It’s known as the Weekend of Champions around the Palmetto State. It just might also be known as the time for the Bishop England athletic juggernaut to flex its muscles.
The High School League will crown state champs this weekend in volleyball, girls’ tennis and cross country, and the Bishops will be well represented.
The Bishop England volleyball team has been perfect in the postseason, with 3-0 victories over Wade Hampton, Aynor, Battery Creek and Bluffton. The Bishops face Powdersville in the championship match at 2 p.m. Saturday at Chapin High School.
The girls’ tennis team has been just as impressive if not as dominant, rolling through four foes en route to Saturday’s state championship showdown against Mid-Carolina at the Cayce Tennis Center. The match is set for noon.
And then there’s cross country. The Bishop England boys finished second at last weekend’s Lower State championship and will be in the mix for a title Saturday at Sandhills Research Center. The Bishop girls finished sixth in the Lower State meet.
Cindy Baggott’s BE juggernaut continues to thrill. The Bishops steamrolled Wade Hampton, Aynor, Battery Creek and Bluffton in the Class AAA playoffs and now face Powdersville in the championship.
The Bishops have the top volleyball program in the nation if state championships count.
Last fall, the Bishops won their 17th straight consecutive state championship - a national record - with a victory over Camden in a match that was contested at Dutch Fork High School. That gave the Bishops 27 state titles overall, which also is a national record.
The Bishops haven’t lost a playoff game since 1999, and enter Saturday’s showdown with 109 straight playoff victories. Baggott has been the coach at BE since 2007 and the Bishops are seeking their 11th title during her tenure.
Powdersville, meanwhile, defeated Chapman 25-18, 25-18, 25-20 Monday in the Upper State finals in Inman.
The Patriots, 25-3, will be making their first appearance in the volleyball state championship.
The Bishop girls continued to roll with a 6-0 victory over Waccamaw Monday night.
The Bishops will go after their seventh straight state title and 22nd overall, which is a state record. The Bishops breezed in singles play against Waccamaw. The Bishops have lost only one game in their playoff run and that came in the second round against Aynor.
The Bishops England boys finished second in the Class AAA Lower State meet, and its nucleus is talented and young.
Junior Aidan Richter finished seventh in the Lower State with a time of 17:16.32. Teammates Mark Richter and Daniel Infante were right behind in ninth and 16th places with impressive times as well. Mark Richter is only a freshman and Infante is a sophomore.
In the Class AA Lower State, the Philip Simmons boys finished 14th in the team standings. Freshman Noah Ward led the way for the Iron Horses with a second-place finish of 16:43.05. The Philip Simmons girls finished in 20th place in the team standings.
The PSHS boys’ and girls’ teams performed well in the regional competition held on Oct. 18, both qualifying for last weekend’s lower state finals. Noah Ward took home the top prize in the regional contest, earning the Iron Horses their first ever regional title.
The Hanahan High School boys’ cross country team took 10th place in the Class AAA Lower State Finals, while the girls’ team took the No. 11 spot. Out of 142 competitors, the Hawks’ Jack Dantzler finished in 12th place, followed by Brett Kelley in 13th place. On the girls’ side, out of 118 competitors, Hanahan’s Autumn Bladen finished at No. 17.