By: Garrett Mitchell
Spring is just around the corner and as the thaw of winter commences, spring sports athletes at Woodruff High School will be taking the field, track, tennis courts and golf course as they aim to compete for region and state championships. Below is an inside look at all of the Wolverines’ varsity spring sports teams for 2020.
Head Coach: Will Lanford
2019 Record: 12-12 (7-3 Region III-3A) and District III runner-up in the 3A upper-state playoffs
Returning starters: 4
Key players: Haley Knox, 3B (Sr.), Regan Kay, C (Jr.), Brooke Bailey, SS (Jr.), MacKenzie Caldwell, P/INF (Fr.), Madi Montjoy, 2B (Jr.), Kylie Hitchcock, P/1B (Fr.), Corrine Marshall, P (Sr.)
Key games: March 17 at Union County, March 20 vs Union County, March 24 at Emerald
Season Outlook: Coach Lanford says his team is very young and he hopes to see them develop throughout the season and play their best softball in April and May
About Coach Will Lanford: Coach Lanford has coached softball and baseball for 24 years and has coached at Woodruff High School for the past 17. This is his second stint as head softball coach at Woodruff and has a career record of 77-42 and was the Lady Wolverines’ softball coach during their first-ever playoff victory in 2006. He is a graduate of Walhalla High School and Clemson University.
Head Coach: Grant Ramsey
2019 Record: 11-12 (5-5 Region III-3A) – 4th place
Returning Starters: 6
Key Players: B.J. Bailey, OF/P (Sr.), Graham Edwards, P/OF (Sr.), Zach Aylor, C (Soph.), Jackson Schaum, P/OF (Sr.)
Key Games: March 12 vs Chesnee, March 31 vs Mid Carolina, April 14 vs Clinton
Season Outlook: The Wolverines bolster a strong pitching rotation led by seniors B.J. Bailey and Graham Edwards and Coach Ramsey says the Wolverines will lean on their experience on the mound and a solid defense. A solid mixture of youth and experience will should help the team be competitive in one of the best 3A regions in the state.
About Coach Grant Ramsey: Coach Ramsey has coached high school-level baseball for 16 years with 11 years coaching public school baseball in SC. He spent seven years as an assistant coach at Laurens High School. Coach Ramsey has served as the head baseball coach at Woodruff since 2016. Coach Ramsey is a native of Fountain Inn, S.C.
Head Coach: Paige Roper
2019 Record: 21-6 (10-0 Region III-3A), Region III-3A Champions
Returning Starters: 10
Key Players: Lauryn Beeler, Midfielder (Fr.), Skylar Klomparens, Defender (Jr.), Lillie Rhodes, Keeper (Jr.), Carmen Peneda, Forward (Jr.)
Key Games: March 5 vs Landrum, March 25 at Powdersville, April 8 at Chapin
Season Outlook: Coach Roper says the team has worked extremely hard over the past two years and with the addition of several talented freshmen, she expects the Lady Wolverines to be very well-rounded. After two consecutive state semifinals appearances, the goal is to win a 17 consecutive region title and compete for a state championship.
About Coach Paige Roper: Coach Roper is a 2011 graduate of Woodruff High School who played soccer for the Lady Wolverines. This is her third season coaching the Lady Wolverines.
Head Coach: Joe Federspiel
2019 Record: 9-10 (6-4 Region III-3A), 4th place
Returning Starters: 9
Key Players: Jesus Tranquilino, Sweeper (Soph.), Anthony Gonzalez-Hidalgo, Keeper (Soph.), Juan Carrizales, Center Midfielder (Sr.)
Key Games: March 3 at Chapman, March 25 vs Powdersville, April 29 at Gaffney, All region games
Season Outlook: Coach Federspiel wants his team to improve on the great strides they made last season when the Wolverines defeated a number one seed in the first round of the play-offs. He expects confidence from last season’s success to carry over and for his team to have a successful campaign.
About Coach Joe Federspiel: Coach Federspiel is entering his second season as the head coach for the Woodruff boys’ soccer program. He coached wrestling for 11 years before moving to soccer. Growing up in a military family, Coach Federspiel moved often and is a graduate of Wade Hampton High School and Limestone College where he was a member of the wrestling team.
Track and Field
Head Coach: Duane Thompson
2019 Record: Girls and Boys Region III-3A champions
Key Athletes: Bethany Davis, Pole Vault/Sprinter (Sr.), Maggie Rhodes, Distance Runner (Jr.), Katherine Thompson, Hurdles/400M Relay (Sr.), Nathan Chiffon, Pole Vault (Sr.), Charles Landrum, Discus Thrower (Sr.), Marquel Evins, Jumper/Sprinter (Sr.)
Key Matches: March 26 pre-region meet at Emerald High School
Season Outlook: Coach Thompson expects good things during the 2020 season with strong upper-classman leadership on both the men’s and women’s teams. He also expects a promising group of middle school athletes to develop and contribute to the teams’ successes.
About Coach Duane Thompson: Coach Thompson is a graduate of Woodruff High School where he played football for Coach W.L. Varner and Presbyterian College where he earned All-American honors in football. He has coached football and track and field at Woodruff High School since 2008 and says he truly enjoys working with Wolverine athletes and seeing them accomplish their goals.
Head Coach: Bill Brasington
2019 Record: 11-2-1 (Region III-3A champions, 3A state tournament 3rd place overall)
Returning Starters: 5 (All)
Key Players: Daniel Brasington (Jr.), Trey Howard (Jr.)
Key Matches: March 25 Spartanburg County Tournament, April 9-11 Palmetto Invitational at Pawley’s Island
Season Outlook: Coach Brasington expects the Wolverines to be playing their best golf in April and May when the region, upper-state, and state tournaments arrive. The goal is to compete for a state championship which will be held at the Wolverines’ home course of Three Pines Country Club in Woodruff from May 18-19.
About Coach Bill Brasington: Coach Brasington is a native of Denmark, SC where he began playing golf at an early age. He was a four-year letterman on the golf team at Wofford College where he competed for a national championship as a freshman. He is happily married to Jo Ann Brasington who he met at Wofford and their two daughters, Annie and Abbey, are Woodruff High School graduates. Their son, Daniel, is a current junior on this year’s golf team.
Head Coach: Lea Ann Skinner
2019 Results: 5th place in Region III-3A
Returning Starters: 4
Key Players: Luke Dotson, Arden Layton, Jace Fortenberry, Jake Waddell, Nick McConnell
Key Matches: March 11 at Broome, March 26 vs Clinton, April 6 at Dorman
Season Outlook: Coach Skinner anticipates an improvement from last year’s fifth place region finish and is excited about the veteran leadership returning and believe the emergence of several of the younger players will help the team make strides as well.
About Coach Lea Ann Skinner: Coach Skinner is a long-time coach at Woodruff, serving also as the head coach of the girl’s tennis team. She has also served two stints as the head softball coach at Woodruff High School and has been a physical education teacher at Woodruff Primary School and Woodruff High School for more than 25 years.