High School Football

NOTEBOOK: Blythewood to retire Bethel’s jersey

Blythewood's Justin Bethel, left, covers an Eau Claire receiver in 2007. Bethel’s jersey will be retired Friday by the Bengals.
Blythewood's Justin Bethel, left, covers an Eau Claire receiver in 2007. Bethel’s jersey will be retired Friday by the Bengals. The State

Blythewood will honor one of its famous alumni Friday night.

Justin Bethel will have his jersey retired at halftime of the Bengals’ game against Lugoff-Elgin. Bethel, a defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals, won’t be in attendance, because the Cardinals play the Browns this week, but his family will be there.

Bethel was a member of Blythewood’s 2006 Class 4A Division II state championship team, which won a title the first season of football at the school. He was the team’s defensive player of the year as a senior in 2007.

Bethel had a school-record five blocked kicks in two years on varsity, including a pivotal one in the fourth quarter of the 2006 upper state title game.

Bethel played at Presbyterian, where he left as the Blue Hose’s career leader in tackles and interceptions. He was the Big South Defensive Player of the Year in 2011.

The Arizona Cardinals selected Bethel in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL draft, and he has emerged as one of the best special teams players in the league. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl the past two seasons.

Cardinal Newman set for final game at old stadium

Ronnie Hollier connected with Sims Tompkins on the first touchdown pass at George Watson Field at Cardinal Newman High in 1978.

The two will recreate that moment during halftime of Friday’s game against Gray Collegiate, and many other former players are expected to attend. It will be CN’s final game at George Watson Field before it moves to its new campus on 2945 Alpine Road in January.

The new 50-acre campus will include an 800-seat football stadium.

Redhawks eye turnaround against Silver Foxes

For the second straight year, Westwood carries a lofty record and chance to win a region title against Dutch Fork on Friday.

The Redhawks (8-1, 3-0) are hoping for a better outcome this season. Dutch Fork (6-3, 2-1) defeated Westwood 33-3 and went on to win the Region 4-4A title and play for the state championship.

“That was disappointing,” Westwood coach Rodney Summers said. “Being undefeated going into that game, we felt like we had a good shot. I am just hoping we can redeem ourselves and play a lot better game than last year.”

Westwood and Dutch Fork have two of the best offenses in the Midlands.

Field set for AC Flora girls tip-off tournament

Eight teams, including seven from the Midlands, will make up the field for this year’s A.C. Flora girls basketball tip-off tournament.

The tournament will be Nov. 21, 23-24 at the school’s old and new gyms. The championship and third-place game will be held Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Teams in this year’s field are Blythewood, Irmo, Sumter, Spring Valley, Lower Richland, Lexington, Newberry and host A.C. Flora.

Four Midlands coaches picked for all-star games

Four coaches from the Midlands were selected to coach in upcoming all-star games.

Columbia’s Mimi Tanguay and River Bluff’s Cindy Esposito will coach in the North-South volleyball matches Nov. 19-21 at Erskine College. Tanguay will coach the North in the Class A/2A game, while Esposito will be with the South in the 3/4A match.

Lexington coach Brandon Smith will be one of the North coaches in the girls golf all-star match at Timberlake Country Club in Chapin on Nov. 13-14.

Chapin’s John Rodgers will be a coach for the North in the girls tennis matches Nov. 20-21 in Taylors.

Rosters for the matches will be announced next week.

Chapin’s Bendziewicz commits to Marshall

Chapin swimmer Catherine Bendziewicz verbally committed to Marshall on Wednesday. Bendziewicz won state championships in 50 and 100 freestyle at the state meet earlier this month.