Recent Successes

Recent successes…

  • In February 2017, I was given the privilege of joining the Business Sales Team at Comporium Communications! I am very thankful for this new opportunity to serve our commercial clients as a Business Account Representive and am thrilled to be working with experienced team members who are dedicated to meeting customer needs.
  • Guest Host on CLEMSON SPORTS TALK! Invited by Lawton Swann to sit in with Lowell The Intern on Fox Sports Radio 1400 to talk all that is Clemson Sports! It’s happening Friday, May 20, 2016!
  • Fall 2015 – Color Analyst for several Lexington High School Wildcat Football games!
  • From Feb 2015 – Jan 2017, I served as an Agent with Farm Bureau Insurance in Chapin, SC.
  • Sideline Reporter – 2014 SC HS 4A Division 1 State Championship game, between Hillcrest and Dutch Fork, Williams-Brice State Screenbroadcast LIVE from the University of South Carolina Williams-Brice Stadium! See more, including game results and coaches’ audio here: My Friday Night Faves (Saturday Edition)
  • Host of the ‘Tiger Talk’ on Z93 ‘The Lake’ at 93.1FM, The Home of Clemson Athletics in tTiger Pawhe SC Midlands! Each Monday Night during the 2014 Football Season, we discussed all that is Tiger Football with callers, special guests, and former Clemson Players! Check out more here: Z93’s ‘Tiger Talk’ Also check out my recent interview with former Clemson Coach Danny Ford on Tiger Talk 11/25/14.

pic CBS Sports Net Mic

  • Sideline Reporter for the 2014 COLLEGE ALL STAR BOWL (formerly The South Carolina College All Star Bowl) at Furman University’s Paladin Stadium, broadcast on February 14, 2014 to a national TV audience on the CBS SPORTS NETWORK!
    The CASB Broadcast Team: Me, Mark Hogue and Will Merritt

    The CASB Broadcast Team: Me, Mark Hogue, and Will Merritt

     Worked again as part of the David Wyatt Sports Team with fellow broadcasters Mark Hogue (Coastal Carolina Sports), Will Merritt (formerly Clemson Sports Network), Jack Connors (WLOS-TV Asheville), and Tim AmosI once again interviewed many football legends, coaches, players, and celebrities including Sam Wyche (NFL Coach), Danny Ford (Clemson Coach), Willie Jefferies (SC State Coach), Tajh Boyd (Clemson QB), Mark Bryan (Hootie & The Blowfish) and many more. For more information visit and on twitter @theallstarbowl and @wyattsports.

  • Sideline Reporter – The Inaugural 2013 South Carolina College All Star Bowl held at North Greenville University and broadcast LIVE via statewide TV network.
    Interviewing Super Bowl Winning Coach Sam Wyche

    Interviewing Super Bowl Winning Coach Sam Wyche

    Worked on the David Wyatt Sports Broadcast Team with Todd Ellis (Gamecock Sports Network), Will Merritt (Clemson Sports Network) and Jack Connors (WLOS-TV Asheville). Interviewed notables including Sam Wyche, Willie Jefferies, Danny Ford, George Rogers, Donnie Shell, Brian Dawkins, Malliciah Goodman, and many more players and coaches.    “Mike set a game record for the most sideline interviews and did a great job doing them.” – Todd Ellis      “Mike, you did an awesome job!” – Will Merritt

    The LexCo Coaches Show with guests David Bennett and Dr. Luke Clamp

    The LexCo Coaches Show with guests David Bennett and Dr. Luke Clamp

  • Creator and Host of The Lexington County Coaches Show, a weekly sports show on Z93 ‘The Lake’ Fall of 2013 featuring area high school coaches and notables, including regular guest Coach David Bennett, former Coastal Carolina Head Football Coach and now Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at the new River Bluff High School.
  • Frequent Guest on Sports Radio talking high school and college sports and more – recently heard on ESPN Upstate with Mark Sturgis “Straight Up With Sturg” – My annual Call-In discussing the great athletes at Palmetto Boys State (Listen: Straight Up With Sturg PBS 6-9-15, Mike Vaughan on Sturg ESPN Upstate June 2014) plus appearances on Fox Sports Radio 1400, ESPN Columbia, 92.1FM ’The Palm’, 95.9 ‘The Point’, AM560 ’The Team’, 107.9FM WLXM, Kool 102.7FM WPUB, and more.

    Mike and Brad in the press box pregame of the Lexington Vs Blythewood Championship Game 3 at Carolina Stadium. (photo credit - Tony Ciuffo)

    Mike and Brad in the press box pregame of the Lexington Vs Blythewood Championship Game 3 at Carolina Stadium. (photo credit – Tony Ciuffo)

  • Color Analyst and Engineer for the 2013 SC 4A State Baseball Championship Series between Lexington and Blythewood High Schools, Broadcast on Z93 ‘The Lake’! Game 1 was won by Lexington 5-2 at Wildcat Field. In Game 2 at Bengal Field, Blythewood evened the series, winning 7-2, forcing Game 3 at Carolina Stadium on the campus of The University of South Carolina! My broadcast partner Brad Cunningham and I called the decisive game from the Home Radio Press Box as 6,240 fans watched Lexington claim the 4A State Trophy!
  • Host and Emcee for the 2013 and 2014 Lexington County FCA Banquets The April 3, 2014 dinner was held at Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia and featured interviews with these guests: University of South Carolina Coaches Lorenzo Ward, Everette Sands and Deke Adams! The 2013 banquet was held April 12th at the Lexington Baptist Church on Main Street in Lexington, SC, under the leadership of my good friend Lexington County FCA Director, Frank Hester. I had the opportunity to share on-stage interviews with these coaches from Lexington County: Coach/AD David Bennett, River Bluff High; Coach/AD Dean Howell, White Knoll High; and Coach Willie Scott, Pelion High. Well over $50,000 was raised to further FCA’s ministry impact in Lexington County!  
  • Emcee for the Summer 2014 FCA TEAM CAMP held at USC Upstate and The Hangar / First Baptist in Spartanburg! Hosted teams and coaches from all over South Carolina. Spent time with and introduced Adrian Despres (Chaplain – USC Football Team) and also Dylan Thompson (USC QB).
  • Hosted Z93’s LIVE On-Air Interview with New Lexington High School Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Josh Stepp shortly after Lexington District One announced his hiring a day earlier.

    Former Lexington Wildcat OL Austin Turner and Me!

    Former Lexington Wildcat OL Austin Turner and Me!

  • Hosted Z93’s Breaking LIVE On-Air Announcement with Dr. Luke Clamp (Principal, River Bluff HS) on hiring Coach David Bennett as First Athletic Director/Head Football Coach for the New RBHS Gators in Lexington, SC.
  • Provided 5 Daily Reports for Z93 from the 2013 RBC Heritage Graeme McDowell Heritage 2013 PGA Golf Tournament – Harbour Town Golf Links on Beautiful Hilton Head Island, SC. I also had an exclusive interview with 2013 Heritage Champion Graeme McDowell as he was leaving the 18th Green following his playoff win against Webb Simpson. (AUDIO) “Heritage 2013 Final Z93 Reportand “Me & Graeme McDowell Heritage 2013
  • Reported for Z93’s Coverage of the2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl – Clemson Vs. LSU – provided LIVE updates throughout Gameday from the Georgia Dome and the World Congress Center in Downtown Atlanta, GA. (AUDIO) “LIVE from 2012 CFA BOWL” and interview with “Will Merritt 2012 CFA Bowl
  • Hosted 107.9 WLXM’s coverage of the Columbia Blowfish Exhibition at the Ballpark Road Sports Complex in Lexington, SC on June 28, 2013.
  • Guest Chapel Speaker for the Arkansas Razorbacks Football Team while in Columbia, SC, to play SEC opponents, the USC Gamecocks.
  • Speaker and Entertainer – 3rd Annual Low Country Classic Boys High School Golf Invitational and the 2nd Annual Low Country Classic Girls High School Golf Invitational held at The Plantation Course at Edisto, Edisto Beach, SC. (Girls’ Tournament Champions – the Lady Wildcats of Lexington – Go Cats!)
  • Z93’s Coverage of Early Signing Day for five great Lexington High School Baseball Players, including Nick Ciuffo and Cole McMillan, both signing with the USC Gamecocks.
  • Color Analysis, Sideline Reporter, Coaches Show Host, and Host of the Wildcat Tailgate Show for the Lexington High School Wildcats Athletics – Football, Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, and more. Heard on Z93.1 fm ‘The Lake’ WZMJ (Batesburg, Lexington, Lake Murray), on 107.9 fm WLXM, “Lexington’s Community Radio Station”, online at, and posted on facebook and twitter (@MikeV_803).
  • LIVE Reports for Z93 ‘The Lake’ from the 2012 PGA Championship and the Ocean Course at Kiawah.
  • Host and Entertainer for the “Edisto Express” VIP Charter Transport during the 2012 PGA Championship Golf Tournament held at Kiawah Island, SC. photo (11)
  • Production Team and Staff Member of Palmetto Boys’ State – the most significant program I have ever participated in and in my 30 + years associated with the talented and dedicated staff of volunteers, I have seen thousands of our state’s young men grow and be changed into our future leaders. I strongly encourage you to visit or @SCBoysState to learn more! Click here for ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOYS STATE STORIES!

