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Micah Green / The Sumter Item  Lee Central head coach Justin Danner, right, makes a statement during the recent Sumter Item Media Day Fan Fest that has his players, Naquan Peeples, left, and Emanuel Cain. The Stallions will be taking on Lakewood in the final of three 2-quarter scrimmages in the 38th Annual Sumter Sertoma Football Jamboree on Friday at Memorial Stadium. The jamboree is set for a 7 p.m. start.

Weather could affect Sumter Sertoma Football Jamboree

When asked whether his team was excited to be playing the final 2-quarter scrimmage in the 38th Annual Sumter Sertoma Football Jamboree on Friday at Memorial Stadium, Lee Central High School head coach Justin Danner responded in the …

SAMUEL

Former Hartsville head coach Samuels takes over Crestwood's boys team

Crestwood High School has officially landed a very big name in its search for a new boys basketball head coach. Crestwood athletic director Dwayne Edwards has confirmed that Aric Samuel will be the next head coach for the Knights. Samuel comes …

MICAH GREEN / THE SUMTER ITEM  Sumter High School lineback Kirkland Boone answers  questions at the 2019 Sumter Item Media Day Fan Fest  held recently. Sumter is ranked seventh in the preseason 5A poll.

Sumter High No. 7 in 5A in preseason football poll

When Sumter High School meets Dutch Fork in the 38th Annual Sumter Sertoma Football Jamboree on Friday at Memorial Stadium, it will be a matchup of two top 10 teams in the S.C. Prep Media Football Polls. Dutch Fork, of course, is the unanimous …

SUMTER ITEM FILE PHOTO Tony Wilson, kneeling, will be the head coach of Crestwood High School girls basketball program after two years serving as the boys head coach. Wilson was the girls coach for 11 years before taking on the boys. Former Hartsville High head coach Aric Samuel is the new boys head coach.

Wilson to return to Crestwood's girls program he built

After two difficult seasons as the boys basketball head coach at Crestwood High School, Tony Wilson is going back to the girls program that he built into a power in the 3A classification. Wilson, who coached the Lady Knights for 11 seasons before …

PHOTOS BY MICAH GREEN / THE SUMTER ITEMMatthew Tickel works on his racing drone at his home in Sumter County. Tickel is traveling to South Korea to compete in an international competition.

Sumter man heads to South Korea for drone competition

William Tickel has been working on building the drone flying community here in Sumter for the last couple of years. Now he's taking that passion for drones to a bigger stage, as he qualified to take part in the MultiGP Mega Class Team DSI Exhibition …

From the Wire

MIKE McGEE

Longtime S.C. AD McGee dies at 80

COLUMBIA - Former South Carolina athletic director Mike McGee, a former Outland Trophy winner at Duke who hired Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier to lead Gamecocks football, died Friday. He was 80. The University of South …

Florida State head coach Willie Taggart, left, is hoping the Seminoles can take a big step forward this year after going 5-7 in his first season.

Taggart believes Florida State will improve

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Coach Willie Taggart arrived at Florida State and ramped up expectations with the promise of "Lethal Simplicity." But the Seminoles' offense was anything but fun to watch in 2018, averaging just 22 points per game. Taggart …

Boston Red Sox's Andrew Cashner, right, hands the ball to manager Alex Cora, left, as he is retired from a baseball game in the second inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park on Aug. 11 in Boston.

One year after record-setting season, Red Sox limp to October

BOSTON - Red Sox baseball boss Dave Dombrowski gave up on a fourth straight AL East title when he decided not to make a move at the trade deadline. The players bowed out of the postseason race soon after. One year after their record-setting …

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will take the weekend off from broadcasting after being in a plane crash on Thursday.

Earnhardt takes weekend off after plane crash near Bristol

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. - Dale Earnhardt Jr. will take the weekend off from broadcasting to be with his wife and daughter after the three were in a plane crash landing Thursday near Bristol Motor Speedway. The 44-year-old television analyst and …

Redshirt sophomore Tommy DeVito is ready to step in as quarterback for Syracuse. He's accumulated more experience than most backups.

