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Former Manning running back and linebacker Aaron Smith (11) hasn't had the ideal start to his career at South Carolina State, as the former Monarch hasn't been able to see the team's playbook or report to campus.

Sumter's Roberts, Manning's Smith gear up for complicated first season at S.C. State

Sumter High School kicker and punter Dyson Roberts and Manning High linebacker Aaron Smith are preparing to play their first season of college football during one of the most difficult summers in history due to the coronavirus pandemic. The pair …

Former Sumter pitcher Charlie Barnes narrowly missed out on being a part of the Minnesota Twins' 60-man "summer camp" but he's working to stay ready if he gets the call at some point this season.

No summer camp: Barnes misses out on spot on Twins 60-man roster

Charlie Barnes and his wife, Sydne Rae, are going through an exciting time in their lives. The couple is in the process of moving into a new house here in Sumter. However, there is somewhere else Barnes would really like to be right now. Summer …

Sumter's Jackson Hoshour drove in one of the P-15's five first-inning runs during the team's 7-5 win over Dalzell-Shaw on Monday.

P-15’s beat Jets 7-5 in 10 innings

DALZELL – When the Sumter P-15’s put up five runs in the top of the first inning of their baseball game against the Dalzell-Shaw Jets on Monday at Thomas Sumter Academy’s General …

Newcomer Brew wins Mod-4 Mid-Summer Showdown

Sumter Speedway hosted its first Mod-4 Mid-Summer Showdown on Saturday with 16 drivers on hand competing for the $1,100 winner's purse. Pete Brew made the best of his first trip to the 3/8-mile dirt track, picking up the Mod-4 win. Three-time …

New Thomas Sumter Academy football head coach Brannon Tidwell, left, is working on getting the Generals up to speed during summer workouts during the pandemic.

Thomas Sumter football happy to get to work under Tidwell

This summer has made for a difficult offseason for coaches across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it has been especially difficult for new coaches. Brannon Tidwell has been trying to establish a new energy to the football program at …

From the Wire

Former Southern California quarterback JT Daniels will be immediately eligible to play at Georgia this season.

Former SoCal QB Daniels eligible for 2020 at Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - Former Southern California starter JT Daniels says he has been granted immediate eligibility at Georgia, where he can join the competition Daniels announced his transfer to Georgia on May 29 and he can play for three seasons. …

Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett (95) is closing in on a contract extension with the Browns.

Browns, Garrett closing in on contract extension

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Browns are closing in on a contract extension with star defensive end Myles Garrett, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in 2017 and one of the …

Kansas City defensive tackle Chris Jones (95) signed a 4-year extension with the Chiefs on Tuesday.

Chiefs, Jones agree to 4-year, $85M extension

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City Chiefs and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Chris Jones agreed to a four-year contract that could be worth up to $85 million on Tuesday, the latest in a lavish spending spree by the Super Bowl champions as they continue …

Atlanta center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) expects to have an expanded role with the Braves this season.

Braves' CF Acuna has even bigger role in shortened 2020 season

ATLANTA - Ronald Acuna Jr. isn't letting the coronavirus pandemic silence his love of baseball. The empty seats at the Atlanta Braves' newly renamed Truist Park have left Acuna with more space to yell encouragement, sing and joke during workouts. …

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey and other leaders in the conference met Wednesday to discuss plans for football in the fall.

SEC leaders meet to discuss football

Southeastern Conference athletic directors met on in person in Birmingham, Alabama, to discuss how the SEC can have a football season as COVID-19 cases spike throughout much of the South. No final decisions were expected to be announced, but the …

Prep Sports

The Sumter School District is still deciding when they will allow its high schools to resume sports activities, including football with Sumter quarterback Hayden Vasquez (15), after the South Carolina High School League announced that each school district will be able to decide when athletics resume.