ESPN Upstate and Mark Sturgis!

Twice in the last 2 years, I had the privilege of spending some time on air with my good friend Mark Sturgis, host of Straight Up With Sturg on ESPN Upstate. “Sturg” and I were introduced at the first College All-Star Bowl back in 2013 at North Greenville University and I was very excited to get the call to be on his show.

Usually, my focus is Lexington County Athletics here in the heart of the Midlands of South Carolina, but with Sturg, we discuss something even more near and dear to my heart – the brotherhood of Palmetto Boys’ State and the great athletes that attend from all over SC! It is a one week encampment every summer, now at Anderson University, where young men, all of them rising high school seniors, gather to learn, grow, and experience this truth – “Let One Week Begin Your Life!”  photo (11)

Take a listen to our most recent conversations here:

Straight Up With Sturg PBS 6-9-15

Mike Vaughan on Sturg ESPN Upstate June 2014

For more on Palmetto Boys’ State,

Mark Sturgis, and ESPN Upstate, visit the links below:     @SCBoysState

@Sturgis Sports      @ESPNUpstate

My Friday Night Faves

Saturday, December 6, 2014 – SC 4A Division 1 State ChampionshipWilliams-Brice State Screen

Hillcrest Rams Vs. Dutch Fork Silver Foxes

My Final 2014 Friday Night Fave is actually a Saturday Edition as Brad Cunningham, Coach John Daye, and I, with the Z93 LexCoFootball Game of the Week, broadcast LIVE from Williams-Brice Stadium! Dutch Fork came in to the championship looking to repeat their performance from 2013, but Hillcrest had something to say about that. The Rams took a 19-17 lead into Halftime and in the second half took complete control of the game, scoring 28 more unanswered points. In the end, Hillcrest defeated Dutch Fork 47-17 to capture the Rams first ever 4A Division 1 Title.HillcrestVsDutchFork STATS & SCORING SUMMARY Williams-Brice State HS CshipsSee attached STATS and SCORING SUMMARY and hear pre and postgame comments from the coaches here:

Greg Porter Hillcrest Rams STATE DEC 6

Tom Knotts Dutch Fork STATE DEC 6

Coach Tom Knotts Halftime STATE Dec 6 14

Coach Greg Porter postgame STATE Dec 6 14

Coach Tom Knotts postgame STATE Dec 6 14



Friday Night, November 21, 2014 – SC 4A State High School Playoffs – Round 2Dutch Fork Entry Helmet

Lexington Wildcats At Hillcrest Rams – Lexington loses on a tough night at Hillcrest by the score of 52-14 – Coach Josh Stepp pregame comments – Josh Stepp pre LexVsHlcrst

River Bluff Gators At York Cougars – River Bluff led the game 21-6 in the first half, but the Cougars come back and hold off a late rally by the Gators. York wins it 33-28 – Coach David Bennett pregame comments – David Bennett pre RBvsYork

Dorman Cavaliers Vs. Dutch Fork Silver Foxes – The Z93 LexCo Football Playoff Game of the WeekDorman Vs Dutch Fork Playoff Stats covered the Dorman Vs. Dutch Fork Rematch played tonight at Dutch Fork. On September 19th earlier this season, the Cavaliers defeated the Silver Foxes 48-37. Dutch Fork Coach Tom Knotts said in the pregame that the Foxes must avoid the costly turnovers that contributed heavily to the regular season loss. Tonight, they allowed an interception and a fumble, but still come away with the victory 27-13 with Matt Colburn’s 227 yards rushing and QB Tate Fant’s 155 yards passing. See the final stats attached to the right (Special Thanks for Stats assistance to the Dutch Fork Staff) and hear coaches’ pre and postgame comments:

Coach Tom Knotts pregame Playoff DorVsDF

David Gutshall pregame Playoff DorVsDF

Tom Knotts postgame Playoff DorVsDF

Coach David Gutshall postgame Playoff DorVsDF



Friday Night, November 14, 2014 – SC 4A State High School Football PlayoffsWK Wolf Den Playoff 2014

The Rematch – Lexington Wildcats Vs. White Knoll Timberwolves

The SCHSL 4A playoff points system dialed up a playoff match-up that surprised many and produced a rematch of  the final regular season battle between the Region 5 Champion White Knoll Timberwolves and the Lexington Wildcats. The Z93 LexCo Football Playoff Game of the Week was at the White Knoll Wolf Den to capture all the action as Coach Josh Stepp’s Wildcats defeated White Knoll 35-21 with a renewed offense directed by Brandon Blake and once again led by strong rushing from Slade Carroll. Coach Dean Howell and the Timberwolves were disappointed with the first round loss, but they have a lot to celebrate with the team’s best performance ever in 4A Region 5. For game statistics and scoring summary, visit this link: (Special thanks to William Maple for Lexington Stats)

Hear coaches’ pre and postgame comments here:

Playoff Josh Stepp pre LexVsWK Nov14

Playoff Dean Howell pre LexVsWK Nov14

Josh Stepp post Round 1 Playoff LexVsWK

Dean Howell post Round 1 Playoff LexVsWK


Friday Night, November 7, 2014 – White Knoll Timberwolves Vs. Lexington WildcatsLexington L Wildcat logo

The Final Regular Season edition of  the Z93 LexCo Football Game of the Week featured the Region 5 Champions from White Knoll travelling to Wildcat Stadium to take on Lexington. The Wildcats opened up a 16-0 lead and led at halftime 37-7! However, the Timberwolves battled back and closed the gap to 10 points with 9:26 left in the game, trailing 37-27. But Lexington regained control with two late Touchdowns by Slade Carroll (29 rushes for 211 yards!) and the Wildcats knock off the cross town rivals and region champs 50-33!  THIS JUST IN: LEXINGTON WILL TRAVEL TO WHITE KNOLL FOR ROUND 1 OF THE SC 4A DIV 1 PLAYOFFS! HUGE REMATCH!

Unfortunately, not enough time to add details from this big game, but see photo of quick game stats attached below…

WK Vs Lex Quick Stats (courtesy

WK Vs Lex Quick Stats


Quick Statistics from White Knoll At Lexington immediately following game in the photo to the right ->

(Special thanks to William Maple for Lexington Stats – check and for final stats updates after Nov 7th)

Hear comments from Coach Dean Howell and Coach Josh Stepp here:

Dean Howell pregame WKvsLex

Josh Stepp pregame WKvsLex

Josh Stepp postgame WKvsLex

Dean Howell postgame WKvsLex



More information here:


Friday Night, October 31, 2014 – River Bluff Gators Vs. White Knoll TimberwolvesWhKnoll Scoreboard

The Z93 LexCo Football Game of the Week returned to Red Bank for the SC 4A Region 5 match up between the Gators and the T’wolves. This was the first varsity battle between the two football teams and each squad wanted this one bad!  White Knoll opened the scoring with a 1st Qtr Field Goal, but River Bluff came back in the 2nd Qtr to take a 7-3 lead on a 15 yard pass TD from Brandon Tillmon to Daniel Kight. Following the kickoff, on the first play from scrimmage, Timberwolf Running Back E’mond Brown scampered around the left end for an 80 yard Touchdown! This gave White Knoll the lead of 10-7 with 9:50 remaining in the half. Four minutes later, Gator QB Brandon Tillmon found Tight End Trent Brittingham all alone in the endzone for a 4 yard play action pass TD. River Bluff retook the lead at 14-10, but it didn’t last long as White Knoll’s next score was set up by a 76 yard pass completion from Quarterback Calev Grubbs to Eddie Prestigiacomo! Grubbs completed the scoring drive with a 9 yard rush into the endzone, bringing the halftime score to 17-14 in favor of the Timberwolves.

