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West Florence wins Junior state title

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

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

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

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

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

Johnson taking third go as Scott's Branch football coach

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

Laurence Manning's Gabe Harris (1) was one of 11 student athletes to earn a Merit Scholarship from the Sumter Touchdown Club to go toward their college education.

TD Club presents Merit Scholarships; has new venue for upcoming season

The Sumter Touchdown Club presented by FTC was unable to meet in person for the 2020 football season due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that didn't deter it from honoring the student-athletes for their efforts, both on the field and in the …

Sumter's Hayden Kirkhart will go from being a Gamecock to a Fighting Okra this fall, as she's going to swim at Delta State. While Delta State's mascot is the Statesman, the Fighting Okra is a humorous secondary mascot for the Mississipi university.

Sumter's Kirkhart prepares to swim for Delta State

Sumter High School's Hayden Kirkhart has been a star in the pool for her entire Gamecock career. She swam in six consecutive state swim meets, most recently finishing fifth in the 100-meter backstroke and eighth in the 50 freestyle. Now she's …

From the Wire

United States forward A'Ja Wilson (9) is one of the great core of post players that the Americans have assembled for the Olympics.

Quintet of U.S. post players may be best group ever assembled

SAITAMA, Japan - The U.S. has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to talented post players, possibly the best ever assembled. No team in world has the height, experience or depth to match up with the American bigs - a group of women that …

Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns adjusts his helmet during training camp in Spartanburg on Thursday.

Carolina expects great things from 'different breed' Burns

SPARTANBURG - The gray wristband on Brian Burns' left arm reads "different breed." The Carolina Panthers believe their 6-foot-5, 250-pound edge rusher has the potential to be just that and more entering his third NFL season. Burns had 16 1/2 …

Former South Carolina and Carolina Panthers running back Mike Davis (28) is trilled to be playing for his hometown Atlanta Falcons this season.

Davis says move to hometown Falcons a 'dream come true'

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Mike Davis couldn't wait to check in for his first training camp with his hometown Atlanta Falcons. "I'm here early," Davis said Tuesday. "I think that speaks for a lot. I got here about 8. I'm just ready to go." Davis …

The NCAA said Wednesday it will not re-evaluate penalties handed down for infraction cases, which means former Southern California running back Reggie Bush will not have his 2005 Heisman Trophy restored.

NCAA won't re-evaluate penalties for Bush, other cases

The NCAA said Wednesday it will not re-evaluate penalties handed down for infractions cases, a decision that will keep former Southern California running back Reggie Bush from having his 2005 Heisman Trophy victory restored. Earlier this month, …

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, left, runs past head coach Matt Rhule at training camp in Spartanburg on Wednesday.

Panthers' McCaffrey still confident after injury-marred season in 2020

SPARTANBURG - A year ago, Christian McCaffrey said he would choose himself if he had the top pick in a fantasy football draft. That move wouldn't have worked out too well. McCaffrey missed 13 games with injuries in 2020, but his confidence level …

Prep Sports

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

Football practice begins to highlight 5 Things to Watch This Week

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

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

Sumter High star DE Jackson lost for season with torn ACL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLEMSON

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

Clemson places eight players on Preseason All-ACC team

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

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

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

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

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

USC DE Enagbare selected to preseason All-SEC first team

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

Clemson to add 2 women's sports to varsity roster

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

Clemson's Turk Pettit won the NCAA national championship in men's golf on Monday.

Clemson's Pettit wins NCAA men's golf title

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Turk Pettit had a stellar start to his collegiate career at Clemson, winning a tournament as a freshman and posting five top-10 finishes. One bad round seemed to put him in a funk. Then his clubs were stolen. The tall, lanky …

USC

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

New commissioners thrust into conference realignment chaos

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

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

Southeastern Conference's four new head coaches face different challenges

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

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

Mullen, Gators adapting to life with new QB, playmakers

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

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

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

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

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

Clarendon Hall’s Horton commits to South Carolina

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

Outdoors

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

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

A dirt road out in the country is seen. It may be calling your name.

Sumter outdoors columnist Dan Geddings: Dirt roads

Slow down. Put your windows down. Breathe in that fresh air. Hear the birds singing and the quail calling. You're on a dirt road. The open fields and hedgerows stretch into the hazy summer distance. Sunshine and warmth bathe the earth. A woodland …

AP FILE PHOTOIn this Oct. 14, 2020, file photo, a fisherman tries his luck in the Colorado River near Burns, Colorado.

Some drought-imposed fishing limits lifted on Colorado River

DENVER (AP) — Colorado lifted some fishing restrictions along a stretch of the Colorado River on Tuesday, but biologists warn that historically low water flows caused by a drought in the U.S. …