Syracuse's Babers out to prove 2018 season wasn't a fluke

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Coach Dino Babers begins his fourth season at Syracuse with a big goal - to prove that last season was no fluke. Syracuse finished 10-3 in 2018 and was No. 15 in the AP's final poll. It was only the Orange's fourth season above …

JA WATCH

Voting now open in Hines Furniture Athlete of the Year contest

Over the past two weeks The Sumter Item and Hines Furniture have teamed with area coaches to select the 24 Athletes of the Year in 24 different sports.

East Clarendon High School football players go through their drills during one of their spring practices. Wolverine head coach Scott Cook likes where his team stands as it prepares for the 2019 season.

East Clarendon football's Cook optimistic coming out of spring practice

The Sumter Item sports writer Danny Kelly conducted a question-and-answer interview with each of the 12 high school football coaches in Sumter, Clarendon and Lee counties, asking each the same five questions about their recently concluded spring …

MICAH GREEN / THE SUMTER ITEM  Ja Morant talks to members of the media during Ja Morant Day at Crestwood earlier this year. The former Knights standout and Murray State All-American point guard is expected to hear his name called as the No. 2 overall selection in the NBA draft by the Memphis Grizzlies today.

Ja Morant's super fast track from Crestwood to NBA comes to fruition today in NBA draft

At this time two years ago, Ja Morant had just graduated from Crestwood High School and was getting ready to head to Murray State to play college basketball. While he was preparing to play with an NCAA Division I program, the National Basketball …

Former Crestwood High School and Murray State point guard (12) is projected to be the second overall pick by the Memphis Grizzlies in Thursday's NBA draft.

Crestwood's Edwards knew Morant was special, just not how special

Memphis or Manhattan.That's the only question left for Ja Morant as he waits to see which city he'll call home after Thursday's NBA draft. If the mock drafts are to be believed, then Morant likely won't have to wait very long to hear his name …

AP FILE PHOTO Former Crestwood High School and Murray State point guard Ja Morant (12) is projected to be the second overall pick by the Memphis Grizzlies in Thursday's NBA draft.

Former Crestwood, Murray State standout Morant tops list of point guards for upcoming NBA draft

Ja Morant, Darius Garland and Coby White make up a clear top tier of point guards in next week's NBA draft, though one has barely played in the past year. Morant was an NCAA Tournament star for Murray State, while White blossomed into a …

CLEMSON

Clemson running back Travis Etienne (9) is back for his junior season as a Heisman Trophy contender along with sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Clemson poised to make run at back-to-back national titles

CLEMSON - The goals haven't changed for defending national champion Clemson. When asked recently what's left the Tigers, who have won two of the past three national titles, to accomplish, coach Dabo Swinney grinned slyly then said, "We haven't …

PHIL KORNBLUT

Conway's Hemingway to announce commitment on Thursday

Conway High School defensive tackle Tonka Hemingway is the next major instate prospect who will announce his college commitment. Hemingway has set Thursday at 3:30 p.m. for his moment with South Carolina, Duke and North Carolina the finalists. He …

Clemson football flagged for 8 secondary NCAA violations

COLUMBIA (AP) - Clemson's national championship football program was flagged for eight secondary NCAA violations during a yearlong period from July 2018 through this past June. The school's athletic department released a summary of the …

SUMTER ITEM FILE PHOTO  Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney celebrates on the field at Levi's Stadium after the Tigers routed Alabama to win the 2018 CFP National Championship in Santa Clara, California, in January. Clemson opened fall practice on Friday in defense of its national title.  .

National champion Clemson opens preseason camp

CLEMSON - Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has turned the page on last year's national championship. He believes his players have done the same. The Tigers opened preseason practice Friday as presumptive favorites to once more win the Atlantic Coast …

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS  Clemson football head coach Dabo Swinney said his program has been clean when it comes to testing for performance-enhancing drugs, which is why the suspension of three players before the national championship game was so surprising.