The opening quarter of the second half proved to be a defensive battle. The Gators lost a fumble on their first drive of the third period, but got the ball back on an impressive interception by Diante Petrusso in River Bluff’s own endzone. Both defenses battled hard to keep their opposition from scoring and were successful until 4:42 remaining in the football game. On a fake reverse, QB Calev Grubbs connected on a 75 plus yard pass Touchdown to Jason Rumph, extending the White Knoll lead to 24-14. But River Bluff did not throw in the towel. The Gators battled back, charging down the field and with 18 seconds remaining in the game, Brandon Tillmon scored on a 2 yard rush, closing the gap to 24-21 in favor of the Wolves. On the ensuing onside kickoff, Justin Salters placed a perfect ball toward the River Bluff sideline, the White Knoll receivers were blocked successfully, and Davon Johnson recovered the kick to keep the Gator hopes alive! Brandon Tillmon completed a pass to the sideline with just a few seconds remaining, setting up a 52 yard Field Goal attempt for Justin Salters (Salters made the game winner in OT just a week earlier). Up until this point in the game, there had been a good breeze in Salters’ favor, but the wind was calm for the final few minutes of play. Salters gave it all he had with a strong, square kick right down the middle, but it fell just a yard or two short of the cross bar! The White Knoll Timberwolves protected their perfect region record at 4-0, 8-2 overall, and sealed their first ever Region Title with this big Region 5 Win. The River Bluff Gators drop to 2-2 in region play, 6-4 overall. Hear pre and postgame comments from Coach David Bennett and Coach Dean Howell here:

WK’s Dean Howell pre RB Oct31 14

RB’s David Bennett pre WK Oct31 14

Dean Howell postgame RBvsWK

David Bennett postgame RBvsWK


Friday Night, October 24, 2014 – North Augusta Yellow Jackets Vs. River Bluff Gators

Tonight was another barn burner in The Swamp and a big SC 4A Region 5 battle as the River Bluff Gators upset the North Augusta Yellow Jackets 20-17 in Overtime!

Here are the highlights: The Jackets struck first as QB Trib Reece connected with Blake Busby for a 12 yard TD Pass to go up 7-0 with 5:10 left in the 1st Quarter. Following a big interception by NA’s Rashad Byrd, the Yellow Jackets scored again at 3:28 in the 1st on a QB sneak by Trib Reece to go up 14-0. At this point, many thought that North Augusta was going to run away with the game, but the Gator defense continued to battle. River Bluff’s QB Brandon Tillmon also continued to battle and kept his team in the game with some key completions and carries to keep drives alive. River Bluff’s first real opportunity to get close to scoring position resulted in a Justin Salters Field Goal, making the score 14-3 with 5:10 remaining in the 1st Half. On the ensuing kickoff, North Augusta fumbled and the Gators recovered on the Jackets 23. Tillmon led his team down to the goal line, but with just seconds remaining in the half, the Gators’ QB was picked off, again by Rashad Byrd and he returned the ball 98 yards all the way to the River Bluff 2 yard line. A sideline penalty pushed the ball back to the 7 and with 5 seconds left in the half, North Augusta’s Blake Busby connected on a 17 yard Field Goal to bring the Halftime score to 17-3 in favor of the Jackets.

The second half brought a defensive entrenchment by both teams, kicked off by River Bluff’s tone setting stop of the Jackets 2nd Half opening drive. With 5:29 left in the 3rd, the Gators tightened the gap on a 2 yard TD run by Tijuan Glenn. The defensive struggle continued into the 4th Quarter as River Bluff’s Anthony Januchowski recovered an errant snap that flew over QB Trib Reece and into North Augusta territory with just over 4 minutes remaining in the ballgame. Gator QB Brandon Tillmon put together an impressive late drive that culminated in another 2 yard TD rush by Tijuan Glenn with 21 seconds left. Justin Salters added the tying PAT and the game was knotted at 17. North Augusta ran out the clock, deciding to take their chances in Overtime.

North Augusta had the ball first and gained ground down to the 6 yard line, but on the following play, QB Trib Reece was picked off by Gator Lucas Cox! North Augusta would now have to depend on their defense, but Coach David Bennett chose to go straight for the win on the boot of his impressive field goal kicker, Justin Salters. The Gators lined up on the 10 yard line, but Salters kick flew just wide left! However, the Yellow Jackets were called for Roughing the Kicker which gave Salters another chance. His second attempt was perfect, splitting the uprights, and leaving his mark on the windows of the enzone club, the Gator Commons! River Bluff’s comeback win was complete as they take the Region 5 upset over North Augusta 20-17!

Postgame comments from Coach David Bennett:

David Bennett postgame NAugVsRB Oct24 14

Pregame conversations with Coach Brian Thomas and Coach David Bennett:

Coach Brian Thomas NAugVsRB Oct24 14

Coach David Bennett NAugVsRB Oct24 14 (includes comments on previous game vs. Lexington)

I also had the opportunity to visit with Lexington’s Coach Josh Stepp following the game with River Bluff:

Coach Josh Stepp pre Irmo Oct24 14


Friday Night, October 17, 2014 – Lexington Wildcats Vs. River Bluff Gatorsphoto (14)

Wow, just wow! What a way to start a Cross Town Rivalry! The First Ever Wildcats Vs. Gators Cross Town Clash was played tonight and in terms of a great high school football battle, it did not disappoint! A little over a year ago, speculation began about what this game would bring and how neighbors and former teammates would battle on opposite sides of the playing field. Early in the season, most did not give River Bluff much of a chance, but the Gators came into the game at 5-2, fresh off of their first Region 5 win against South Aiken 23-13 last Friday. Lexington did not fare as well in their region opener last week, losing at home to North Augusta 21-7, and dropping the overall Wildcat record to 3-4. But throw records and speculation out the window tonight as these two teams made up of “backyard brothers” did battle at “The Swamp” – the home of the Gators!

River Bluff was the first team to put points on the board as QB Brandon Tillmon scored on a 37 yard run at 11:19 in the 2nd Quarter. The Gator PAT was missed left. River Bluff added 3 more points to go up 9-0 on a Justin Salters Field Goal from 22 yards with 5:32 left in the 2nd Quarter. Lexington continued to be challenged in getting their offense in gear, but salvaged 3 points of their own with :03 left in the 1st Half on Christian Kinsley’s 25 yard Field (13)

The Wildcats were able to mix some run and pass combinations to start the 2nd Half after impressive defense against the Gators and scored their first Touchdown of the game on a 10 yard run by Jordan Carr at 5:16 remaining in the 3rd Quarter. Christian Kinsley added the PAT and the Cats had their first lead of the game at 10-9. After a strong Gator kickoff return and on the first play from scrimmage, River Bluff QB Brandon Tillmon broke another huge run of 64 yards to retake the lead! The Gator 2 point conversion attempt failed and River Bluff led 15-10. From there, the two teams traded possessions until the Gators put together a 4th Quarter drive that seemed as if they would be able to run out the clock. But with just over 2 minutes remaining in the ball game, Lexington forced River Bluff to punt. The Wildcats forged an impressive drive, found some rhythm, and with 0:58 remaining on the clock, Lexington’s QB Donny Baker found Tyler Schadewald in the back corner of the endzone for a 24 yard passing Touchdown! The Wildcats retake the lead, 16-15, but they also fail at the 2 point conversion.

Following the ensuing kickoff, River Bluff began moving the ball in hopes of getting to field goal range. The Gators made it into Wildcat territory, but with just seconds left, Jordan Carr picked off a Brandon Tillmon pass and the Wildcats were able to complete the comeback by running out the final seconds! Lexington improves to 4-4, 1-1 in Region 5 and the Gators fall to 5-3, also 1-1 in region play. Both of these teams played their hearts out and are to be commended on their efforts, but in the inaugural meeting between these two football teams, the Lexington Wildcats get the first ever win 16-15!

