We are the Wolverines: The Untold Stories That Shaped One of South Carolina’s Greatest High School Athletic Programs

High school sports are the lifeblood of cities and towns here in the South.

Communities build identities around the success of the local high school teams, which bring prestige and recognition and instill pride and togetherness in those who fervently support them.

Woodruff, South Carolina, is no different and has for decades been respected as one of our state’s greatest representations of what it means to be a successful small-town athletic program.

Sports history is our history, and so many stories passed down through generations continue to remind folks of who we are, where we have been, and what we have accomplished.

Some of those stories have faded over time. Those tales, too, are a part of our Wolverines’ identity and should be retold to keep the legacies of those who helped create them alive.

These are the untold moments that changed Wolverine history.

Woodruff High School has won over two dozen state titles, with countless more individual championships. People know Woodruff as a football town now, but there were days when baseball reigned supreme.

There is, of course, Willie Varner, who served Woodruff High School for over five decades as a legendary football and basketball coach. Varner constructed and led dynasties, but every story of their greatness is not often recounted these days.

There is the remarkable run of region championships by the girls’ soccer program, the sensational careers of athletes like Dacus Wall, Derek Royster and Maggie Rhodes, and pioneers like the school’s first softball players.

Never should they be forgotten, but always celebrated. They are who we are; Woodruff Wolverines.

These are their stories, told in their own words. These are their shining moments that gave our town its identity and garnered the respect, fear, and adoration of many teams across South Carolina and beyond.

These are not only the moments that changed Wolverine history but that of prep sports across the Palmetto State.

It is a legendary history and always remember….

Legends never die.

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