Sumter School District yet to decide when student-athletes can begin workouts

The South Carolina High School League announced at the end of last week the state's public schools could begin summer workouts after having sports shut down since the middle of March due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, it left the door open to …

CLEMSON

PHIL KORNBLUT

USC gets commitment from Marion DE Sanders

There were plenty of recruiting fireworks for the University of South Carolina football program in the days leading up to the Fourth of July holiday. Head coach Will Muschamp added three more of his targets to the 2021 class, bringing the class …

PHIL KORNBLUT

USC adds two more commitments for '21 class

The University of South Carolina football program added two more commitments for its 2021 recruiting class, adding wide receiver Derwin Burgess and athlete Simeon Price. Burgess (5-feet-11-inches, 177 pounds) of Riverdale, Ga., announced on …

PHIL KORNBLUT

USC picks up commitments from Blake, Morgan

The University of South Carolina football program picked up two commitments last Monday in Wide receiver O'Mega Blake of South Pointe High School in Rock Hill and offensive lineman JonDarius Morgan of Birmingham, Ala. Blake (6-feet-2-inches, 188 …

PHIL KORNBLUT

USC adds a pair of commitments from Georgia

University of South Carolina football head coach Will Muschamp tweeted out a pair of his #SpursUp commitment alerts on Monday. One was determined to be for safety Jayden Johnson of Cedartown, Ga. The second one was unidentified at the point of …

PHIL KORNBLUT

USC picks up commitment from RB McDowell

Running back Caleb McDowell (5-feet-10-inches, 175 pounds) of Leesburg, Ga., announced a commitment to the University of South Carolina on Tuesday. McDowell previously was committed to North Carolina State, having pledged to it in April. He broke …

USC

Sumterite and former USC closer Matt Price was the third leading vote getter for relief pitcher on ESPN's Greatest All-Time College Baseball Team.

USC's Price receives high vote total for ESPN's Greatest All-Time Team

Matt Price's career as the closer for the University of South Carolina continues to resonate throughout the annals of college baseball history. Price, who helped the Gamecocks to not only the best 3-year stretch in the program's history, but one …

Former South Carolina football player and athletic director King Dixon passed away on Monday at the age of 83.

Former USC football star, AD Dixon dead at 83

COLUMBIA (AP) - Former South Carolina running back, athletic director and board of trustees member King Dixon died on Monday. He was 83 years old. The university said in a release that Dixon had fought pancreatic cancer. "King Dixon made his …

Members of the South Carolina baseball team begin a dogpile after Whit Merrifield's run-scoring single gave the Gamecocks a 2-1 win over UCLA to the win the championship series of the 2010 College World Series.

Worth the Price: Former USC closer Matt Price remembers magical run to 2010 CWS title

When practice and intrasquad scrimmages came to an end for the University of South Carolina baseball team in the fall of 2009, Matt Price didn't know where he stood. "I did not do well in fall intrasquads, and the coaches were actually looking at …

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley would be prepping to coach Team USA in the Olympics if not for the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, she's focusing on getting the Gamecocks back on campus safely.

Staley awaits Olympics, focuses on USC

NEW YORK - Coach Dawn Staley would be prepping the U.S. women's basketball team for the Tokyo Olympics this week if not for the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, she'll hold a Zoom conference call Wednesday with players who are vying for a spot on …

Sumter defensive end Justus Boone (6) is committed to play at Florida, but will be taking visits to USC and Arizona State this fall.

Florida commit Boone to visit USC, Arizona State in October

Sumter High School defensive end Justus Boone committed to Florida in February, but the recruiting, both ways, has not stopped. Schools are still offering and talking, and Boone is still listening. In fact, he has scheduled official visits to …

Outdoors

Bassmaster releases its rankings of best bass lakes

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Since 2012, Bassmaster Magazine has released annual rankings of the country's best bass fisheries. While tournament data could not be gathered because of the COVID-19 pandemic, crunching numbers gathered over the past eight …

PHOTOS BY DAN GEDDINGS / THE SUMTER ITEM Sparrows eat on a tube feeder, including one with a white head.

Our backyard visitors

They come for the food and are a constant delight. We get a variety of types. Some are regulars, and some are more seasonal. They are all welcome. I'll start with the red ones. They are the most numerous. We've had as many as 18 in our backyard …

S.C. state parks advise campers to leave firewood at home, purchase locally

State parks in South Carolina are asking visitors and campers to mitigate the spread of invasive insects by purchasing firewood locally near parks. The recent discovery in Charleston County of the …