Hear comments from Coach Josh Stepp and Coach David Bennett below:

David Bennett pregame LexVsRB

Josh Stepp pregame LexVsRB


Coach Stepp was not available for halftime comments


David-Bennett-postgame-LexVsRB (first question from Chris Dearing, The State)


Friday Night, October 10, 2014 – North Augusta Yellow Jackets Vs. Lexington WildcatsLexington L Wildcat logo

The Yellow Jackets defeated the Wildcats of Lexington 21-7 in what many say will determine the Region 5 Title. But there is a lot football left to be played! The Wildcat Defense was very strong, but Coach Stepp’s offensive squad had trouble finding a rhythm. The Cats put together a scoring drive late in the 4th quarter, including a 34 yard pass from Donny Baker to Tyler Schadewald, but the Yellow Jackets answered with an 80 yard running touchdown to clinch the win in the region opener. North Augusta remains undefeated, 7-0, 1-0, and Lexington falls to 3-4, 0-1 in Region 5.  Hear the coaches comments here:

Pregame NAugusta Coach Brian Thomas Oct10 14

Pregame Lexington Coach Josh Stepp Oct10 14

Josh Stepp postgame NAug At Lex Oct1014 (from post game Reporters’ Pool)



I had the opportunity to spend some time talking with three outstanding Lexington, SC area coaches this week as they prepare for SC 4A Region 5 play. Take a few minutes to hear perspective from Josh Stepp, Dean Howell, and David Bennett.


Friday Night, October 3, 2014 – Irmo Yellow Jackets Vs. Dutch Fork Silver FoxesDutch Fork Helmet Entry

Looking to avenge their overtime and upset loss to Irmo last year 42-41, Dutch Fork welcomed in the Yellow Jackets to the home of the Silver Foxes! Both teams have seen some changes since last year – Dutch Fork, led by Head Coach Tom Knotts, came in as defending 4A Div.1 SC State Champions and Irmo entered the game with new Head Coach Reggie Kennedy, who coached Sumter High School against Dutch Fork in the State Championship last year. Irmo battled hard in the pouring rain of the first half, holding the Foxes to a 6-0 lead at the break. But as the rains calmed down in the second half, Dutch Fork’s offense cranked up and the Silver Foxes come away with a big rivalry win 27-7. Dutch Fork improves to 4-2 as Irmo falls to 0-6. Hear coaches comments below:

Irmo Coach Reggie Kennedy pregame Vs. Dutch Fork

Dutch Fork Coach Tom Knotts pregame Vs. Irmo

Tom Knotts postgame Vs Irmo Oct3,14


Friday Night, September 26, 2014 – Gilbert Indians Vs. Batesburg-Leesville PanthersB-L Panther Stadium

New Panthers Head Coach Perry Woolbright had his team ready to face their “next door neighbors” from Gilbert as B-L struck first on the scoreboard, set up by a 35 yard pass from Taylor Jackson to Jaquarius Hair. But the rest of the first half was all Gilbert as Coach Barry Harley’s Indians took a big lead of 21-6 into the intermission on two touchdowns by Trey Johnson and one TD by Jakayus Leaphart. In the 2nd half, the Panthers came roaring back in part because of 3 big turnovers by the Indians. The B-L team not willing to quit added 4 second half touchdowns, 2 by Terrance Wilson, and 2 by Austin Coleman, one of which was a 25 yard fumble recovery and return for the score. Gilbert kept pace adding two 2nd half TDs, one a 33 yard pass and score by Malik Bright, and the other a 14 yard keeper by Quarterback Nick Hendrix. At the end of regulation the two teams were knotted up at 35 points each! In overtime, the Panthers struck on their 1st play on a 10 yard keeper by Quarterback Taylor Jackson. It took Gilbert four plays, but Hendrix successfully found Tristan Register just inches from the back line of the endzone for the overtime TD. Gilbert lined up for the PAT, but the Panther defense manned up and blocked Zach Kilgore’s attempt to tie the game! The B-L Panthers come away with the huge victory 42-41 in the most exciting game heard yet this season on the Z93 ‘The Lake’ Lexington County High School Game of  the Week!

Coach Perry Woolbright pregame vs Gilbert

Coach Barry Harley pregame vs B-L

B-L Coach Perry Woolbright after Gilbert win   Special Thanks to Emerson Phillips (@EmersonPhillips) for allowing me to post his interview with Coach Perry Woolbright following the game!

(my own post game coaches comments fell victim to technical difficulties, my apologies)


Friday Night, September 19, 2014 – Swansea Tigers Vs. White Knoll TimberwolvesWhKnoll Scoreboard

Coach Dean Howell’s White Knoll team, fresh off of their first win a week ago at Clover, welcomed in the visiting Swansea Tigers, coached by Chad Leaphart. Hoping to achieve their first season win, the Tigers’ QB Clay Lucas connected with WR Craig Johnson early for a 52 yard pass completion, setting up the first Touchdown of the game. But the Timberwolves came back and took control, especially in the second half. Quarterback Calev Grubbs, Running Back E’mond Brown, the Offensive Line, and the entire Timberwolf Defense were very successful and defeat Swansea by a score of 34-10. I enjoyed the opportunity to get comments from both coaches:

Pregame WhiteKnoll DHowell 9-19-14

Pregame Swansea CLeaphart 9-19-14

Dean Howell postgame Swansea At WhKnoll 9-19-14


Friday Night, September 12, 2014 – Newberry Bulldogs Vs. Chapin Eagleschapin_eagles logo

Coach Phil Strickland brought his 2-0 Newberry Bulldogs to Chapin to take on the undefeated Eagles under the leadership of Coach Justin Gentry. The two I-26 neighbors battled hard and provided a great game for the faithful gathered at Chapin’s newly renovated football complex. The Eagles are working to repeat the 3A Region 4 Title they earned last year, but they came up short to the Bulldogs with the Final tally of 35-26. It was a pleasure to come in from the sidelines to fill in at Play by Play and call the action on Z93 ‘The Lake’ (93.1FM in the SC Midlands and online at Hear both coaches’ pregame thoughts here:

Short Edit Pregame Chapin JGentry Sept1214

Pregame Newberry PStrickland Sept1214

(Was unable to get postgame coach comments due to being in press box to call play by play)


Friday Night, September 5, 2014 – Pelion Panthers Vs. Gilbert IndiansGilbert logo

The Z93 Lexington County High School Game of the Week rolled into Gilbert, SC to cover the rivalry game between the Panthers and the Indians. Coach Ben Freeman’s 1-0 Pelion team with NC State commit Freddie Phillips was hoping to defeat Jakayus Leaphart and “The Tribe’ from Gilbert, headed up by Coach Barry Harley. The Indians took a 14-0 halftime lead due to ball mismanagement by the Panthers who had two big fumbles in the red zone early in the game and a controversial personal foul just before the end of the second quarter. After the break, Gilbert proved to be too strong on this night as they take their second win of the year and home opener 38-6 over Pelion in front of a packed crowd. Gilbert improves to 2-1, and Pelion takes their first loss of  the year moving to 1-1. Hear comments from Coach Freeman and Coach Harley:

Pregame Pelion BFreeman Sept514

Short Edit Pregame Gilbert BHarley Sept514

BHarley postgame Gilbert Vs Pelion 9-5-14


Friday Night, August 29, 2014 – Lexington Wildcats Vs. Westside RamsLexington L Wildcat logo

The Lexington Wildcats traveled to Anderson, SC for their season opener against the Westside Rams. Westside defeated Clover the previous week, coming into this week’s game 1-0.  The Rams got out to a big lead behind Senior Quarterback Cal King, receivers Caleb Moss (Sr) and Rodriguez Thomas (Jr) and also Junior running back Quinn Wright as Westside takes a 28-7 lead into the halftime break. But just as much as the Rams controlled the first half, the Wildcats fight back in the second half as the Lexington defense holds Westside to just 3 points in the final two quarters. The Lexington offense roared to life with new Junior Quarterback Donny Baker making strikes to Junior receivers Jayson Hopper and Tyler Schadewald. Slade Carroll, Lexington’s Junior running back pounded out yards to keep the offense moving. Two late interceptions by the Westside defense kept the Wildcats away from the end zone and the valiant comeback fell just short as Lexington drops their season opener to the Rams 31-27.

