Lou Bezjak

Notebook: A.C. Flora baseball honors fallen police officer

Players and police officers at Forest Acres Classic.
Players and police officers at Forest Acres Classic. Special to The State

The Forest Acres community honored one of its own Tuesday night.

Members of the Forest Acres Police Department and Kassy Alia, the widow of FAPD officer Greg Alia, threw out the ceremonial first pitches before the start of A.C. Flora-Dematha game at the Forest Acres Classic.

Greg Alia was killed in the line of duty Sept. 30, 2015. Alia had worked security with the FAPD at the Classic the last several years.

A.C. Flora’s baseball team also is wearing a patch on its home white uniforms in honor of Alia. The red, white and blue patch has “Alia and 9-30-15” on a baseball and words the #HeroesInBlue, Kassy Alia’s initiative honoring his brothers and sisters in uniform, at the bottom of it.

“Forest Acres has become such a community around this tournament and just our high school baseball team itself,” Flora baseball coach Andy Hallett said. “We wanted to make sure everyone knew we were family. Greg was part of the security system that the entire police department does for us. And the patch is something we wanted to do to honor a man that dedicated his time and life to keeping us safe.”

Changes to SCDI, Forest Acres Classic

With rain in the forecast for Thursday, start times for games in the South Carolina Diamond Invitational at Blythewood High School and Forest Acres Classic have been moved up.

The SCDI schedule will be: Summerville vs. White Knoll, 10 a.m.; Dorman vs. Belton-Honea Path 12:30 p.m.; Lexington vs. Carolina Forest, 3 p.m.; Blythewood vs. J.L. Mann, 5:30 p.m.

Thursday’s Forest Acres Classic will be; River Bluff vs. Dutch Fork, 9:30 A.m.; A.C. Flora vs. Sumter, 12:30 p.m.; Championship: 3:30 p.m.; Dematha Catholic-Leesville Road 6:30 p.m.

Lowry leaving Blythewood

Blythewood athletic director Vince Lowry announced he will step down as the school’s athletic director at the end of the school year.

Lowry has been the school’s athletic director since the school opened in 2005. He was the Region 4-4A athletic director of the year for 2015-16.

“I hope I have done a good job, but you know when it is time to do something else,” Lowry said.

Westwood’s Powell leaving

Westwood wrestling coach Ashley Powell will follow Rodney Summers to May River High.

Powell will be the school’s wrestling coach and an assistant football coach. Summers was hired as May River’s first football coach in January.

Under Powell, the Redhawks won back-to-back Region 4-4A championships the past two years.

Hawkins headed to Cooperstown

Justin Hawkins is headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Hawkins, a former Mid-Carolina standout, will attend the Annual Hall of Fame Classic Game in Cooperstown, N.Y., on May 27-29. He’s making the trip for being named the American Legion Player of the Year in helping Chapin-Newberry to the American Legion World Series crown.

Hawkins, a Clemson commit and sophomore at USC Sumter, hit .368 with five homers and 12 RBIs in American Legion World Series play.

Connor gets third SEC offer

Dutch Fork receiver Austin Connor picked up two more offers this week.

Army offered Connor on Monday and then Georgia offered the junior Tuesday. Connor has 12, offers including ones from South Carolina and Tennessee.

Recruiting, signings

▪  Lexington quarterback Donny Baker signed with North Greenville last week. Baker threw for 577 yards and five touchdowns and also rushed for three scores last season.

▪  Heathwood Hall lineman Justin Taylor signed with Furman. The 6-foot-1 Taylor had 41 tackles and five sacks this season. He also was selected to play in the SCISA North-South All-Star game.

▪  Cardinal Newman soccer player Wyatt Millard committed to play at Navy.

▪  Airport junior Kerryon Richardson was offered by Towson State on Wednesday. He also picked up offers from Charleston Southern and East Tennessee last week. Richardson also visited Tennessee spring practice Saturday.

▪  Gray Collegiate senior forward Ian Kinard was offered by S.C. State on Tuesday. Kinard was a Carolinas Classic All-Star selection.