By Thomas Grant Jr.
The S.C. Athletic Coaches Association recently recognized two Lexington School District One head coaches.
Nick Pelham of White Knoll (football and Roger Smith of River Bluff (golf) were named Coach of the Year of their respective sports.
In three seasons with the Timberwolves, Pelham turned a program which had a winless season prior to his arrival into a Class 5A Lower State champion. White Knoll posted its first undefeated regular season in school history and finished with a program-best 14-1 mark.
It also won the Region 4-5A title, upending perennial champion Dutch Fork and snapping its 32-game region-winning streak dating back to 2015. The Silver Foxes defeated the Timberwolves 21-6 in the Class 5A final.
Before taking over the White Knoll program, Pelham was the defensive coordinator on five straight state championship teams at Dutch Fork.
The longtime boys and girls golf coach was recognized for leading both programs to the Class 5A state tournament consistently during his tenure.
In a statement released Monday from the River Bluff athletic department, Smith was praised for his exceptional leadership and unwavering dedication to the success of the Gators’ golf programs.
It also stated that ‘Competing in what is widely regarded as one of the toughest regions in the state, his teams have not only challenged for the region title but have also been formidable contenders for state honors. The resilience and skill displayed by Coach Smith’s golfers have led to a legacy of success, with many of them continuing their golfing careers at the collegiate level.’
In closing, the department stated the ‘SCACA Golf Coach of the Year award is a testament to Coach Roger Smith’s outstanding leadership, sportsmanship, and commitment to student-athlete development. River Bluff High School extends its heartfelt congratulations to Coach Smith for this well-deserved recognition and looks forward to continued success under his guidance.’
Featured photo: Nick Pelham and his children