Fort Mill's boys basketball team is right back where it started and ended the 2006-07 season.
Coach Bailey Jackson's 12-0 Yellow Jackets are ranked No. 1 in the latest poll released by the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association. The record includes a recent win over J.L. Mann, the former top-ranked team in Class AAA.
Fort Mill began last year in the top spot, but dropped after a couple of early losses. The Yellow Jackets never blinked and won the Class AAAA state championship.
They began this season at No. 2, but have switched spots with Spartanburg, the No. 1 preseason choice. Fort Mill is led by 6-foot-7 center Chalmers Rogers, a preseason Top 5 player selection by the SCBCA.
The only other ranked Herald-area boys team is coach John Smith's Great Falls Red Devils, at No. 3 in Class A.
Coach Paula Blackwell's York girls are No. 8 in Class AAAA. Tamara Jacobus' Indian Land Lady Warriors, last year's Class A state runners-up, are No. 5.
• RASSLIN: Looks like it's going to be an exciting season for area wrestling fans.
In the latest rankings on SCMat.com by Mark Buford, the Class AAAA list is top-heavy with Herald-area teams.
Rock Hill (No. 4), Fort Mill (No. 5) and South Pointe (No. 7) are in the top 10. Clover is No. 16 and Northwestern's No. 22.
Among individuals, three hold the top spots in their weight classes: South Pointe's Jake Mitchell at 112, Fort Mill's John Green at 119 and Northwestern's Jared Williams at 125.
The No. 2s are: Fort Mill's James Brotemarkle at 130, Clover's Zach Neubert at 160 and Fort Mill's Mike Medema at 171.
And the rankings have a heavy dose of local wrestlers at No. 3: Rock Hill's Weston Beck at 103, Rock Hill's Jake Grav at 125, Fort Mill's Cody Melton at 135, Clover's Tyler McElhenny at 145 and Rock Hill's Josh Tuck at 152.
Looking at this year's don't-want-to-miss-a-match? Could be at 135, where Fort Mill's Melton and Rock Hill's Chad Beck, ranked a notch lower at No. 4, match up.
And the matches to catch?
Clover at South Pointe (Jan. 2); Rock Hill at South Pointe (Jan. 8); Northwestern at Rock Hill, South Pointe at Fort Mill (Jan. 10); Rock Hill at Clover (Jan. 17); Fort Mill at Rock Hill (Jan. 24); and the Region 3-AAAA tournament (Feb. 2 at Fort Mill).
• GOOD NEWS: York's Nicole Anderson, the Lady Cougars' senior center, has started a running program after a doctor visit Dec. 27.
Anderson tore her Achilles tendon in September. Due to an intense rehab program, she is on schedule to return to the floor in February, if her leg strength tests high enough.
Janie Julian of Palmetto Rehab, York athletic trainer Mike Smith and Cougars strength coach John Barrett have been very involved with her rehab program.