Coach Josh Stepp pre and post game interviews below:

JStepp pregame Westside 8_29_14

JStepp postgame Westside Aug2914


THROWBACK – Friday Night, November 15, 2013 – Lexington at Dorman – Round 1 SC 4A State Playoffs

Stepp and Hunter 2013

Coach Josh Stepp and North/South All Star Quarterback Will Hunter

As the excitement grows this week about the 2014 opening game for the Lexington Wildcats, I decided to take a look back at the last win for the Wildcats in 2013. The Cats came into the post season with a share of the 4A Region 5 title, a 9-2 record, and their only 2 regular season losses coming versus power house Spring Valley and the eventual 4A Division 1 State Champions, Dutch Fork. First year AD and Head Coach Josh Stepp kept his Lexington team focused on “Trust and Respect” throughout the season and provided solid leadership as his “Wildcat Family” defeated the Cavaliers of Dorman 42-28 to advance past the playoff opener. This game gave Cats fans cause to cheer about three team milestones: the first playoff win since 2010, the first defeat of Dorman in nine attempts, and the great achievement by four year starting quarterback Will Hunter surpassing 10,000 yards for his high school career. The Z93 LexCo HS Game of the Week was there to bring the action – listen below for pre and post game comments from Head Coach Josh Stepp:

JStepp pregame Dorman Nov1513

JStepp postDorman Nov1513

(my apologies for audio quality in second clip)


Friday Night, August 22, 2014 – Game 3 of River Bluff’s Kickoff Classic “Battle on the Bluff”

It was very exciting being back on the field for the Z93 Lexington County High School Game of the Week, especially for my first opportunity to call my alma mater Greenwood (Class of ’86!). Of course, it was disappointing to see the Eagles fall to the Silver Foxes of Dutch Fork, but they still have potential for a great season. I enjoyed conversations this week with Greenwood’s new AD and Head Football Coach Dan Pippin and know that his leadership will continue the great Eagle Tradition, but on this night they fall to the defending 4A Division 1 State Champions 45-19. Mike and the Greenwood Eagle


Saturday Night, August 23, 2014 – Game 5 of the “Battle on the Bluff”

Friday night got extended for this opening Week 0 for SC high school football as games 4 and 5 of this new and successful kickoff classic were played on Saturday. In the closing game, Westwood defeated the Gators of River Bluff on their home field in a big way 46-0. River Bluff’s Head Coach David Bennett, colorful as always, shared at half time on air on the Z93 Lexington County High School Game of the Week that the Gators had done some good things in the first half, but “then the Lake Murray Dam BROKE!” Hear Coach Bennett’s pre and post game comments below:

DBennett pregame Westwood Aug2314

DBennett postgame Westwood Aug2314Mike and Jordan LeNeve

‘Tiger Talk’ on Z93 ‘The Lake’

I’ve enjoyed hosting ‘Tiger Talk’Tiger Paw on the Home of Clemson Athletics in the Midlands of South Carolina, Z93 ‘The Lake’. The weekly show aired Monday evenings, 7-8pm, and each week we talked Tiger Football with callers, special guests, and former Clemson players on 93.1 FM and online at

AJ Kelly Bryant MeDecember 6, 2014 – Our show is done for the season, but as we look forward to the future of Clemson Football, it was exciting to run into a Clemson commit following the SC HS State Championships. During a stop by Zesto in West Columbia, my son AJ and I had our picture taken with Wren HS QB Kelly Bryant after he asked about my Palmetto Boys State hat. Bryant was a 2014 Boys Stater from the City of Savannah (PBS Cities are named for rivers in our state) and soon will trade in his Wren Blue and Gold for the Tigers’ Orange and Purple! He is also one of five finalists for SC’s Mr. Football and plans to begin his time at Clemson in January of 2015. It was great to spend a few minutes with you Kelly and we’re excited about your future at Clemson University! (Hear more about Kelly Bryant and his fellow Boys Staters in this June 2014 interview with Mark Sturgis of ESPN Upstate: MikeV on Straight Up with Sturg)

November 25, 2014 – I really enjoyed our show tonight as it is not very often that you have the opportunity to spend time with Legends! I was thankful and honored to have Coach Danny Ford on Tiger Talk tonight by phone for about 10 minutes to open our broadcast. Coach Ford commented on the Rivalry Week, facing the Carolina coaches of his day, some of  the difficulties of leading college athletes today (including his disappointment in some changes the NCAA has made), and his thoughts on this Saturday’s clash between the Tigers and Gamecocks.

Coach Danny Ford on Tiger Talk 11/25/14 (AUDIO)

Later in the show I shared comments about my trip to Death Valley this past Saturday, the Tigers win over Georgia State 28-0, and the very moving tribute through Military Appreciation Day that Clemson paid to our military personnel, veterans, and to the soldiers who have paid the ultimate price. In our final segment, Will Merritt, our favorite guest this year, joined us to help set the stage for the big battle this Saturday as the South Carolina Gamecocks travel to Tiger Town. He talked about how the Tigers need this win much more than the Gamecocks and that if they can overcome the turnover disaster from last year’s game, the Tigers have a great opportunity to end the 5 year streak.

November 17, 2014Will Merritt dialed into Tiger Talk to help try to bring understanding on the difficult loss against Georgia Tech, the LCL injury to Deshaun Watson, and the need for drastic improvement to Clemson’s offensive effort. Will also shared about his appearance and contribution to the ACC Blitz Saturday Show with his former Head Coach Tommy Bowden.

November 10, 2014 – We were excited to have Mark Vaughan on the show! Mark is a former Tiger football player and currently works with the SC Football Hall of Fame. He shared some stories from his time at Clemson and also gave us some interesting information about the Hall of Fame and how listeners can get involved with voting in the next SC Football HOF Class of 2015. As always, we took some time to review Clemson’s preparation for the next opponent – this week the Tigers travel to face Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

November 3, 2014Will Merritt, former Tiger Offensive Lineman and Broadcaster, and our most frequent guest was on the program to talk about the upcoming game against Wake Forest. Will also shared about being back in the booth with Pete Yanity calling games for ESPN and announced for the first time his being invited to join former Clemson Coach Tommy Bowden on his weekly Raycom Sports show! We also had the privilege of welcoming in Coach Richard Moncrief, former Tiger Quarterback. Richard now trains student athletes in Atlanta and Alabama through his Richard Moncrief Quarterback Institute.

October 27, 2014 – We welcomed back former Clemson Kicker Nelson Welch to the program. Nelson played for the Tigers from 1991-1994, holds the record for most career field goals at 72, and was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 2007. We talked about Ammon Lakip’s big game against Syracuse with the Tigers winning 16-6.

October 20, 2014 – We visited with former Clemson Wide Receiver Xavier Dye who was with the Tigers from 2007-2010. His best year came in 2009, highlighted by a big game in a win against Florida State. We discussed his time in high school with Greenwood and Byrnes, his career at Clemson, and his current position as Receivers Coach at Greenville High School. We also talked about the Tigers’ gritty 17-13 win on the road against Boston College and the upcoming Homecoming match up against Syracuse.

October 13, 2014Will Merritt joined in on the show again as we recapped the Tigers’ home win 23-17 over the Louisville Cardinals in their first visit to Death Valley and we looked ahead to Clemson’s upcoming trip to Chesnut Hill, Mass, to visit the tough defense of the Boston College Eagles. I also appreciate the call from current Clemson Freshman and Lexington High School Alum Forrest Crocker who gave us a Death Valley report and his experience showing up on the ESPNU broadcast during the Louisville game.

October 6, 2014 – What a privilege it was to have Dalton Freeman as a part of our weekly broadcast! Dalton is currently the back-up Center for the NFL New York Jets following his college career as a Clemson Tiger and what Will Merritt calls “the best Offensive Lineman Clemson has ever seen!” Dalton played his high school ball right here in Lexington County with the Pelion Panthers where his father Ben serves as Head Football Coach (Coach Ben Freeman will also serve as Shrine Bowl Head Coach for 2014). Dalton gave us an update on his play with the NY Jets, we discussed the Tigers’ big win over NC State 41-0, and looked ahead to Clemson’s first ever meeting against the Louisville Cardinals. We also had a very special call from Jeff in Red Bank who commented not only on Dalton Freeman’s abilities as a player, but also his leadership and character on and off the field!

September 29, 2014 – Welcomed in my good friend Tom Merritt to share about the life of our friend Tucker Hipps. More here: Remembering Tucker Hipps

Later in the show, Will Merritt joined in the discussion about Clemson’s big win over the UNC Tarheels 50-35 and the upcoming ACC match up against NC State at Death Valley.

