Blue Hose Roundup

PC Football Elevates Haltiwanger

 

Presbyterian College and Head football coach Tommy Spangler has announced the promotion of Kent Haltiwanger to assistant coach.  

In this position, he will be responsible for tight ends. He has also been named Director of Football Operations.

“I am excited to finally be able to name Kent (Haltiwanger) assistant coach here at PC coaching our tight ends,” said Spangler. “He has a wealth of experience and knows the ins and outs of football, and has already been an asset here the last three seasons.  Previously, he turned around Wade Hampton and knows what it takes to be successful.  I know he’ll continue to do great things here.”

Haltiwanger is in his fourth season on the PC football staff, but first year as a full-time assistant coach. He has been a football analyst, working with the offense, the last three seasons.

“It is great to be back full-time at my alma mater,” said Haltiwanger. “PC is such a wonderful institution and it is a place I have always considered home.  I’m thankful for Coach Spangler and the staff here for having faith in me to continue to do what I love.”

Haltiwanger served as head coach at Wade Hampton High School for 10 seasons, posting a record of 50-63, matching Bill Phillips as the Generals' winningest coach.  He led the Generals to five winning seasons in 10 years.  Only nine teams had made the playoffs previously, and seven of his 10 teams reached the postseason. Wade Hampton moved up to Class AAAA in 2012 and reached the playoffs in its first two seasons in the new classification. In 2012, the Generals defeated traditional powers Gaffney and Spartanburg.

A three-time region coach of the year, Haltiwanger led Wade Hampton to a 9-3 record in 2011, including a 5-0 mark in the Peach Blossom AAA Region. The Generals won the region that year, the school's second region title in football in its history and its first since 1968.

Prior to his stint at Wade Hampton, Haltiwanger was an assistant football coach and head track coach at Hilton Head from 2004-2005. From 2000-2004, Haltiwanger was an assistant football coach and head baseball coach at Clover High School. He was also at Newberry High School from 1988 to 2000.

Haltiwanger graduated from Presbyterian College in 1987 with a degree in history. He played football all four years, under both Elliott Poss and Cally Gault, and was starting center for the 1987 NAIA Quarterfinal championship team.   He also played baseball for two seasons.

He earned a Master’s Degree in Sport Science Administration from the US Sports Academy in 2001.

Haltiwanger is married to the former Tracy Yarborough of Lexington. They have two children, Kelly (24), who works for Deloitte in Philadelphia, and Rachel (21), who is a junior at the University of South Carolina.

 

McElroy signs for PC women’s wrestling

 

BY TREVOR BAUKNIGHT

trevor@theitem.com

 

Hannah McElroy, the lone female wrestler on Sumter High School's varsity wrestling team, signed on with Presbyterian College's nascent women's wrestling team on Friday.

McElroy said she became interested in the male-dominated sport because of her almost 10 years in martial arts. "When I was 9 years old, I started doing martial arts, and I was doing Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which is similar to wrestling. When I got to high school, I had the opportunity to do wrestling, and I fell in love with it. I just said I wanted to do it and they let me do it."

For McElroy, the daughter of Craig and Tansy McElroy, martial arts was the more interesting alternative.

"I was in Girl Scouts, and my brother was in karate," she said. "I got sick of Girl Scouts, so I went with him to karate and they put me in the jiu-jitsu class.

"I've been in a guy's sport my whole life, so it hasn't been a problem for me," McElroy said of going out for the boy's team. "If I hadn't been doing that, I'm sure it would have been a lot more intimidating than it was and I might not have stuck with it.

"There have been a couple of peers that were like 'Eh,' about working with me, but they had no problem with my being there, and the coaches were totally supportive," she said.

McElroy said she commands a bit of respect from her male opponents, even if they don't expect her to beat them. "A lot of guys don't think I'm as strong or as stubborn as they are on the mat," she said. "They'll come over and shake my hand afterward and say, 'You were actually a really good opponent.' Some of them think, 'Oh, it's just a girl, I can handle her,' and then a lot of times it's a pretty good match."

McElroy said it had been a tough go against her male counterparts, but wrestling against girls in tournaments sanctioned by USA Wrestling, she has seen quick success.

"There is a size difference between girls and guys even if you're the same weight, there's a muscle difference no matter what," she said. "Against girls I've done really well. My first year wrestling, I got first in state, and my second year wrestling I got third."

McElroy's coach at Sumter High, Josh Williams, who is now a wrestling and football coach at Lakewood, said it wasn't unusual for him to have a girl on the boys team.

