not to a group of recruits. Instead he was giving the sales pitch to the media gathered in Hoover, Alabama, on the first day …

Clarendon Hall's Kylic Horton committed to the University of South Carolina on Friday with an announcement on Twitter.

Clarendon Hall’s Horton commits to South Carolina

Clarendon Hall wide receiver Kylic Horton first received a football scholarship offer from South Carolina when he attended a camp in Columbia June 3-4. It didn’t take long for the speedy pass …

Outdoors

Rancher Jim Stanko removes part of a fence as he works recently on his ranch near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Stanko says because of drought conditions this year, he may have to sell some of his herd if he can't harvest enough hay to feed them.

As drought cuts hay crop, cattle ranchers face culling herds

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. - With his cattle ranch threatened by a deepening drought, Jim Stanko isn't cheered by the coming storm signaled by the sound of thunder. "Thunder means lightning, and lightning can cause fires," said Stanko, who fears …

A woodpecker nesting cavity tree marked with white paint

Outdoors columnist Dan Geddings: A look at the Sandhills

The open park-like forest stretches away from the road over the rolling hills. Longleaf pine dominates the landscape here. I stop occasionally to look at the vistas and take pictures. Longleaf is my favorite tree. I think it is the most beautiful of …

SCDNR: Keep an eye on your mailbox; deer tags should be arriving soon

Deer hunters who have an annual or three-year hunting license and big game permit, combination license, or sportsman license which will be valid on Aug. 15 should automatically receive a base set of deer tags soon.Additionally, Lifetime, Senior, …