September 22, 2014 – It was a privilege to have former Tiger and current Sideline Reporter for the Clemson Sports Network, Patrick Sapp, on the show this week! Patrick played quarterback for Clemson from 1992-1994 and switched over to Linebacker for his final season. He was drafted in the NFL second round in 1996 by the San Diego Chargers, played there for two seasons before being traded to the Arizona Cardinals for the remainder of his NFL career. It was a tough evening on the program as the sting was still fresh from the Tigers’ loss to Florida State 23-17. Everyone that I talked to leading up to the show agreed that Clemson won the football game in most every area except on the scoreboard. Minus several key mistakes, the Tigers would have upset the defending National Champions and #1 ranked team in the nation. But to be the great team that they are capable of being, Clemson will have to avoid those mistakes in the future. The Tigers will host the North Carolina Tarheels in Death Valley this coming week for their 2nd ACC game of the season.

September 15, 2014 – We continued our discussion of the Tigers’ big victory over SC State and focused in on what Clemson would bring to the table in Tallahassee, FL, as the 22nd ranked team takes on the defending National Champions and current top ranked Florida State Seminoles. It was a pleasure to have former Tiger Wide Receiver Terrance Ashe join us in studio! Terrance was a walk-on phenom for Clemson, received the 2009 Hustle Award voted on by coaches, and still holds record for most catches in a game by a walk-on (5 catches against Va Tech in 2007). He is now known in the Lexington area as Coach Ashe, serving as the Receivers Coach for the River Bluff HS Gators.

September 8, 2014 – I welcomed Will Merritt back to the program (see August 25th below) and also Nelson Welch, former Clemson Kicker. Nelson played for the Tigers from 1991-1994, holds the record for most career field goals at 72, and was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 2007. We discussed the Tigers victory last Saturday over SC State 73-7 and the upcoming challenge against Florida State on September 20th.

September 1, 2014 – We discussed the 45-21 season opening loss to Georgia and the upcoming home opener against SC State with these special guest callers: Clemson grad and Head Baseball Coach at Summerville High School, Banks Faulkner; Former Clemson Baseball Player, Glenn Martin; Former SC State Bulldog Football Player and Assistant SC State Football Coach, Nygel Pearson.

August 25, 2014 – Our opening show featured former Clemson University Football player and Clemson Sports Network Football Analyst, Will Merritt. Will is known not only as the Tigers’ Football radio broadcast analyst for 13 years, but also as an outstanding Clemson Offensive Lineman during 1997-2000. Our first ever caller to the show was Jordan LeNeve, Lexington High School  Graduate and broadcast assistant for  Z93’s Lexington County High School Game of the Week. We discussed the Tigers’ preseason efforts and the upcoming season opener at Georgia.

Remembering Tucker Hipps

Remembering Tucker Hipps – After leaving the Z93 Studio last Monday night following the weekly Tiger Talk show, I was contacted about the passing of my Palmetto Boys State Brother, Tucker Hipps. Tucker was a Sophomore at Clemson University, a graduate of Wren High School, and a friend through our work together at Boys State. There are many that knew him better than I, but the times I was around him over the last 3 years, I found him to be an outstanding leader, a genuine and selfless friend, a creative and talented young man, and he possessed a smile that never seemed to find a stranger. I doubt there will be times in the future that I will think about Clemson without thinking about this great tragedy. But more than his loss, I want to remember Tucker’s contributions and impact on his family, his friends, his fellow Boys Staters, his university, and the stories of his faith in Christ. Please join me in continuing to pray for his family and loved ones.

I had the opportunity, one week after Tucker’s passing, to invite Tom Merritt, my good friend and friend of the Hipps family, to share with Z93 listeners about our friend Tucker Hipps:

(Audio) Z93s Tiger Talk Remembers Tucker Hipps

When I took this photo of Santee City, my thought was that Tucker Hipps had captured one of the most creative ideas ever at Boys State.

When I took this photo of Santee City, my thought was that Tucker Hipps had captured one of the most creative ideas ever at Boys State.

Tucker Hipps had an outstanding impact on his fellow Boys State Citizens, Counselors, and Staff.

Tucker Hipps had an outstanding impact on his fellow Boys State Citizens, Counselors, and Staff.

Boys State Tucker Hipps



LexCo HS Football 2014!!!


October 10, 2014 – As three Lexington, SC area teams get ready for Region 5 play starting this week, I had an opportunity to spend some time with three outstanding coaches and athletic directors – Josh Stepp, Dean Howell, and David Bennett!

3 Questions, 3 Coaches, 3 Teams

Lexington, SC – August 4, 2014 –  I don’t know about you, but I am excited about Lexington County Football coming up in just a few weeks! Part of my excitement carries over from last season as I was privileged to help broadcast games for two state championship teams (Batesburg-Leesville and Dutch Fork), covered several teams that surprised many by going deep into the playoffs, and had the honor of getting to know so many players, coaches, parents, and fans.

This season, my excitement continues for so many reasons, but I’ll share just a couple. First, the three teams that are closest to my home here in Lexington will triangulate into a fight for the SC 4A Region 5 Title. Of course the rest of the region opponents will have a say in that discussion also. More on that in a moment – let me get the second reason checked off the list. For our fourth season together, your Lexington Community Sports Team will join forces again to bring you great high school football coverage with our Z93 ‘The Lake’ HS Game of the Week. You may remember our first two seasons were broadcast on 107.9 WLXM and last year we expanded into regional coverage on the larger 93.1 FM signal. I look forward to working again as Sideline Reporter along with Play by Play Announcer Brad Cunningham and our Expert Analyst, Coach John Daye.

Now back to the big reason for my 2014 HS Season excitement – Lexington, White Knoll, and newcomer River Bluff will all tangle as region opponents this season. Never before has this town seen what will take place this year with 3 teams within 15 miles battling for not only local bragging rights, but also a region title. Joining in the hunt will be Irmo, North Augusta, and South Aiken, but the rivalry between the three Lexington School District One neighbors will garner much attention. I was outspoken last season about the quality and character of the three new AD/Head Coaches that took over positions with these schools – Josh Stepp at Lexington High, Dean Howell at White Knoll, and David Bennett at River Bluff High – and each continues to work hard to build their teams into champions.

I visited opening practices for all three teams this past Friday and saw players and coaches taking advantage of the cool, overcast skies, and making efforts to establish early foundations. Some of the players that caught my eye Friday as leaders both on and off the field were Wildcats Jayson Hopper (Jr WR) and Jordan Carr (Sr DB); Timberwolves E’mond Brown (Sr RB) and Seth Poston (Sr LB); and Gators Whit Warner (Sr OL) and Brandon Tillmon (Jr QB). However, success in Region 5 4A will not depend on just a few key players getting pre-season attention, but on a complete team coming together to overcome the challenges thrown in their path. It is going to be fun watching these teams grow and compete this season, and giving their all to achieve the Region 5 Title.

Check back here at for upcoming posts about game coverage schedules and more insight into LexCo High School Football!

Boys’ State and The Sugar Hill Gang!

Remember the Sugar Hill Gang?

Sugar Hill Gang

My friends Seth Buckley and Brian Gibbons remember them well! Seth, Brian, and I are volunteer staff members for Palmetto Boys’ State, a laboratory in state government for rising high school seniors, sponsored by the American Legion. In the early 90’s, Palmetto Boys’ State moved from The Citadel in Charleston, SC, to Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC (then back to The Citadel, then USC, now at Anderson Univ). One of the highlights for each year’s encampment week is the Friday bus trip to Columbia, SC, our state capital, for the Boys’ State Parade and Inauguration Ceremony. During the ride to Columbia, a tradition started where the staff would get “Rapper’s Delight” going and we would see who could remember all of the rap. “Rapper’s Delight” was recorded by The Sugar Hill Gang in 1979 and is known by my generation as the original rap song. Seth always knew the words!

During Boys’ State 1997 at Wofford, I was in the gym parking lot and overheard a Wofford football player (there for summer school) yell across the parking lot to another student, “Hey, are you going to see Sugar Hill tonight?!” This peaked my curiosity and I went over and introduced myself. I asked, “Do you mean THE Sugar Hill Gang?! The original rap group?!” Note – this was almost 20 years after the song was released! They explained that Sugar Hill was scheduled to play at a downtown bar that night in Spartanburg. What an opportunity! I sprinted to find some other staff members to share an impossible idea – bring the Sugar Hill Gang to Boys’ State! I can’t remember all the staff involved, but Brian, Seth and I, along with Jay Pitts, and a few others, armed with permission from Sinclair Lewis and Gene Morehead as well as some cash we gathered (Brian remembers the amount as $800), loaded up and headed out to find “The Gang”! We talked the bar owner into giving us the name of their hotel (unbelievable!) – the old Sheraton on Heron Circle. We entered the hotel and Jay sweet talked the desk clerk into calling up to the correct hotel room (even more unbelievable!). I am still amazed to this day that 3 of the original members of the group actually came down to the hotel lobby to meet with us! We shared with them our hope that they would come over to Wofford before their show at the bar to do “Rapper’s Delight” for 800+ high school seniors. After hearing our smooth pitch and seeing us flash some cash, they agreed. THEY AGREED!

