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2018 Highlander Boys Golf: All In The Family

Date: 
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Since Coach Lynn Humphrey took over the golf program in the mid-90’s, she’s had brothers, sisters, even twins, but never what she’s encountered this season.

 

The Boys Golf program currently features three different sets of brothers as the Lucas’ (senior Daniel and freshman James), Lamar’s (freshman William and 6th-grader Thomas), and King’s (senior Robert, and sophomore twins Manning and McLain) are all competing for the Highlanders this spring.  To say that the teammates are close is certainly an understatement.

 

Daniel Lucas and Robert King join Rox Pollard as the senior leaders on this year’s team but have embraced the concept of leading by example well before this season.  “I try to take what I’ve learned and pass it down,” Lucas said.  “I think (James) will be able to take a lot away from what seeing what I’ve done and how, and it’s just more special that we did it together.”

 

For King, the golf dynamic is the perfect sport for the camaraderie and competitiveness that exists between the three.  “For us, we’ve always been competitive.  Whether it was playing football or basketball at home, we always wanted each other to play well, but wanted to win in everything.  We help each other -- which is cool, but it’s an added aspect being able to live with two of your teammates.”

For freshman William Lamar, being of the younger members of the team hasn’t taken anything away from his experience as the older brother.  “Thomas is going to be a much better golfer than I am, but I try to set a good example with how I do things.  We’ve grown up playing together on the course, so we both ask each other a lot of questions about our swings and can help each other out.”

Being the younger brothers of an older teammate can be a challenging endeavor.  Often times, athletes can feel the pressure of having the “live up” to the expectations of their brothers’ careers, but for this group, the positives have outweighed any potential negatives.

 

“We’re very close,” Manning King shared.  “We’re around each other so much, it’s weird when we’re not together.  So, whether we’re at practice or a game, we’re comfortable.” 

 

“There will be moments on the course where Manning or Robert will do something good, and I’ll just look at them and nod, and I can see them excited.  It’s a huge bonus having each other on the course, because we all want each other to do well.” McLain King added.

For James Lucas, it’s been more than just the interaction on the course.  “On the way home from matches is nice to be able talk about shots, and really just to ride home together in general.”  The Lucas brothers are no strangers to togetherness, as James mentioned that Daniel has been a part of every team he’s joined.  That bond has helped propel a group with a strong mix of youth and experience to a current second-place standing in region play.

 

6th grader Thomas Lamar is perhaps the youngest member of the golf program, paired with what may be the highest ceiling in terms of golfing ability.  Of the three sets of brothers, he is also the only one who does not share the same campus building as his brother, so there time together on the course replaces what may be lost during the day.  “He’s my brother and we do a lot together.  I look up to him, and he’s the first person I go to when I have questions,” Thomas adds.  Even in their actions, you can see the bond between the Lamar boys.  As they entered a room on a Friday afternoon, the brothers, donning matching gray HH polos and khaki shorts, shared the same stance and spoke with the same tone, with younger brother Thomas looking to older brother William after answers, always getting a smiling look of pride in return.

 

As the season progresses towards its conclusion, the team will prepare for a run at a State Championship at the SCISA Golf Competition at the Hackler Course in Conway.  The final round will see not only the completion of the season, but the beginning of a dynamic shift.  Robert King is Clemson-bound in the fall, while Daniel Lucas will join the golf team at Columbia International.  Two households accustomed to the family bond of brotherhood will see slight separation, but all are confident that the bond will go unbroken.

 

“I think it’ll be a big change, because he’s not only my ride home, but he’s been on every team I’ve ever played on.  It’ll take some getting used to,” James Lucas shared.  Daniel knows that James will be prepared for the change.  “The competition between the two of us is interesting, he’s continuing to progress and will be a lot better than I was when he’s done playing here.  He may get an opportunity to play collegiate golf, and take advantage of that, but I think he’ll definitely blaze his own trail.”

Robert King knows the twins will have an adjustment period but won’t be completely removed from their interactions.  “At home, they’re going to lose a lot of stuff.  They usually count on me to make sure things are set and that messages from our parents get to them.