"Here at Sumter High, I always had a girl on the team," Williams said. "The first one would still be here as a senior, but her family was military. It's not unusual for me or unusual anywhere anymore. Wrestling's really taken off and a lot of girls are joining in."

Williams attributed that to the success of the women's national team and the recognition garnered by Helen Maroulis.

"A lot more kids are getting involved, and girls sports are on the rise," Williams said.

Williams said McElroy was an asset to the team.

"She's a great athlete, a great young woman and she's going to do great in college," he said. "Any time we had something to do she was always there - fundraising, she always showed up. Her schedule was a lot more demanding because she'd have to wrestle in guys matches on Friday and Saturday, and then on Sunday wake up and go wrestle in girls tournaments.

"We'd go down to Charleston, and up to Rock Hill for a tournament, and there would be girls wrestling from North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia," he said. "And they didn't really group them into weight classes, so they'd be wrestling kids that were 10-15 pounds heavier than she was. But those tournaments got her ready and she was first in the state her first year and third this year. Pretty good for only two years."

McElroy said she had a couple of offers, but chose Presbyterian because it's not too far away and she had a lot of respect for Blue Hose coach Mark Cody.

"He's super nice and is really trying to get a team together," she said. "He has an impressive resume -- used to coach at a couple of high-level colleges, he has coached Olympic athletes, and he's coached UFC fighters for their wrestling, so I was really into him and the school, and it was a really good fit."

McElroy plans to study early childhood education at Presbyterian. She joins fellow Gamecock Eliza Ackerman at PC, who will be a part of the school's first tumbling team.

Williams said girls wrestling is on the rise, and he hopes other girls will take an interest, not only for the scholarship opportunities but also for the discipline and mental toughness it demands.

"I guarantee within a few years, most of the schools with wrestling teams will be leaning toward starting women's teams," he said. . There are opportunities to get scholarships, but more importantly, wrestling is the sport that best prepares athletes for life. It's the toughest sport - six minutes on the mat is the hardest thing you'll ever do."

 

Sharp Adds Rhodes, Cole to PC Women's Basketball Staff

 

Presbyterian College Athletics and women’s basketball head coach Alaura Sharp announced last Tuesday the addition of Brooke Rhodes as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. 

A native of Pelahatchie, Mississippi, Rhodes joins PC after spending the last two years assisting at Jones County Junior College.

“I am really excited about the opportunity to work at PC and be a part of the Clinton community,” said Rhodes. “I am grateful to work alongside Coach Sharp, believe in her vision for the program and look forward to helping her fulfill it.”

Rhodes spent the last two seasons at JCJC where she helped coach the Bobcats to a 56-6 (.903) record over that span. The team won back-to-back MACJC State Championships as well as back-to-back NJCAA Region 23 Championships. In 2016, the Bobcats made their first ever National Tournament appearance and advanced to the Elite Eight. In 2017, the team returned to the Tournament and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. During her tenure, Rhodes was selected to coach in the 2017 NJCAA All-Star Game as well as the 2018 MACJC Sophomore All-Star Game.

Prior to her time at JCJC, Rhodes spent one season at the University of Central Arkansas where she helped guide the Bears to an overall record of 28-3, a Southland Conference tournament championship and the program’s first DI NCAA Tournament berth. That season, UCA set program records for regular-season wins (28) and Southland Conference wins (16) while going undefeated on the road in conference play for the first time in program history.

“Brooke is an awesome addition to our women’s basketball staff,” said Sharp. “She is not only an excellent recruiter, but she has tremendous knowledge of the game. Brooke is a proven winner, and she has shown that at every stop as a player and coach. She has a great energy and passion and will be a true asset to the PC community.”

Rhodes had a successful playing career at Southern Miss and Delta State in which her teams went a combined 96-32 (.744). A team captain on a 25-win, WNIT Elite Eight team at Southern Miss in 2014-15, Rhodes finished the season ranked 2nd in the Conference USA and among the national Top-40 in 3-point field goal percentage.

A prolific shooter throughout her career, Rhodes – a Daktronics All-South Region selection in 2012 – finished her time in uniform with averages of 36.7 percent from 3-point range and 81.3 percent at the free throw line. In high school she was a Dandy Dozen selection and a two-time statewide Player of the Year at East Rankin. Rhodes earned her undergraduate degree in biological sciences, as well as a chemistry minor, from Southern Miss in 2014. She also completed a master's at USM in sports coaching education in 2016.

