Editorial - Congratulations
Once again, just before the old year - indeed, the old DECADE - changes, it’s time for a Clinton Chronicle Congratulations editorial. We have many people and programs of which to be proud, and we should publicly acknowledge them.
First of all, we are not sure that the Clinton Christmas Parade could have gone any better. What a great event, and somebody with the city must have a direct connection to the weather. Breezy, but not arctic cold.
Thornwell sent us a short video and we have posted that on our Facebook page. To us, the parade had just about the right number of entries for a city our size; we saw new people in the parade this year - exciting!
PC men wrestlers were walking to promote the women wrestlers having their first-ever tri-duals later on Saturday. Santa was resplendent in a beautiful white horse-drawn carriage. Candy-throwing was done in a safe manner - what more can you ask for?
The City will address one issue with a “scary” float - aside from that, we heartily congratulate the City of Clinton, Main St. Clinton and their partners for their events.
Same with The Reindeer Run. Friday was a winter yuck, but runners are a hearty bunch and The Reindeer Run attracts some of the best - on a gray Saturday morning dressed this year in their Party Best. This is a fund-raising event sponsored by the Lakelands YMCA-Laurens, Self Regional Healthcare and Orthopedic Associates of the Lakelands. Lots of great, living-healthy causes represented here.
Our county has the best high school football coach in the state, according to Palmetto Champions. Laurens’ Chris Liner deservedly won this award in guiding the Raiders to a 9-2 overall and undefeated region season - starting with a 28-0 win over Clinton.
Hey, pretty good us. We weren’t really sure what we had under first-year coach Corey Fountain and - turns out - we held a running-power Class 5A Region Champion to 4 touchdowns just a week out of summer practice.
Liner was the Laurens County Coach of the Year. His star, Duane Martin, was the Laurens County Player of the Year. His team had the most selections to the All-County Team.
And, things didn’t stop there. Martin is the Co-Player of the Year in the upper state for Class 5A, sharing with Byrnes’ Rahjai Harris. A University of South Carolina commit, Myrtle Beach quarterback Luke Doty, was Back of the Year; Lineman of the Year, York’s Will Boggs; Specialist of the Year, Spartanburg’s Henry Bishop.
Then the First Team, All-State honors roll in: Martin and Mark McGowan, Raiders in Class 5A; and Jacob Hall, Clinton Red Devils, in 3A. Honorable Mentions: Laurens - Hunter Mann and Jackson Mahone; Clinton - Jykorie Gary and Austin Caughman. Great job, Laurens guys, but indulge us just a minute for our Red Devils (from golaurens.com):
“Hall, a tackle, was credited with 30 knockdowns and graded 89 percent for the season. Not once all year did his opponent make a quarterback sack.
“In the defensive backfield, Gary had 46 tackles, made two interceptions and broke up four passes.
“In the Red Devil’s linebacking corps, Caughman, a senior, made 19 solo tackles and 56 assists, with two interceptions, a tackle for loss, two quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery.”
Is it just us, or does everything about high school football related to Laurens County seem to be on an uptick? Our friend Andrew Webb has found a new home, and is a state champion. Chris Liner said he was embarrassed to be the county Coach of the Year last season, but he’s not embarrassed now. Corey Fountain asked for and for the most part received a buy-in from his new team and community - he’s the fourth coach there since the Red Devil 2009 State Championship season. Laurens Academy headman Todd Kirk said the season was successful, even though the Crusaders missed the playoffs, because they banned together, and if they stick with the program, everybody is coming back over on Hwy 49. Some of you colleges needful of some talent? Don’t be overlooking.