 

We’ll still be in touch, because we’re all very close.  I have other friends who aren’t as close to their brothers, but we’re always going to be friends.  I’ll definitely miss them a lot, but I won’t be too far away.”

 

Manning & McLain are apart often, but they know the difference of moving from three to two at home will bring change.  “Robert will go out with his other friends, spend the day with his buddies, so it’s not too unnatural for us to be doing different things.  But we are together a lot, and it will be different not having him there to really push us,” McLain says.

 

For Manning, the biggest difference will be in the competition aspect.  “McLain and I, being twins, always compete.  But Robert is always right there with us.  No matter what, we want to beat him.  So, when we’re on the course together now, we want to beat him, but also want him to do really well.

 

Regardless of how the season ends, these families will share that unique opportunity to have been together, creating memories that will last a lifetime.  But before the moments turn to memories, there’s the every going competition aspect.  For Daniel Lucas, he knows that the team is headed in the right direction.  “Seeing the guys that are with us now, with the young guys coming up, the future is definitely bright.  They’ll know how to work together and do something special.”

 

Until then, the King brothers have unfinished business.  The night before a weekend round between the three, all were asked who the favorite to win was:

 

Robert: “Me.”

Manning: “Me.”

McLain: “Me. Easily.”

 

It’s fair to say that the win will stay in the family.

 

2018 Highlander Boys Golf: All In The Family

Date: 
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Since Coach Lynn Humphrey took over the golf program in the mid-90’s, she’s had brothers, sisters, even twins, but never what she’s encountered this season.

 

The Boys Golf program currently features three different sets of brothers as the Lucas’ (senior Daniel and freshman James), Lamar’s (freshman William and 6th-grader Thomas), and King’s (senior Robert, and sophomore twins Manning and McLain) are all competing for the Highlanders this spring.  To say that the teammates are close is certainly an understatement.

 

Daniel Lucas and Robert King join Rox Pollard as the senior leaders on this year’s team but have embraced the concept of leading by example well before this season.  “I try to take what I’ve learned and pass it down,” Lucas said.  “I think (James) will be able to take a lot away from what seeing what I’ve done and how, and it’s just more special that we did it together.”

 

For King, the golf dynamic is the perfect sport for the camaraderie and competitiveness that exists between the three.  “For us, we’ve always been competitive.  Whether it was playing football or basketball at home, we always wanted each other to play well, but wanted to win in everything.  We help each other -- which is cool, but it’s an added aspect being able to live with two of your teammates.”

For freshman William Lamar, being of the younger members of the team hasn’t taken anything away from his experience as the older brother.  “Thomas is going to be a much better golfer than I am, but I try to set a good example with how I do things.  We’ve grown up playing together on the course, so we both ask each other a lot of questions about our swings and can help each other out.”

Being the younger brothers of an older teammate can be a challenging endeavor.  Often times, athletes can feel the pressure of having the “live up” to the expectations of their brothers’ careers, but for this group, the positives have outweighed any potential negatives.

 

“We’re very close,” Manning King shared.  “We’re around each other so much, it’s weird when we’re not together.  So, whether we’re at practice or a game, we’re comfortable.” 

 

“There will be moments on the course where Manning or Robert will do something good, and I’ll just look at them and nod, and I can see them excited.  It’s a huge bonus having each other on the course, because we all want each other to do well.” McLain King added.

For James Lucas, it’s been more than just the interaction on the course.  “On the way home from matches is nice to be able talk about shots, and really just to ride home together in general.”  The Lucas brothers are no strangers to togetherness, as James mentioned that Daniel has been a part of every team he’s joined.  That bond has helped propel a group with a strong mix of youth and experience to a current second-place standing in region play.

 

6th grader Thomas Lamar is perhaps the youngest member of the golf program, paired with what may be the highest ceiling in terms of golfing ability.  Of the three sets of brothers, he is also the only one who does not share the same campus building as his brother, so there time together on the course replaces what may be lost during the day.  “He’s my brother and we do a lot together.  I look up to him, and he’s the first person I go to when I have questions,” Thomas adds.  Even in their actions, you can see the bond between the Lamar boys.  As they entered a room on a Friday afternoon, the brothers, donning matching gray HH polos and khaki shorts, shared the same stance and spoke with the same tone, with younger brother Thomas looking to older brother William after answers, always getting a smiling look of pride in return.

