High School Sports

Blythewood names interim football coach

COLUMBIA -- Blythewood High School assistant Geremy Saitz was named interim head coach for the Bengals for the rest of the season, Richland School District 2 officials said Monday.

Saitz will replace Reggie Shaw, who resigned earlier this month after he was alleged to have broken South Carolina High School League rules for a second time this year, according to a district press release.

Saitz was Blythewood High's assistant defensive line and special team's coordinator. He has been at the school since it opened in 2005.

Shaw first ran afoul of league rules during spring practice when he had his team practice in full pads. The High School League placed the Bengals on probation, preventing them from defending their 3-A title, won last season in the school's inaugural varsity season.

• LOCAL BASKETBALL -- York Comprehensive High School's O.B Love and Rock Hill High's Marcus Hemphill were on the 18-under championship team at the USA Junior Nationals Basketball in Columbus, Ohio.

They played for the Carolinas team against other national teams. Love, a rising senior, was voted MVP in the championship game. He scored 25 points in Carolinas' 63-49 win over the California Blue. Hemphill scored 12 points.

• LOCAL TRACK AND FIELD -- Brett Squibbs, a rising 8th-grader at Saluda Trail Middle School, was fourth in his age group in the pole vault at the USATF Junior Olympics National Championships in California.

Squibbs, a vaulter at South Pointe High School, cleared 10-10. The winner was Sthehl Ratliff at 13-03.5. Alex Koppy was second with an 11-09.75. Matthew Sullivan was third at 11-03.75.

• LOCAL BASEBALL -- The Carolina Reds 12U team made it to the sweet 16 in the 96-team single-elimination tournament at the Cooperstown Dreampark, finishing with an 8-2 record. The team was the most successful Reds team since the tournament began in 1996.

After finishing 6-1 in pool play and seeded 15th, the Reds received a double bye and won their first two tournament games, 10-5 over the St. Louis Reds and 8-2 over the High Desert (Calif.) Hawks before losing to eventual champion Hit After Hit Baseball Academy (Tenn.) 2-1.

Against the Reds, Jake Rentz, Jonathan Smith, Ian Hinson, Ethan Neely, Cameron Norwood and Heath Sumwalt had multiple hits while Charlie Keesee and Justin Marion also had key hits. Chandler Handcock, Austin Blackwell and Jake Deas provided flawless defense.

Handcock and Hinson combined on the mound with Hinson picking up the win.

Rentz (2-for-3), Hinson (3-for-3, 2B), Neely (2-for-2, 2-run HR), Handcock (2-for-3), Keesee (2-for-3), Deas and Blackwell powered the offense. Norwood went the distance to pick up the win.

Hit After Hit went ahead 2-0 on two home runs in the first inning. Ethan Neely scored the Reds' run. Hinson and Neely, each 2-for-3, Handcock and Keesee led the offense.

Based on overall record and runs allowed average, the Reds finished with a final ranking of ninth.

• HOLE IN ONE -- Kristen Curley, a 10-year-old from Rock Hill, scored her first hole in one Sunday while playing in the Rock Hill Country Club Junior Championship.

Curley, the daughter of Doug and Betsy Curley, aced the par three second hole with a 9-iron. The hole plays 80 yards from the junior tees.

• NBA -- Jermaine O'Neal's agent says the Pacers forward has not requested a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Sports Illustrated's Web site on Monday quoted O'Neal as saying he would "welcome a trade to the Lakers" and mentioned the New Jersey Nets as another possible destination. He does not want to be part of a long rebuilding process at Indiana, SI.com said.

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