Sharp Adds Cole to Basketball Staff

 

Presbyterian College Athletics and women’s basketball head coach Alaura Sharp announced Monday the addition of Kenia Cole as an assistant coach. 

Cole comes to PC after one season at Oberlin College.

“I'm thankful and excited to work with the entire PC women's basketball staff,” said Cole. “I look forward to being a part of such a great program. This is a tremendous opportunity for me as a coach to learn and grow under Coach Sharp's leadership.”

Cole assisted the Yeowomen to its first North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament Championship and its first trip to the NCAA Tournament. Oberlin finished the season with a program-best record of 21-8.

“Kenia is a great fit to finalize our women's basketball staff,” said Sharp. “She has been a part of winning cultures both as a player and coach. She will be a tremendous role model for our players and an asset in our recruiting efforts. I am really excited to welcome Kenia to our PC family.”

Cole was a four-year member of the women’s basketball team at Hampton University. She is a four-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) regular season champion, three-time MEAC tournament champion and was named the most improved player as a junior. She totaled over 245 assists in her career and ranked in the program’s top-10 for made three-pointers.

In addition to her success on the court, she was on the Dean's List all four years of her career and earned a bachelor’s of science in sport management in May of 2015. She completed her master’s of professional studies in sports industry management at Georgetown University in May of 2017.

 

PC Men’s Basketball Rounds Out Signing Class

 

Presbyterian College and head men’s basketball head coach Dustin Kerns announced the signing of forward Cory Hightower, Jr. (Norcross, Ga.) to play for the Blue Hose in the fall of 2018.  

He joins guard Adam Flagler (Duluth, Ga.), guard Chris Martin (Charlotte, N.C.) who signed this spring, and guard Jordan Gibson (Bristow, Va.) and guard Kody Shubert (Maiden, N.C.) who signed this past November.

“We are super excited about adding Cory to our basketball family,” said Kerns. “Cory has a very high basketball IQ and with his size gives us a lot of versatility. He has an extremely high ceiling as a player and he has a strong desire to reach his full potential. He led Meadowcreek to a 7A State Championship this season and was a huge factor for his team and program’s success. He comes from a wonderful mother in Carolyn Stewart. He played for a very good AAU program in Stackhouse Elite and has been very well coached by Curtis Gilleylen at Meadowcreek High School.  

“Cory is a great fit for Presbyterian College, our program, and the Clinton community. Cory is an exciting player and we cannot wait to get him on campus! Please welcome Cory and his mother to the PC family.”

Cory Hightower, Jr. - Fr. - F - 6-7 - 215 – Norcross, Ga./Meadowcreek

High School: Named Second Team All-Region as a junior at Meadowcreek HS ... Averaged 10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.2 steals his junior campaign, increasing those numbers his senior year, 11.9 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.3 steals ... He helped the Mustangs to their first state tournament appearance since 2013 his junior year and led them to the 7A State Championship this past season ...

Club: Played AAU with Stackhouse Elite ... Was invited to the Hoop Seen Elite camp in 2017 ...

Personal: Son of Carolyn Stewart and Cory Hightower, who was selected in the second round of the 2000 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs and played professional basketball for over 10 years.

 

Purcell Announces the Signing of Serrano for 2018

 

Presbyterian College women’s soccer coach Brian Purcell announced the addition of Megan Serrano to the 2018 signing class.

“We feel very fortunate to sign a player of Megan’s experience and ability at this point in the recruiting cycle,” said Purcell. “She will be a great addition to our Goalkeeper Corps.  Megan is a very strong student and person of great character.  I look forward to coaching her for the next four years.”

Megan Serrano – GK – 5’8” – Jacksonville, N.C. (Jacksonville H.S.)

High School: Played four years of varsity soccer at Jacksonville HS earning All-Conference honors twice as well being named All-Region and All-State once ... Member of four conference championship teams and one regional championship team ... Team finished runners-up at the regional championship twice and at the state championship once ... Played in the "East vs West All-Star Game" as well as in the "Clash of the Carolinas."

Club: Played club soccer with the Triangle Futbol Club Alliance ... Team won the State Cup Championship and Southern Regional Championship within the National League ... 2017 Southern Regional Golden Glove Winner as well as the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championship's "Best 11" award.

Personal: Megan Anne Serrano ... Daughter of Sergio Serrano ... Chose PC because of the great opportunity to learn, grow and compete as a Division I soccer player while receiving a great education ... Intends to major in psychology.

My Clinton News

P.O. Box 180
513 North Broad St.
Clinton, SC 29325
Phone: (864) 833-1900
Fax: (864) 833-1902

 

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