 

As the season progresses towards its conclusion, the team will prepare for a run at a State Championship at the SCISA Golf Competition at the Hackler Course in Conway.  The final round will see not only the completion of the season, but the beginning of a dynamic shift.  Robert King is Clemson-bound in the fall, while Daniel Lucas will join the golf team at Columbia International.  Two households accustomed to the family bond of brotherhood will see slight separation, but all are confident that the bond will go unbroken.

 

“I think it’ll be a big change, because he’s not only my ride home, but he’s been on every team I’ve ever played on.  It’ll take some getting used to,” James Lucas shared.  Daniel knows that James will be prepared for the change.  “The competition between the two of us is interesting, he’s continuing to progress and will be a lot better than I was when he’s done playing here.  He may get an opportunity to play collegiate golf, and take advantage of that, but I think he’ll definitely blaze his own trail.”

Robert King knows the twins will have an adjustment period but won’t be completely removed from their interactions.  “At home, they’re going to lose a lot of stuff.  They usually count on me to make sure things are set and that messages from our parents get to them.

 

We’ll still be in touch, because we’re all very close.  I have other friends who aren’t as close to their brothers, but we’re always going to be friends.  I’ll definitely miss them a lot, but I won’t be too far away.”

 

Manning & McLain are apart often, but they know the difference of moving from three to two at home will bring change.  “Robert will go out with his other friends, spend the day with his buddies, so it’s not too unnatural for us to be doing different things.  But we are together a lot, and it will be different not having him there to really push us,” McLain says.

 

For Manning, the biggest difference will be in the competition aspect.  “McLain and I, being twins, always compete.  But Robert is always right there with us.  No matter what, we want to beat him.  So, when we’re on the course together now, we want to beat him, but also want him to do really well.

 

Regardless of how the season ends, these families will share that unique opportunity to have been together, creating memories that will last a lifetime.  But before the moments turn to memories, there’s the every going competition aspect.  For Daniel Lucas, he knows that the team is headed in the right direction.  “Seeing the guys that are with us now, with the young guys coming up, the future is definitely bright.  They’ll know how to work together and do something special.”

 

Until then, the King brothers have unfinished business.  The night before a weekend round between the three, all were asked who the favorite to win was:

 

Robert: “Me.”

Manning: “Me.”

McLain: “Me. Easily.”

 

It’s fair to say that the win will stay in the family.

2018 Highlander Boys Golf: All In The Family

Date: 
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Since Coach Lynn Humphrey took over the golf program in the mid-90’s, she’s had brothers, sisters, even twins, but never what she’s encountered this season.

 

The Boys Golf program currently features three different sets of brothers as the Lucas’ (senior Daniel and freshman James), Lamar’s (freshman William and 6th-grader Thomas), and King’s (senior Robert, and sophomore twins Manning and McLain) are all competing for the Highlanders this spring.  To say that the teammates are close is certainly an understatement.

 

Daniel Lucas and Robert King join Rox Pollard as the senior leaders on this year’s team but have embraced the concept of leading by example well before this season.  “I try to take what I’ve learned and pass it down,” Lucas said.  “I think (James) will be able to take a lot away from what seeing what I’ve done and how, and it’s just more special that we did it together.”

 

For King, the golf dynamic is the perfect sport for the camaraderie and competitiveness that exists between the three.  “For us, we’ve always been competitive.  Whether it was playing football or basketball at home, we always wanted each other to play well, but wanted to win in everything.  We help each other -- which is cool, but it’s an added aspect being able to live with two of your teammates.”

For freshman William Lamar, being of the younger members of the team hasn’t taken anything away from his experience as the older brother.  “Thomas is going to be a much better golfer than I am, but I try to set a good example with how I do things.  We’ve grown up playing together on the course, so we both ask each other a lot of questions about our swings and can help each other out.”

Being the younger brothers of an older teammate can be a challenging endeavor.  Often times, athletes can feel the pressure of having the “live up” to the expectations of their brothers’ careers, but for this group, the positives have outweighed any potential negatives.

