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.’”
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.”
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!”
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.”
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!
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.
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.”
What A Time To Be A Highlander!
Come out and support our Heathwood Hall teams and athletes in action!
The Highlander Bowling teams had a home match at the Royal Z Lanes on Tuesday, January 17th. There were 7 school attending with 18 teams competing. Our boys’ teams finished 1st and the girls’ teams finished in 2nd place. The girls were led by Catie Johnson, Olivia Hampton, Amelia Robinson-Brown and Kate Nassab, while the boys’ team had particularly strong showings from Xander Postic, Davis Buchanan, Spears Goodlett, Daniel Lucas and James Lucas.
The teams participated in the SCISA State Championship matches at Sumter’s Gamecock Lanes on Thursday, January 19th. At this year's state championship, the format was a two-round play-off format. All 12 school teams participated in the first round, with the top 4 teams moving into the championship round. Both our boys’ and girls’ teams were in that top four. Our boys’ teams finished in 2nd place in the state and the girls finished in 3rd place - Congratulations to the boys' and girls’ teams!
Boys’ Team Members - Wade Allen, Davis Buchanan, Xander Postic, Daniel Lucas and James Lucas
Girls' Team Members - Olivia Hampton, Catie Johnson, Emmye Mullins, Amelia Robinson-Brown and Kate Nassab.
Join us this Friday, January 27th, for a Facebook Live Q&A with Heathwood Head Football Coach Marcus Lattimore at 10AM!
The Highlander Varsity Wrestling team picked up some valuable big-match experience last week in their tri-match against SCHSL powers Blythewood HS & Columbia HS. Sophomore Reagan Olsen inched closer to history, as he collected his 95th career win. Tomorrow night, the team will travel for their final regular-season contest against Camden Military, before the MS wrestlers host their tournament on Saturday.
Next week, the Highlanders will open play in the SCISA State Quarterfinals at Hammond on Wednesday, as they look to make consecutive trips to the State Championship - Make sure to come out and support our wrestlers!
The Basketball program is full of positive momentum as they head toward the end of the regular season!
MS Girls: Can clinch a home semifinal game in the region tournament with a win today at Augusta Christian, or Friday at home against Cardinal Newman.
MS Boys: Split their games last week against Camden Military & Ben Lippen, but look to finish out the regular season strong this week with AC, PAC, and CN.
JV Girls: Host AC today before traveling to Cardinal Newman for the season finale on Friday.
JV Boys: Picked up a great road win against Camden Military last week, and look to work their way into the playoffs with games this week against AC, PAC, and the regular-season finale at CN.
Varsity Girls: Collected a big home win last night against Pelion, avenging a loss from earlier in the season, and can clinch a playoff berth at home tonight against AC, or on the road Friday against the Cardinals.
Varsity Boys: Currently standing alone in first place in the region, the boys defeated Pelion last night at home and look to collect season sweeps this week against AC and CN.
2016 brought the Highlander Nation some terrific moments!
In no particular order, we’ve highlighted 10 of the top stories in the Heathwood Hall calendar year – ENJOY & GO HALL!
HIGHLANDERS WIN STATE
The Boys Cross Country team capped off an incredible 2016 season by winning their final four races, including the SCISA AAA State Championship! Despite losing their top runner from 2015 and having lost senior captain Harrison Boorda to an injury, Coach Cindy Scannella’s team combined youth with experience to win the title on the Heathwood home course, behind the efforts of seniors Matt Quan and Aidan Powers, junior Nick Basile, and middle schoolers Joseph French and Hugh Willcox.
B-TEAM FOOTBALL, LATTIMORE DELIVER
Under the direction of first-year head coach Marcus Lattimore, the Highlander MS Football team entered the 2016 season having not won a game since 2013. By game three, the Highlanders had ended that streak, and by the end of the season, the Highlanders had won their final four games and their first Region I Championship! A huge Heathwood contingent packed out Hammond’s Edens Stadium and were treated to two second-half scores and a 12-0 win!
GROWTH IN THE COLLEGIATE HIGHLANDER FRATERNITY
The number of Heathwood alums taking their talents to the next level grew in 2016, as four Highlander graduates headed off to begin their collegiate careers, and one senior signed to pursue a collegiate career. Brandon Hill signed on National Signing Day with Duke University, while Justin Taylor (Furman), Ben Wilson (Mississippi State), and Woodson Bagnal (Hampden-Sydney) all committed to their respective schools. In November, senior Josh Caldwell signed with the United States Military Academy at West Point (Army) for collegiate basketball.
DEBUT OF THE TOURVILLE CENTER
Thanks to the generosity of Highlander donors, Heathwood renovated and updated a brand new Strength & Conditioning facility in the Lower Gym facility. The facility features new weight equipment from Sorinex, a rehab and cardio room overlooking Highlander Stadium, updates to the Athletic Training room, and new athletic offices and storage rooms. The top-of-the-line facility continues to keep Heathwood Hall at the forefront of facilities in SCISA and across the state.
THE YEAR OF NASIR
Maryah Nasir entered 2016 coming off the 2015 SCISA Cross Country State title, and dominated the calendar year from start to finish. She claimed three individual state titles at the SCISA State Track Meet, claimed two gold medals during the summer in the South Carolina Junior Olympics, and then put together one of the great seasons in Highlander Cross Country history, winning eight events including the Region I title, en route to being named the Midlands Runner of the Year by The State Newspaper.