Clemson confident CFP drug suspensions were outlier

By PETE IACOBELLI AP Sports Writer CLEMSON, - Clemson officials are confident the athletic department's practices and policies will prevent a repeat of the failed performance-enhancing drug tests that caused three players to be suspended …

USC

South Carolina  quarterback  Jake Bentley  (19) is back for his senior season, hoping to lead the Gamecocks to a banner season.

Muschamp thinks this is his best South Carolina team

COLUMBIA - South Carolina's Will Muschamp believes he's got the strongest, deepest and most talented team in his four seasons as the Gamecocks' coach. And he can't wait to see if he's right. Muschamp took over a three-win team after the 2015 …

South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp knows he has a team that has plenty of questions to answer heading into the 2019 season.

Gamecocks start training camp with plenty to prove

COLUMBIA - South Carolina coach Will Muschamp saw plenty of smiling faces and enthusiastic talk at his team's first meeting of preseason camps. "They won't be chipper too long," he said Thursday. Muschamp and the Gamecocks have plenty of …

SUMTER ITEM FILE PHOTOFormer Clemson running back Tavien Feaster (20) is shown running the football against South Carolina in the Tigers' 56-35 victory last season. Feaster has announced he will be playing for USC this season as a graduate transfer.

Former Clemson RB Feaster decides to transfer to USC

COLUMBIA (AP) - Running back Tavien Feaster is switching sides in the state's biggest rivalry, leaving Clemson to join South Carolina for his final college season. Feaster posted a picture of himself on Instagram in a Gamecocks jersey, sitting in …

North Carolina's Seventh Woods passes against Iona in the first half during a first round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, on March 22.

Ex-Tar Heel Woods happy back home at South Carolina

COLUMBIA - South Carolina guard Seventh Woods can't take a few steps around town these days without someone telling him it is good he came home. The former North Carolina player is happy with his latest choice, too. "It's been great," Woods said …

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS  South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp speaks to reporters during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days on Wednesday in Hoover, Alabama.

Muschamp shows confidence in Gamecocks' schedule

From staff reports HOOVER, Ala. - Will Muschamp isn't any more worried about the University of South Carolina's football schedule this season than the ones he faced in his first three years as Gamecock head coach. "Hell, the schedule is hard …

Outdoors

Eliza Blank from The Sill holds a Rattlesnake Calathea outside the shop in San Francisco, California. Blank is the founder and CEO of the popular gardening store and a plant influencer on Instagram.

'Plant influencers' offer tips for fall houseplants

Houseplants are a quick and easy way to dress your home in autumnal color. Anthuriums can add hues of pink, red or white. The philodendron's cascading, heart-shaped green leaves bring a touch of the outdoors inside. And of course, the …

Several S.C. counties upgraded to moderate drought status

COLUMBIA - The South Carolina Drought Response Committee, meeting via conference call on Aug. 12, upgraded the drought status for 33 counties in the state. Nine counties were upgraded from normal to incipient, the first level of drought: …

Cha-ching Cherry petunias and basil plants are seen on a Sumter porch. Basil can help deter biting insects.

Some common garden plants might help keep the bugs away

If mosquitoes, gnats, black flies and no-see-ums are driving you buggy, then consider cozying up to some lavender, marigolds or basil. Scientists question their overall effectiveness, but many fragrant ornamental flowers and herbs grown around the …

Extras
TV SCHEDULE, STANDINGS & MORE - JUNE 5

TV, RADIO TODAY 8 a.m. - Professional Tennis: French Open Men's and Women's Quarterfinal Matches from Paris (TENNIS). 1 p.m. - Major League Baseball: Chicago White Sox at Washington (MLB NETWORK). 2:30 p.m. - International Soccer: UEFA …

Sumter High mini cheer camp begins Monday

TV SCHEDULE, STANDINGS & MORE - JUNE 2

NCAA REGIONAL RESULTS

Rossi wins pole at 1st of 2 Detroit IndyCar races