 

“We’re very close,” Manning King shared.  “We’re around each other so much, it’s weird when we’re not together.  So, whether we’re at practice or a game, we’re comfortable.” 

 

“There will be moments on the course where Manning or Robert will do something good, and I’ll just look at them and nod, and I can see them excited.  It’s a huge bonus having each other on the course, because we all want each other to do well.” McLain King added.

For James Lucas, it’s been more than just the interaction on the course.  “On the way home from matches is nice to be able talk about shots, and really just to ride home together in general.”  The Lucas brothers are no strangers to togetherness, as James mentioned that Daniel has been a part of every team he’s joined.  That bond has helped propel a group with a strong mix of youth and experience to a current second-place standing in region play.

 

6th grader Thomas Lamar is perhaps the youngest member of the golf program, paired with what may be the highest ceiling in terms of golfing ability.  Of the three sets of brothers, he is also the only one who does not share the same campus building as his brother, so there time together on the course replaces what may be lost during the day.  “He’s my brother and we do a lot together.  I look up to him, and he’s the first person I go to when I have questions,” Thomas adds.  Even in their actions, you can see the bond between the Lamar boys.  As they entered a room on a Friday afternoon, the brothers, donning matching gray HH polos and khaki shorts, shared the same stance and spoke with the same tone, with younger brother Thomas looking to older brother William after answers, always getting a smiling look of pride in return.

 

As the season progresses towards its conclusion, the team will prepare for a run at a State Championship at the SCISA Golf Competition at the Hackler Course in Conway.  The final round will see not only the completion of the season, but the beginning of a dynamic shift.  Robert King is Clemson-bound in the fall, while Daniel Lucas will join the golf team at Columbia International.  Two households accustomed to the family bond of brotherhood will see slight separation, but all are confident that the bond will go unbroken.

 

“I think it’ll be a big change, because he’s not only my ride home, but he’s been on every team I’ve ever played on.  It’ll take some getting used to,” James Lucas shared.  Daniel knows that James will be prepared for the change.  “The competition between the two of us is interesting, he’s continuing to progress and will be a lot better than I was when he’s done playing here.  He may get an opportunity to play collegiate golf, and take advantage of that, but I think he’ll definitely blaze his own trail.”

Robert King knows the twins will have an adjustment period but won’t be completely removed from their interactions.  “At home, they’re going to lose a lot of stuff.  They usually count on me to make sure things are set and that messages from our parents get to them.

 

We’ll still be in touch, because we’re all very close.  I have other friends who aren’t as close to their brothers, but we’re always going to be friends.  I’ll definitely miss them a lot, but I won’t be too far away.”

 

Manning & McLain are apart often, but they know the difference of moving from three to two at home will bring change.  “Robert will go out with his other friends, spend the day with his buddies, so it’s not too unnatural for us to be doing different things.  But we are together a lot, and it will be different not having him there to really push us,” McLain says.

 

For Manning, the biggest difference will be in the competition aspect.  “McLain and I, being twins, always compete.  But Robert is always right there with us.  No matter what, we want to beat him.  So, when we’re on the course together now, we want to beat him, but also want him to do really well.

 

Regardless of how the season ends, these families will share that unique opportunity to have been together, creating memories that will last a lifetime.  But before the moments turn to memories, there’s the every going competition aspect.  For Daniel Lucas, he knows that the team is headed in the right direction.  “Seeing the guys that are with us now, with the young guys coming up, the future is definitely bright.  They’ll know how to work together and do something special.”

 

Until then, the King brothers have unfinished business.  The night before a weekend round between the three, all were asked who the favorite to win was:

 

Robert: “Me.”

Manning: “Me.”

McLain: “Me. Easily.”

 

It’s fair to say that the win will stay in the family.

 

Averyt Tennis Center Brings Tennis Back to Heathwood

Date: 
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

With the swish of a ball crossing the net, Heathwood’s new Averyt Tennis Center was officially christened on September 25, 2017 by varsity players Caroline Bunch, Ruth Dibble, Samantha Gaton, Olivia Hampton, Isabelle Lord, and Daisy McLeod, all members of the Class of 2018.