I still can’t believe it all these years later! It was awesome! The Boys Staters were already divided into 2 groups that night for political party conventions, so the Sugar Hill Gang actually performed twice. The high school students loved them, even though they weren’t quite aware of their significance, but the Staff – many of us still in school when the hit rap came out – went CRAZY! In my almost 30 years of Boys’ State memories, this ranks way up the list! Right up there with 400 NWO “hand printed” T-shirts, Tom & Dave’s Monster Truck, the Banty Hen and her deviled eggs, ButterBall’s ride on the stallion, “kidnapping” a Congressman, Vick & Dee’s Desert Storm, landing a helicopter on the Citadel parade deck and many, many more! But those stories will have to wait for another day. For now, I’ll close with… “I said a hip hop a hibbie to the hibbity hip hop a hoppin you don’t stop a rockin to the bang bang boogie say up jump the boogie to the rythym of the boogity beat…I said I am the Wonder Mike and I’d like to say hello…”

(Original post edited with information from my good friend, Judge Brian Gibbons)

Brian Hucks Shares Credit for #300

Congratulations to Brian Hucks, Head Baseball Coach of the Lexington Wildcats. Tuesday night, April 9th, 2013, Coach Hucks’ Wildcats delivered a well deserved 300th Win by beating South Aiken 3-2 and continued their trek toward a SC 4A State Championship.

The intent of my writing about this team and Coach Hucks is not to deliver all of the statistics and history behind this great accomplishment. That information will be discussed on many other  sites, blogs, and talk shows. My intent is to share what I know about this coach and how I have seen a community rally around a team that has done so much in less than two years.


The excitement was great just over two years ago as it was announced that Lexington High School would be bringing back one of it’s own to coach the Wildcat Baseball Team. At the time, I had met Coach Hucks and had seen him often as his family attended the church where I was serving on staff. I didn’t realize then how successful and how well respected he was and also didn’t realize that I would soon get the opportunity to be a part of the local radio broadcasts following the team.                                                 

Fast forward to April 3rd. We traveled to cover the First Place Wildcats bid against the Aiken Green Hornets and watched Lexington dominate the game with a 12-2 win in 6 innings. As always, during the post game interview, Coach Hucks focused on his players, their performance and abilities, and gave us a good picture of what was ahead in the coming week as South Aiken was scheduled to visit Lexington. He never once eluded to anything about his own record or skills, but we learned very quickly through our good friend Tony Ciuffo (father of highly ranked Wildcats Catcher Nick Ciuffo and Lexington Baseball SID) about the implications of the upcoming game. Coach Hucks 300th win was in the on deck circle.

Before each game broadcast, Brad Cunningham (play by play announcer) and I try to meet with Coach Hucks to gain insight on his perspective on the game and also to record a pregame interview. On April 9th, before recording, I started by asking if he wanted any mention of number 300 and he politely refused. He wanted us to stay focused on South Aiken being the toughest region opponent they would face and their goal of winning the 4A Region V Title. But in the back of everyone’s mind was this fact that the team had a great opportunity on this night to deliver a special gift to their coach. Brad and I were very obvious on the air that we were pulling hard for the Wildcats to achieve this big win!  

If you are around Lexington High School athletics, you will often hear about how Coach Hucks has high expectations of his team, but also about how he cares for each one of his players. I saw a true glimpse of how he cares for his team and how his team respects and loves their coach following the emotional 3-2 Win #300. After the two teams shook hands, Coach Hucks met his own team at home plate with a handshake and embrace for each player. He truly understands that this game is about the players and they give him so much credit for their success.

Another member of the team that gets credit from Coach Brian Hucks is his father, known to the team as “Papa.” Coach Hucks often says, “I take care of coaching the team and “Papa” takes care of coaching me! As the head coach was being surrounded by assistant coaches, “Papa”, reporters, and fans with congratulations, the team unveiled a banner reading “Brian Hucks – 300th Win” and then snuck up on Hucks with the traditional Gatorade bath!

(Not the best photo ever! Taken with my phone from the broadcast booth – but you can see the empty Gatorade bucket and the ice still on the field!)

Usually, Coach Hucks joins us in the booth soon after the handshakes and gives us his perspective on the game. For #300, we probably had the longest post game report ever as the coach took time to hear the kind words from his team, coaching staff, parents, and fans. We eventually heard from him on-air and he shared comments first about the great win for this team and his players and the fact that the players continue to perform and meet the expectations of a championship team. As we moved into talking about what it means for a high school coach to have won 300 games, Coach Hucks shared words that are still fresh today. While trying to hold back some emotion, he simply and humbly responded, “It means that I am getting older and that I have had the privilege to coach some great players.” 

The first picture above (Coach Hucks and his family)  and the one here (Coach Brian Hucks, Coach “Papa” Hucks, and the Wildcats) are from the Lexington High School Baseball facebook page. Credit for the awesome photos goes to Mandy Smith, inspired by her son Cody, the Wildcats Shortstop.

Some of those great players and fans posted their thoughts through social media:

Cats win!!! Cats win!!! Coach Hucks gets #300!!!! ITS GREAT TO BE A WILDCAT!!!!! Complete story and stats on historic nite at Wildcat Field coming at 

We have the best baseball coach in the entire country. #300andcounting   A handful of coaches get to #300 wins. But few can change his players lives along the way. @bhucks17 best coach and man I have ever met.

Congrats to @bhucks17 on his 300th win! Honored to be a part of it.

S/O to @bhucks17 for 300th career win! #whatacoach

Congrats to @bhucks17 on his 300th win!! #17

Lexington beats South Aiken 3-2. Coach Brian Hucks notches 300th career win.

Congrats to @bhucks17 on his 300th win

Congrats to @bhucks17 on victory #300 proud & privileged to say I was able to contribute to this achievement! Congrats Coach! #welldeserved

@bhucks17 means more to me as a person and coach then I could ever explain. I wouldn’t be the player or person I am if it wasnt for him…..I want to thank you for everything you have done for me and congrats on your 300th win. #300andcounting

Congrats to @bhucks17 on 300th win… #NHSI13 (coach) with many more wins to come.

Good win for us tonight but even better win for @bhucks17 ! #congrats #300win

Congrats to @bhucks17 on 300 wins. He is the best coach I’ve ever played for and I wouldn’t be the player or man I am without him. #Thanks

Everyone keep blowing up @bhucks17 twitter and keep letting him know he is the greatest coach in the country because it is the truth

@bhucks17 won his 300th game tonight.What is most important is that is a lot of kids that have been around a great coach and even better man

Congrats to @bhucks17 on his 300th career win tonight. We couldn’t have gotten this far without him.

Congrats to @bhucks17 on his 300th win, best coach in the state by far!

Hey… Whats a 300th career win without a few grey hairs along with it… Congrats to the best coach I’ve ever played for, @bhucks17 !

@bhucks17 is the best coach/man I’ve ever been around. You mean more than you know to us. Congrats on #300 and many more to come.

@bhucks17 I have been there in the trenches for 100th, 200th and 300th win and be here till the end bra we attached at the hip boss man

Lexington edges South Aiken 3-2; Brian Hucks notches 300th win

This is why he’s best around….Honored to say I had a hand in a few of those 300. @bhucks17

Charlie Trowbridge Congrats to Coach Hucks and the Wildcats!!

Jan Fox So proud of Brian & the Wildcats! Class act!

Brenda H Myers GREAT JOB..BRIAN..

LeAnne Cooper Morris Way to go Hucks!!

Ann Cox WOW!

Hal Banks Congratulations!!

As I finish this article up, I just found an article posted today by Baseball America’s Assistant Editor, Nathan Rode, that tells the story well. I’ll post the link below.

