Letters to the Editor - June 8, 2018

High school rugby grows on Daniel Island, and throughout South Carolina

Since our United States National Rugby Team played Canada and France on Daniel Island soil thrice from 2008 to 2013, I am so proud to see the sport of rugby grow organically throughout our Lowcountry and South Carolina high schools.

A much safer contact sport than concussion-prone American football, pro-rugby parents and their athletically gifted teenagers now have “the greatest game in the history of the world” as their spring sporting option. Some top college programs even offer scholarships to standout rugby players.

Because more retired and ex-pat rugby players now coach, referee, and parent the game statewide, high school rugby teams are also flourishing in Columbia, Greenville, Charlotte, and elsewhere, giving Lowcountry rugby teams more winter and spring competition. In fact, some football, basketball, wrestling, and lacrosse players set their sights on rugby from December to May, with light summer and fall interest meetings, BBQs, registration, and practice orientations held.

Wando High School now has over 100 rugby players, six coaches, and an army of local sponsors and fans on their roster. Led by experienced Rugby Canada alum Tod Shepherd, Wando Rugby has become a Top-25, USA-ranked high school sport that East of Cooper families and students can be proud of on the national stage.

James Island High School has a fantastic rugby program coached by two former South African players. The School of the Arts in North Charleston also has a rugby club. Others are forming. Parochial lower and high school parents have had Bishop England as the lone private high school choice for grades nine through 12 rugby in Charleston for five years now, led by D2 state champion coach Keith Bayer (kbayer@parker.com).

The good news is that nearly every Bishop England rugby-playing senior attends college, something the entire Diocese of Charleston can be proud of scholastically and athletically. Team food and event sponsors have included Daniel Island’s Publix, Ali Baba, and Dockery’s.

Bishop England Rugby is also planning national and international tours, for students to play, pray, study abroad, and attend big-stadium rugby matches with other Christian high school students on foreign soil. Rugby tour abroad is one of the greatest team experiences known to mankind.

The Netflix documentary “Red, White, Black & Blue” – the inspiring story of Los Angeles high school rugby coach Stuart Krohn – explains the fitness levels, electrifying motivation, and stunning behavioral incentives that international rugby tours offer boys and girls, which is a culture totally different from American football and other high school sports

For so many glorious and scholarly reasons, I would urge incoming freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and college-bound seniors (and their parents) to engage the worldly sport of rugby going forward, especially via Charleston’s private catholic school system.

Baron Christopher Hanson
Assistant Coach, Bishop England Rugby

Business mentors needed!

Thank you for your recent article about SCORE Charleston.

SCORE is a nonprofit organization that is affiliated with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Our core competency is to provide free mentoring to entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses. While there has been little awareness about SCORE Charleston, in 2017 we still averaged over 75 new clients per month and mentored nearly 1,200 entrepreneurs. We helped create 327 new businesses and 417 non-owner jobs. The great majority of those clients were in the process of forming or growing their start-up businesses.

In 2018 we are increasing our impact on Charleston’s economy. We are collaborating with all area Chambers of Commerce, all tri-county municipalities and other Charleston regional organizations. We recently launched a new program called SCORE More Profits to help established business owners learn how to manage their companies for growth and profitability. We intend to dramatically increase awareness about SCORE and our entrepreneurial offerings

We are beginning a volunteer recruiting drive. We are looking for people who want to give back and use their business experience to help drive entrepreneurial success. Our volunteers may be retired or still working. There is no requirement on the number of hours – we’ll accept whatever precious time you’re willing to give.

To volunteer, please visit charlestonsc.score.org and click on “Be a Mentor.” For more information, please contact Rick Norman at 843-364-5429 or Arnie Freilich at 650-619-7072. We will schedule a meeting on Daniel Island for those that are interested.

Rick Norman
SCORE Charleston Volunteer Recruiting

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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