The courts are the culmination of almost two years of work by many members of the Heathwood community. Spearheaded by alumnus and current parent Wade Mullins, ’86, a committee which also included alum Brett Caldwell, ’86, alum and current parent Mills James, ’90, alum and current parent Dale Roberts, ’90, past parent and past tennis coach Sarah Roth, and current parent Seth Rose was instrumental in raising funds to demolish the old courts and replace them with a state-of-the-art facility that includes six new courts and a roomy tennis pavilion. Volunteer Committee Chair Wade Mullins worked closely with Director of Development Erin Pope and Head of School Chris Hinchey to see the project to fruition.

Having courts on campus makes a tremendous difference to the players’ experience, said Mullins, who was himself a member of Heathwood’s tennis team when the school’s original courts opened in 1984. After 30 years of use, those courts had fallen into disrepair and the teams were practicing and playing at the Cayce Tennis Center. “I can’t really describe to you the difference when you’re able to play on campus,” Mullins said. “It really improves team pride.”

In addition to a lead gift from the Averyt and Lord families, courts were donated by Ethel and Bill Bunch, Brett Caldwell, Elizabeth Richmond Tuller McElveen, Will and Nikki Merritt, Katie, Wade, Andrea and Ed Mullins, and the Wolfe/Postic Family. The Highlander Club provided generous support as well, as did a number of additional Heathwood families. Signature Tennis, Buchanan Construction, Snipes Electric, Hoover Buildings, and Stone Interiors also made instrumental contributions to the project. The lead donors for the original courts, the McCardle family, were also honored at the opening ceremony for the new courts.

The tennis center is one of a number of projects former Heathwood parents and current grandparents Peg and Gayle Averyt have supported over the years. Most notably, the Averyt Early Childhood Center is named in their honor because of the lead gift they made to the building fund.

The support of donors like the Averyts and the other families who contributed to the tennis center has long been instrumental to Heathwood’s growth and success, said Head of School Chris Hinchey. “I am continually impressed with the generosity of new and long-time Heathwood families.  It was amazing to watch the HHES tennis community rise to the challenge and help construct a beautiful tennis facility that gets our student-athletes back on campus.”

After the opening ceremony, the varsity team took to the courts for a match against A.C. Flora. It was their first time playing on campus in several years. Seeing tennis happening at Heathwood again made the whole project more than worthwhile, said Hinchey, who noted that, “To quote Dorothy, ‘There’s no place like home.’”

Ware, Whittaker, Nasir, Deas Earn Top Track Honors

News Type: 
Date: 
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

High School Sports Report has named Heathwood Girls Track & Field Coach Willis Ware 2017 SCISA AAA Coach of the Year, Senior Rachael Whittaker Miss SC Track, Junior Maryah Nasir AAA Track Athlete of the Year, and Junior Nadia Deas to the HSSR-SCISA All-State Girls Track Team.

Those awards cap off a season in which the Lady Highlanders won the state championship after being state runner-up four years in a row. Heathwood finished 2nd in the 2016 state meet by 1 point and won the 2017 meet by 8 points. Deas’ long jump of 16’8” in the state meet established a new school record, while Nasir turned in 3 1st place finishes in the distance events and Whittaker was the meet’s highest point scorer for the 3rd consecutive year.

“Being state runner up can be a real bummer or it can be an amazing motivator,” said Coach Ware. “For the last four years, our team has overachieved, then lost top talent. This year was different because we had all our top point scorers returning. So we went into the season feeling like this was our year. The girls worked very hard and came out on top.”

Heathwood was the only school to earn the trifecta of Coach of the Year, Miss Track, and Athlete of the Year. While the team featured 10 graduating seniors who will be hard to replace, it also featured younger students like Morgan Goodwin, Janie Hicks, and Taylor Smith who earned points with strong performances, and seasoned veterans like Nasir, Deas, Idalia Hanna, and Shaniya Parker, who should be poised to continue their outstanding work next year.

“Over the years I’ve coached the team, it’s been really neat to see how the older girls pull in the younger girls and not only make them feel at home in the program but also pass on a culture of working hard and competing hard and doing your best which has built the team’s tradition of sustained success,” Ware said.

