Jacobi SaundersJacobi Saunders is only 11 years old, but he’s already making quite a name for himself in the youth football world.

In fact, Saunders, a fifth-grader at Red Cedar Elementary School in Bluffton, is one of the top players in his age group in all of South Carolina, evidenced by his invitation to represent the Palmetto State in the Carolina Bowl at Duke University on Jan. 5.

A standout defensive lineman, Saunders was one of 25 South Carolina fifth-graders picked for the team after a six-hour tryout in Greenville, adding to the list of prestigious games in which he has played, taking him everywhere from Myrtle Beach to Missouri. He also plays for the Rincon Raiders travel team and will be competing in two upcoming tournaments in Savannah.

Baseball dreamsBless his heart, like many boys his age have dreamed since forever, my 9-year-old son, Truman, wants to be a Major League Baseball player. 

Of course, I, being a man of a certain age who once was a boy his age, know how this story ends when your tallest parent is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and has no discernible athletic talent.

But I’ve been wondering … does he need to know what I know? 

IMG 00990B1C3686 1It’s common for folks in the Lowcountry to confess that they aren’t from here, but they got here as fast as they could.

That’s the case for 16-year-old Savannah Hylton, whose family made the move to Hilton Head when Savannah was 11 so she could chase her dream of becoming a professional golfer.

Five years later, Hylton is trying to navigate the arduous journey toward that dream — and she’s having great success. A student at the Junior Players Golf Academy, Hylton recently qualified for the 64-player match play field at the USGA’s U.S. Junior Girls Championship, and she also has an AJGA Junior All-Star title to her name after shooting 72-70-66 to win by eight last year. 

FootballIt will come as no surprise to those who know me that my football career ended before I reached high school. When we were assigned positions in middle school, I was always sent with the running backs and defensive backs because of my slight stature, but my speed was more suited for playing nose tackle.

What I lacked in size and skill, though, I made up for with intelligence — I was smart enough to know football wasn’t the sport for me.

Nonetheless, I felt like I was part of the team every Friday night, in large part because my grandpa and I had lived and died with that team every Friday since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. 

That’s an awfully long way to tell you to take your kids to a high school football game this season. 

fall sportsSummer is winding down, which means a few things around here: The tourists will be leaving, pumpkin-flavored everything is on the way, and it’s time to get the kids signed up for fall sports.

Registration deadlines have a way of sneaking up, and especially for those parents whose kids will be participating for the first time (it gets easier once you’re in the various organizations’ and leagues’ system and get reminder emails in your inbox). 

To help make sure you don’t miss the window, we’ve compiled a list of deadlines to register for fall sports throughout Beaufort County.