With so many of the Highlander teams succeeding in 2016, honors were awarded to several members of the Highlander coaching staff. Boys Soccer’s Andrew Richardson earned Region I Co-Coach of the Year honors, and was named the State Private/Parochial School Coach of the Year by the NSCAA after leading the Highlanders to the state championship match. In her first year as HH’s Volleyball coach, Ashley Jordan earned Region Coach of the Year honors and coached in the SCISA North-South game after leading the Highlanders to a runner-up finish in region play and a top seed in the state tournament. After leading the Boys Cross Country team to the first Highlander state championship since 2014, Cindy Scannella was named the State Cross Country Coach of the Year.
While so many of our teams enjoyed great success, several excelled in competition and brought home hardware back to South Beltline! The Wrestling team closed out the 2015-16 season with State Championship appearance, while the Girls Track team and Boys Soccer team both earned State Runner-Up finishes in the spring. This fall, the Girls Swim team had a great showing at the Augusta Aquatics Center, narrowly finishing behind Ashley Hall to finish as the runner-up for the second time in three years.
CALDWELL JOINS 1,000-POINT CLUB
Senior Boys Basketball player Josh Caldwell became the third member of the Highlander Boys Basketball program to join the 1,000 point club with his first basket at Porter-Gaud on December 2nd. The reigning Region 1 Co-Player of the Year, helped lead the Highlanders to the SCISA State Semifinals in 2015-16, and is looking to take the team even farther this season before heading to West Point.
DIG PINK GAME PROVES HUGE SUCCESS
The Highlander Volleyball program engineered one of the great fundraising events of the year with their first annual Dig Pink game. Honored during the event included our own golf coach Lynn Humphrey, who is in remission after battling Breast Cancer. The event took place the night of the Hammond match, bringing in a terrific crowd donning pink, and featured bake sales, auctions, and a serving contest–to go along with a 3-0 sweep of the Skyhawks!
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT
The Highlander Athletic Department heads into 2017 with great momentum! Our thanks to the entire Heathwood community for their continued support! There’s something great happening over on South Beltline!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Heathwood Hall announces the hiring of Marcus Lattimore as the Head Football Coach, upon the resignation of outgoing coach Steve Victory. Victory, 3-15 in his two seasons at the helm, will be returning to his home state of Louisiana to tend to family matters. Lattimore, a former South Carolina All-American and San Francisco 49ers draft pick, served as Heathwood’s Varsity Running Backs coach and Head B-Team Coach in 2016. He helped coach junior running back Brandon McCullough to 1st Team SCISA All-State honors, and the B-Team to the SCISA Region 1-AAA Championship, after they had gone winless in 2014 and 2015.
In addition to his duties as the Head Football Coach, Lattimore will serve as Heathwood Hall’s School Advancement Associate. In this role, he will work with the athletic administration, admissions office, school development office, and Head of School Chris Hinchey. He will begin both roles on January 16, 2017.
“Marcus has articulated a vision of excellence for the entire football program (Varsity, JV and B-Team), and I am confident that, through his exceptional work ethic, genuine concern for player development, advanced understanding of the game, and commitment to character and sportsmanship, he will build a very competitive team and outstanding program," said Heathwood Head of School Chris Hincey. "He is excited about the challenge ahead and he is the right man for the job.”
Heathwood Athletic Director Jeff Whalen said, “We are extremely pleased that Marcus has accepted our offer to become our head football coach and a member of our staff at Heathwood. Marcus is very knowledgeable in football but brings to us a more important characteristic in that he understands the importance of developing character and discipline. I would also like thank and wish Steve Victory future success as he and his wife move back to New Orleans.”
“Heathwood Hall is a special community that I am thrilled to be a part of," said Coach Lattimore. "The kindhearted people make this place feel like home. The genuine care for our students is evident, and it all starts with great leadership from our Head of School, Chris Hinchey. The sport of football has provided me with a platform to motivate and inspire thousands of kids over the years, and this will give me an opportunity on a daily basis to continue to make an impact on the lives of our young men. Our coaching staff will immediately began to create a uniform system, developing the program from top to bottom, with the foundation built on an emphasis of accountability. Our young men will know they represent something bigger than themselves. Our players will work with pride to have people respect the name on the back of their jersey and more importantly, the name on the front.”
Coach Steve Victory said, “My wife and I are expecting our first child in February and it is our desire to be closer to our family in Louisiana. The Heathwood community has been very supportive of me and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such great people. I wish them nothing but the best in the future.”
A native of Duncan, SC, Marcus Lattimore graduated from Byrnes High School in 2010. As a senior, he earned USA Today’s high school All-American honors and was named South Carolina’s “Mr. Football.” Marcus then signed with the University of South Carolina and was a three year letterman for the Gamecocks and led the team to their first SEC championship game in 2010. Marcus holds the South Carolina all-time record with 41 career touchdowns in only 23 games. In 2013 Marcus was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round of the NFL draft. After two seasons, Marcus retired from the 49ers and returned to South Carolina to finish his degree in Public Health. He is committed to growing the image of The Marcus Lattimore Foundation, whose mission is to provide assistance to high school athletes who may not have sufficient insurance to obtain quality rehabilitation from sports-related injuries.