As for his own success as a coach, Ware says the overall culture of Heathwood athletics significantly enhances his ability to motivate and inspire his athletes to achieve their best. “The school’s ethos of helping students be their best selves spills over into athletics. We all understand that it’s not just about winning and losing and it’s not about the coach. It’s about the kids. And we all understand there’s so much more to the athletic experience than ‘we won a state championship.’ All the things that go into a winning performance—the perseverance, hard work, overcoming adversity—that’s what’s important in the development of our student athletes. And there are really good things that happen with student athletes when coaches understand that what we’re doing transcends championships.”

Davis and Powers Named Scholar All-Americans

Date: 
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

 

First they were All-Region, then All-State. Now Heathwood boys varsity soccer players JD Davis and Aidan Powers have been named NSCAA Scholar All-Americans—two of just 26 players nationwide to earn that honor.

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America selects the Scholar All-Americans from a pool of high school seniors who have achieved at a high level academically and as soccer players and have performed significant community service.

“This is massive,” said Heathwood Head Soccer Coach Andrew Richardson. “I couldn't be prouder of these two young men, who have been exemplary student-athletes throughout their careers, and even better people!”

Cross Country/Track and Field Pavilion Dedicated to J. West Summers IV, '11

News Type: 
Date: 
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Thanks to donations of more than $15,000 in memory of alumnus West Summers, ’11, Heathwood dedicated the newly enhanced J. West Summers IV Cross Country and Track Pavilion at a ceremony on February 27.

With several hundred members of the Heathwood community in attendance, Head of School Chris Hinchey, Upper School Head George Scouten, Cross Country Coach Willis Ware, and former Track Coach Verlon Rhodes all spoke about West’s contributions to Heathwood and to its Cross Country and Track programs, before Heathwood Chaplain Raven Tarpley led the blessing of the facility.

Following West’s death in November, 2015, Heathwood received 94 gifts in his memory. This outpouring of love, in combination with three leadership gifts, allowed the school to significantly enhance the pavilion where Highlander track and cross country athletes gather before practices and events and recover from races and training sessions. In addition to a newly paved floor, the pavilion now has comfortable seating and new boards displaying record-setting performances by Heathwood track and cross country athletes.

Lead gifts by Catherine and Keith Johnson, Frank and Pearl Tourville, and the Highlander Club generously supported the memorial project, as did contributions of time and talent from alumnus and parent Davis Buchanan, ’86, alumnus and past parent David McCoy, ’79, and many members of Heathwood’s grounds, athletics, and advancement staff.

West Summers was a gifted runner whose talent and dedication raised the bar for Heathwood’s track and cross country programs in ways that continue to be felt today. This year’s boys cross country state championship, for example, can be traced back to the culture of hard work and high aspirations that West modeled for his teammates as early as middle school, said Coach Ware: “West’s success and work ethic inspired a younger generation of runners who in turn inspired the students in our current program to achieve at such a high level.”

“West’s time on these fields, trails, and track played a significant role in his development into a young man,” said Chris Hinchey. “So it seemed very appropriate to use the funds donated in his honor to improve this facility.”

Highlander Varsity Basketball Updates - February 16

News Type: 
Date: 
Thursday, February 16, 2017

Congratulations to the Boys & Girls Varsity Basketball teams on making the SCISA AAA State Tournament!



The Varsity Girls have earned the #6 seed and will travel to Wilson Hall to face the Barons in the first round, with tipoff at 8PM!  Admission for the tournament is $8 for adults, $5 for students.


Leading the Lady Highlanders into postseason play will be senior Rachael Whittaker, who was named today to the All-Region team!



The Varsity Boys finished the regular season as Co-Region I Champions, and have earned the #2 seed in the lower half of the bracket!  With their seed, the Boys will have a first round bye, before facing the winner of Augusta Christian and Laurence Manning at 8PM on Wednesday at the Sumter Civic Center (Admission: $8 – Adults, $5 – Students)

  
For the Highlander Boys, Head Coach Jeff Whalen was named Region Coach of the Year, while senior guard Josh Caldwell earned his second consecutive Region Player of the Year award, and junior guard Matthew Lee earned his first All-Region nod!