Again, congratulations Coach Brian Hucks and Lexington Wildcats on not only your athletic success  and #300, but also the way you win as a team and care for each other. The Lexington community has a great group of guys – both coaches and players, to be proud of this spring!

Catch the Wildcat Baseball Game of the Week broadcast on 107.9 WLXM and

Nathan Rode article:



Ben Martin and the Tour


UPDATE – If you’ve read this post since May 2013, you know that I didn’t keep my promise below to keep my info updated on Ben’s success. Ben had an outstanding finish on the Tour and won the right to advance to the PGA Tour in 2014! Congrats Ben! We’re all pulling for your continued success!

Greenwood, SC native and Clemson Alumni Ben Martin is one of my favorite professional golfers. I have known his mom and dad since I was young and had the privilege of getting to know Ben and his brother Matt while serving as a volunteer at Greenwood High School. Along with many other SC golf enthusiasts, I have taken interest in Ben’s career and decided to write about his growing success. This article will be updated with current results as the 2013 golf season progresses. (Latest results at top)

Currently on the 2013 Tour money list: Up from 58th to 45th, to 29th, to 23rd place! Earnings now equal $57,358. Highest ranking statistics: 4th in Greens in Regulation (78.15%), 15th in Total Driving (82), 3rd in Ball Striking (19), 8th in Total Birdies (96), 15th in All-Around (313, Top 8 stats combined), 11th in Scoring Average with a Sub 70 Average of 69.89. Next event: The BMW Charity Pro-Am, May 16-19, headquartered at the Thornblade Club in Greenville, SC.

The week of May 2-5 brought Ben Martin to Athens, GA for the closest event to home so far this season. The Stadion Classic at the University of Georgia proved to be a wet one, especially with the final round being cancelled due to over 3 inches of rain in a 24 hour period. It was determined that the tournament would be decided by the totals following round 3 and Martin finished Tied for 8th, another best of the season! Ben continues to improve on his finish position for each cut he has made and this week he added another $16,200 to his earnings total. His success in 2013, especially over the last three events,  has propelled him to 23rd on the money list and into the very sought after “Top 25” which will determine the players earning a PGA Tour card for next season.

After a week off, the Tour players returned to action at the South Georgia Classic in Valdosta, GA. At the April 25-28 tournament held at the Kinderlou Forest Golf Club, Martin matched his performance from the previous event by finishing Tied for 11th for the second tournament in a row. He shot 69, 72, 71, 70, a 6 under 282 for the tournament, earning a $14,300 pay day!

It was fun to watch tour updates as Ben Martin made strides this weekend at the Western National Bank Classic at Midland Country Club in Midland, Texas. The April 11-14 tour stop proved to be his best leader board finish of the 2013 season so far, Tied for 11th, and his second best 4 round score of the year at 278 (best was 276 at Chile Classic in March). Ben shot 71-68-67-72, with the 67 being his second best single round this year (1st round 66 in LA Open) and he secured a nice paycheck of $13,200! He may look back and give credit to his green “Masters Week” socks he mentioned on Twitter: @Ben_Martin87 “Even though Im in Midland,TX I can still rock the green @kentwool socks on Masters Sunday, right? @golfsockguy” (Martin played in the 2010 Masters with Brother Matt on the bag!)

After surging in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, Martin flattened out a little to begin round 4, suffering bogeys at 5, 10, and 11. But in dramatic fashion, Ben surged once again and closed out Midland CC with Birdies on three of the last four holes – the par five 15th, and the par four 17th and 18th! A great week in Texas and I am sure that Ben looks forward to playing a little closer to home – the next 2 tournaments in Georgia and then Upstate, South Carolina!

April 4-7, Ben Martin and fellow golfers journeyed back down to South America for the Brasil Classic held at the Sao Paulo Golf Club. Martin got off to a good start in Round 1 with a 69, but followed on Friday with a 74 (143), missing the cut by 3 strokes. Ben’s twitter account (@Ben_Martin87) read, “When a black cat ran across the 1st fairway as I was over my tee shot, I had a feeling today was going to be an uphill battle #74”

The first 2013 Tour event held on U.S. soil was March 21-24. The Chitimacha Louisiana Open was played at Le Triomphe Country Club in Broussard, LA, and was the site of Martin’s most successful tournament to date. He scored an opening round 66 (his best this season), followed by 67-71-71 (275), finished T22nd, and earned a $5,000+ paycheck.

The first full week of March 2013 led players to the Prince of Wales Country Club in Santiago, Chile for the Chile Classic. Ben Martin posted rounds of 68-71-68-69 (276), placing him in a tie for 26th for the tournament.

The second tour stop for 2013, the Columbia Championship in Bogota, Colombia, proved too tough for Martin as he was cut after rounds of 72 and 70 (142).

Martin tied for 28th, finishing +1 (281) in the 2013 tour opener, Feb 21-24, at the Panama Glaro Championship in Panama City, Panama. Tour players will see big changes in 2013 as this tour becomes the path to achieve the elusive PGA Tour card.

Martin returns to the Tour off a strong finish at the close of the 2012 season. He battled hard to finish 3rd in the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open, the final “regular season” tournament of 2012, which secured the 60th and final qualifying position for the Tour Championship the following week at TPC Craig Ranch. He finished the championship tied for 13th and a placement of 54th on the final 2012 Money List, totaling $112,570 for the year (according to


Pendleton Owns New Low Country Classic Record!

EDISTO BEACH, SC – The Fourth Annual Low Country Classic High School Golf Invitational was held April 5-7, 2013, at The Plantation Course at Edisto, and featured 20 outstanding teams from all over South Carolina. The boys golf team from Pendleton High School (Anderson, SC District Four), coached by Bulldogs Coach Tim Wood, not only secured a 3 shot victory, but also set a new team record of 589 for the 2 day competition. Carson Young was the top player for Pendleton, shooting 66-67 (135) and also earning himself tournament medalist honors. Young’s teammate, Austin Langdale, also contributed greatly to the Bulldogs’ win, finishing tied for 4th with 70-72 (142).

The Plantation Course at Edisto played difficult over the weekend following several inches of rain the past two weeks in the ACE Basin, but did allow four golfers to post rounds below 70. The course, which was restructured six years ago, is the only golf course on Edisto Beach and is a favorite among golfers from South Carolina and beyond. When asked in February if they would be playing in the Low Country Classic, Coach Brandon Smith of Lexington High School stated, “That’s an invitation you don’t turn down! We love it at Edisto and we’ll be there!”

The Low Country Classic is made possible each year through a community effort and the hard work of the staff at The Plantation Course at Edisto. Tournament Director and Host Leland Vaughan commented, “Our tournament is all about SC high school golfers and giving them an opportunity to shine. This year’s competition was the closest we’ve ever had, and included a new team record. Our state has the best golfers in the country and we want to bring all the attention we can to these players and coaches, and we could not pull this event off without the help of our TPC members, patrons, and the great Edisto Beach community!”

In addition to Carson Young and Austin Langdale (Pendleton), six more players were honored for their individual efforts by being named to the LCC All Tournament Team: Jonathon Hardee (Riverside, 138, 2nd), Andrew Novak (Indiv.Invitee, 139, 3rd), Patrick Ging (Bishop England, 142, T4th), Katelyn Dambaugh (Pinewood Prep, 143, 6th, 1 of 2 female players), JD Lehman (Hilton Head Christian, 144, T7th), and Trace Crowe (Easley, 144, T7th). The All Tournament Team is limited to 8 total, but very deserving of an Honorable Mention is Harry Reynolds of Christ Church Academy for shooting 144 (T7th) but losing the final position in a scorecard playoff. Reynolds is a 7th Grader!

The LCC tournament format allows each team to play five golfers and the best 4 scores each day are totaled and recorded as the team score. The Top 12 Team totals for both days are as follows: 1) Pendleton 589 (New LCC Record), 2) Bishop England 592, 3) Christ Church Academy 598, 4) Hilton Head Christian 601, 5) AC Flora 605, T6) Byrnes 609, T6) Easley 609, 8) South Aiken 615, 9) Oakbrook Prep 616, 10) Riverside 620, 11) Dorman 623, 12) Lexington 629. (As of time of posting, other team scores not yet made available) The other team participants this year were Fort Dorchester, Gaffney, Blythewood, Myrtle Beach, Pinewood Prep, Dutch Fork, Aynor, and Chapin.

Complete tournament details, results, course information, Edisto Beach information, photos, and more will be available at