High School Sports

Pearson takes over Clover girls basketball

Mike Pearson has been named Clover's varsity girls basketball coach for the 2007-2008 season.

Pearson replaced Sherer Hopkins, who stepped down after nine seasons to spend more time with her husband and two young children. Hopkins, a Clover High School graduate, took two Lady Blue Eagles teams to the Class AAA state championship games, had a 174-66 record and had six seasons of 20 or more wins.

"I'm really excited,'' Pearson said. "It's the most excited I've been in my eight years coaching. It's like a dream come true. Helping coach Hopkins last year as her assistant was valuable experience.

"She is such a tremendous coach and person. I coached at the junior high six years, then helped out as a boys freshman team assistant. Last year, I worked for coach Hopkins. I've been fortunate to have been associated with the best coaches Clover basketball has to offer.''

Pearson is an elementary school teacher at Clover's Crowder's Creek.

John Bramlett, recently named the girls varsity coach at Northwestern, is one of Pearson's best friends. They attended Chester High School and Winthrop University together.

"John and I grew up on the courts in Chester playing weekend basketball,'' Pearson said. "And now, we both go into our first season as head varsity basketball coaches.

"I have some huge shoes to fill because coach Hopkins was so successful. We are going to keep things the way they are. The girls we have coming back fit our scheme. We are a young team, but we had a good summer and our players have worked hard.''

• WRESTLING: Nation Ford athletic director Brian Turner filled another key spot in his department, hiring Rocky Forte to coach the Falcons' wrestling team.

Forte, who is 66, moved to the area last year after visiting. He helped Fort Mill wrestling coach Chris Brock with his team.

Nation Ford is gaining a ton of experience. Forte began coaching wrestling in 1965 at Bridgewater-Raritan High School in Bridgewater, N.J., and spent most of his career in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas.

He has also coached in the college ranks and started the sport at Drexel University in 1975.

Forte stepped down from coaching in 1986 at Hillsborough (N.C.) High School, but stayed until 2003 as the athletics director.

• SOCCER: Northwestern's Ryan Kropp, Vance Benson and Enzo Martinez were among the boys players selected to the SCSoccer.com Super 22, which recognizes the top prep soccer players from the past spring season.

This marks the eighth consecutive year that SCSoccer.com has selected an All-Star squad.

Martinez, a rising junior, was named Boys Player of the Year. He led the state in goals (56) and points (137) this season.

Kropp, who signed with USC-Upstate, was the MVP in the South Carolina versus North Carolina all-star game held earlier this month in Charleston. The game ended tied 2-2. Kropp scored both S.C. goals.

Benson, who also played in the game, signed with the University of South Carolina

The Girls Player of the Year was Lexington's Kira Campbell. Also making the team were Fort Mill's Rachel Datz, who signed with Greenwood's Lander University, and Northwestern's Tiana Tallent.