Originally created 07/11/97

Prep notes



Brentwood Academy boys basketball coach Tony Duckworth has been named head coach at Belhaven College, an NAIA Division I school in Jackson, Miss.

Before the 1996-97 season, the 28-year-old Macon native was an assistant coach for four seasons at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Ga., near Chattanooga, Tenn.

"It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up," Duckworth said. "I enjoyed my time at Brentwood, but this is an exciting opportunity for me, and I'm looking forward to the chance to turn a program around."

Duckworth's only other head coaching experience was for one year at Central Fellowship, a Georgia Christian Athletic Association school, in Macon.

Duckworth followed the most successful era in Brentwood history by replacing Bob Bradley who, most coached Michael Brooker to prep stardom and on to North Carolina.

Last season, Belhaven finished 16-17, and competes in the Gulf Coast Conference.

REBEL GIRLS COACH: Sharon Gilmore, a 1982 Midland Valley graduate and a former star at South Carolina, has been named the new girls basketball coach at Strom Thurmond.

Gilmore played on the 1982 Midland Valley squad that advanced to the Class AAAA state finals before losing to Camden. She scored 1,577 points at South Carolina and played overseas in France where she was the Most Valuable Player for her Mirade team.

Gilmore is the fifth girls basketball coach that Strom Thurmond athletic director Brian Smith has had since he came to the school in 1995.

John Gibbs resigned within two weeks after he came to the school; Fran Altringer was the coach from 1995-96; Carson Ware coached this past season; Yolanda Settles was scheduled to replace Ware, but within three weeks of landing the job in June she left to take an assistant's position at Rhode Island.

HICKS RESIGNED: South Aiken baseball coach Mike Hicks has resigned after 12 years on the job.

Hicks will be replaced by Hilton Head coach Steve DeRiggs, who went 140-66 in nine seasons at the Class AAA school. DeRiggs will teach social studies at the school.

AIR HILLARY: Former Strom Thurmond quarterback Damein Bowman was the winningest quarterback in the two-state area over the previous two seasons with a 25-4 record. But his replacement, rising sophomore Antawn Hillary, is already making a name for himself.

The 14-year-old sensation recently won the quarterback skills competition at Furman University. There were over 400 participants at the football camp and Rebel wide receiver Josh Yonce was selected as one of the camp's top 10 wide receivers.

"Damein (Bowman) might be the best running quarterback we've ever had here," Rebels coach Brian Smith said. "He could do things that you couldn't coach. Hillary is the real deal. He's a different quarterback in that he's not as fast running with the football but he can throw it and run the option."

Recently, Strom Thurmond played in a passing league with Region 3-AAAA favorite Irmo, Dutch Fork and Conway. The Rebels were the only non-Class AAAA squad in the group.