   

Wrestler Reagan Olsen Wins State Championship, Hits 100 Wins

News Type: 
Date: 
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Achieving 100 career wins in wrestling is a challenging and elusive goal. Heathwood's Reagan Olsen, '19, just pulled it off as a sophomore--and won the SCISA state championship in his weight class at the same time.

Wrestling is just one of three sports in which Reagan's making an impact for the Highlanders. He's also a standout in football and baseball and has been a mentor for younger players on all three teams. Here he talks with Heathwood Sports Information Director Andrew Richardson about his leadership style, his own role models, and his favorite things about being a Highlander.

In your sophomore year, you've now had the opportunity to not just play, but become a leader in three different sports.  How do you manage the workload of combining the athletics with your full academic course load?

Well, all of the sports are a lot of fun and I enjoy being able to go from season to season. All of my teammates and coaches are great and I just try to give my all for us to succeed. With school, I think the regular schedule of school, practice, and games gives me a good routine.

 

On this year's team, you do return some great talent but you may have lost some leadership. What has the transition been like as you become one of the older guys on the team?

I think the transition has gone well.  Our team has a lot of guys who enjoy wrestling and being around each other. I'm just trying to show the young guys how to do things and how to be a good teammate.  

What lessons have you been able to learn from the previous years' seniors?

I've learned a lot. JT (Justin Taylor) and Woodson (Bagnal) really pulled our team together and were great teammates, always cheering other guys on and showing that they believed in us. 

 

As a sophomore, it's probably odd to look back, but what do think about when you think of the career you've put together so far? Additionally, what do you want from the rest of your Heathwood career?

Everything so far has been great. I've enjoyed playing here and hope that we have a lot more success. Thinking ahead, I want to win championships. We were so close last season, and I think we've got the talent to compete this year, and for the next few years. I have no doubt we will win it all.

Clutch Free Throws by Walker Draffin, '22, are a Repeat of His Mom's Performance 25 Years Ago

Date: 
Monday, January 30, 2017

Like mother, like son … the Draffins are making a family tradition out of coming through for Heathwood in the clutch.

Twenty-five years ago, as a sophomore on the Heathwood Girls Varsity Basketball team, Katherine Juk Draffin (’94) got fouled shooting a 3-pointer against Ashley Hall. The game was almost over and the Highlanders were down by three, so the three free throws Katherine was awarded were obviously going to be decisive: make all three and the game would likely go to overtime; miss just one and Heathwood would lose. No pressure, right?

Katherine stepped up to the line and made the first shot … and then the second … and then—as every spectator held their breath—the third. The game was tied, and in the few seconds remaining, Ashley Hall failed to convert. Thanks to Katherine, the game went to overtime.

Flash forward to January 19, 2017, and the Heathwood Middle School Boys Basketball team is down by two points to a much bigger Camden Military squad. With under a minute to play and the clock winding down fast, point guard Walker Draffin (’22) launches a three-point shot, and is fouled in the process. Once again, no pressure, right? Make two shots and you can force overtime, make three and you’ll probably win the game. Anything less, and the Highlanders will almost certainly lose.

Walker stepped to the line and squared up to shoot. In the stands, his father Stephen (’90) said, almost in a whisper, “Oh, he practiced this a lot this weekend.” As calmly as if he were still taking those routine practice shots, Walker released his first free throw—and it sailed right through the net. He took the second, and once again, it hit nothing but net. In the stands, all the Heathwood fans held their breath … and Walker shot his third … and it too swished right in. With just seconds left, Camden Military hustled up court but couldn’t convert—and after being down by almost double digits at the half, Heathwood went on to win the game.

Parents in attendance who heard Stephen Draffin mention that Walker had recently put a lot of time in at the free throw line might have been tempted to point out to their sons that the Highlanders won the game thanks to Walker’s work ethic, and specifically his willingness to work hard in practice to improve his game. But Katherine Draffin says learning what it takes to come through in the clutch was just one of many takeaways from her own Heathwood basketball career: “Basketball was by far my favorite sport that I played at Heathwood,” she recalls. “It taught me a lot, on and off the court.”

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