After two years in Clover, one of the area’s newest high school championship trophies is headed to Fort Mill.
Nation Ford High School won the third annual life jacket challenge competition hosted by the Lake Wylie Marine Commission and York County Sheriff’s Office. It was the school’s first year competing. And the first time a school other than Clover High School won.
The idea is for participating schools to pick a day and see how many students they can get wearing life jackets. Law enforcement and lake experts then speak to those students on the importance of boating safety. Events are held in the spring, ahead of summer break, when many head out to Lake Wylie and other water bodies.
Commissioner Blanche Bryant, who organizes the events, said the trophy is a big deal, but the larger goal is keeping as many young people safe as possible.
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“We hope that it will make kids think when they get on a boat,” she said. “Even if you can swim, if you’re on a boat on Lake Wylie, you need to have a life jacket on.”
In its first year, the program focused on Clover High, which includes students from the Lake Wylie area. Fort Mill High School joined for the second go around. That school has students in lakefront Tega Cay and along the Catawba River. Last spring, Nation Ford and some Rock Hill schools participated.
Nation Ford drew 83 participants in its first year, tops among participating schools.