Friday, December 27, 2013
This year certainly had its share of memorable sports moments, but some stick out more than the rest.
In March, Summerville High School baseball coach Burt Bazzle met the 500-career coaching wins benchmark that very few high school coaches in state history have met. According to Palmetto’s Finest Record Book only eight other baseball coaches have reached the mark.
Bazzle originally celebrated the feat on March 11 when the Green Wave earned a 2-0 victory over Goose Creek. However the following week officials learned a player who had transferred to Summerville had participated in a pre-season scrimmage with the Pinewood baseball team so the Green Wave had to forfeit two games. That took Bazzle’s career victory count back to 498.
“It was an unfortunate oversight,” Bazzle said. “It’s unfortunate for the kid and for our team but luckily we found out about it before region play so it won’t affect our standing in the region.”
The story still had a happy ending as Summerville opened region play March 20 with a win over Colleton County that pushed Bazzle’s count back up to 500 wins.
Pinewood basketball celebrated two milestones in January. Lady Panthers coach Nancy Beatty was honored for picking up the 300th win of her coaching career, a 57-52 win over Penfield High School during the Myrtle Beach holiday tournament.
“As a coach, reaching any milestone is a gift and being able to reach my 300th win with this team is truly an honor and a blessing,” Beatty said.
Pinewood senior Bri Boyd scored her 1000th point last school year. Both she and Beatty were presented with a game ball commemorating their benchmark.
On Feb. 12, Pinewood senior Maria Corella shot a career-high 30 points during a 69-28 win over Porter-Gaud. During the game, she scored the 1000th point of her Lady Panther career. The team took a timeout and the game ball was presented to Corella.
Jasmine Quinn scored more points by herself than most teams tallied during the Class AAAA girls’ track and field state championships in May.
Quinn was the only athlete to earn points for the Fort Dorchester girls at the meet but the 40 points she earned with four first-place finishes gave the Lady Patriots a fourth-place team finish. JL Mann won the meet with 105 points and Wando was the runner-up with 65. Northwestern tallied 43 points to edge out Quinn for third place.
Quinn set a state record in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing in 13.84 seconds to break the record of 14-seconds flat set in 2009 by Pendleton’s Jasmin Stowers. Then a Fort Dorchester junior, she also won the 100 with an 11.90 time, 200 with a 24.34 time and the long jump with a 19-07.50 mark.
One arm, 36 holes
After a .38 caliber bullet left a golf-sized hole in his brain and paralyzed the left side of his body in 1996, doctors thought Fred Gutierrez wouldn’t be able to get around without the use of a wheelchair. He disagreed with their diagnosis.
“I was supposed to be in the hospital a year-and-a-half but I only ended up being there six months.” Gutierrez said. “I was supposed to be in a wheelchair the rest of my life but I (told) my doctor I would be walking in three months.”
Gutierrez had to relearn how to walk and talk. He persevered though the ordeal left him with a limp.
He now lives in Moncks Corner and his rehabilitation is going so well that on Feb. 26 he embarked on a golf marathon.
During the For the Glory of God Golf Marathon at Summerville Country Club he played 36 holes of golf, walking the entire way and turning in a sound performance. He shot a career-low round of 85 in the opening 18 holes that featured five pars and two birdies. In the second round, he pared the final hole to shoot in the low 90’s as about 60 spectators welcomed him at the final green.
Quite the accomplishment considering his injury had forced him to completely relearn how to play golf and only a year before walking eight holes was a challenge for him. Because of the Paralysis he had to switch from a left-handed swing with two arms to a right-handed swing with one. The gunshot also left him with only partial sight in his left eye so depth perception presents challenges on the golf course.
Gutierrez, who served on nuclear submarines as a member of the U.S. Navy from 1974 to 1978, used the marathon as a fundraiser for the Gifting Warriors non-profit organization.
Summerville had the top performance among the Dorchester County football teams in 2013. The Green Wave defeated rivals Ashley Ridge and Fort Dorchester in the regular season and advanced to the third round of the state playoffs for the first time since 2007.
Summerville nearly played for a state title, but fell just shy in the semifinals. The Green Wave blew a 14-point lead and allowed Sumter to claim a 28-27 win in their semi-final match.
One of the more memorable games of the season was Summerville’s second-round contest with Boiling Springs. Green Wave kicker David Kennedy hit three field goals against Boiling Springs, including a 35-yarder with no time remaining on the game clock, to lift Summerville to the third round.
Fort Dorchester and Ashley Ridge also made the playoffs. The Patriots suffered a 56-28 first-round loss to Dutch Fork, which went on to win the Class AAAA, Division 1 state championship. Ashley Ridge suffered a 21-7 loss to Summerville in the opening round.
Summerville finished the season with an 11-3 record while Fort Dorchester finished at 7-4 and Ashley Ridge at 4-8.
In March, Pinewood announced it had hired Michael Wright as its new football coach. In addition to his head coaching duties, Wright works in the admissions office and teaches in the physical education department.
A native of Bath, S. C., Wright earned four varsity letters in football and two in basketball at St. Lawrence University in New York. With a career spanning 23 years, Wright has worked in various administrative capacities, coached numerous sports, and taught at both the middle and high school level.
Patriots end drought
The Patriot softball team claimed an 8-3 victory over Summerville March 29 to end the Green Wave’s reign in the series.
The top of the lineup was golden for Fort Dorchester, which notched its first victory over Summerville since April 8, 2008.
Most of the players on the Patriot team were in middle school and others in elementary school when the Fort earned that 5-4 win. Third baseman Kaitlyn Kerley, who joined the Fort varsity team as a seventh-grader, was the only player on the team familiar with the days when the Patriots weren’t the outright underdog in the rivalry series.
“We showed up tonight,” Kerley said. “There is something we have been lacking a little bit but we played liked a (traditional) Fort Dorchester softball team tonight and I think we will keep playing that way.”
She had the clutch hit that lifted the Patriots over the Wave and finished 2 for 3 at the plate with four RBIs and a run scored. Fort leadoff hitter Ashley Rogers was 4 for 5 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored. Madison Ferguson, who bats between Rogers and Kerley from the No. 2 spot, went 2 for 3 at the plate with a run scored.
Mackenzie Broughton picked up the pitching win after throwing a complete game.
However, Summerville went on to avenge that loss in the rematch and have the better season.
In May, the Green Wave softball team claimed the Lower State title for only the second time in school history.
Summerville opened the playoffs by going 4-1 to win the District 8 championship.
The Wave then defeated Bluffton in the Lower State championship series to advance to the finals and face Boiling Springs.
Boiling Springs handed the Green Wave a 4-3 loss in the opening game of the best-of-three state championship series but never seized complete control of the game.
“Our kids played well tonight,” Summerville coach Heather Tucker said. “Boiling Springs is a really good hitting team but we made a lot of good defensive plays. I feel offensively a few shots fell for them that didn’t fall for us so we just need to tweak our offense a little and I think we still have a shot at it.”
However, Boiling Springs saw to it that Summerville didn’t have a shot, taking control of the next game early and rolling to an 11-0 win to claim the championship.
Summerville ended the season with a 23-9 record and Boiling Springs finished at 33-1.
More to come
For more memorable moments from 2013, see the Summerville Journal Scene’s Sports Year in Review Part 2 in the Jan. 1 issue.