By Susan Hill Smith, Island Eye News Staff Writer
The Sullivan’s Island Boys Basketball Team went to the final four in its division of the Trident Basketball Association’s post-season tournament in February, after finishing its regular season with an 11-1 record.
“I could not be prouder of the boys. They far exceeded my expectations,” said Coach Mic Smith. “We also had a fantastic group of cheerleaders join us at the games this year. The whole season turned out to be a blast.”
While the basketball team is not officially connected to Sullivan’s Island Elementary, all 14 players are fourth- and fifth-graders at the school. Smith, an SIES dad, created the team last year so the boys could participate in the competitive Trident Basketball Association and play teams from throughout the Charleston area.
Sullivan’s Island Baptist Church continued this year as the team’s main sponsor and also hosted most of the team’s practices, year, Beachside Realty LLC also joined in sponsoring the team. SIES dads Jamie Hollingsworth and Joe Virgilio pitched in as assistant coaches.
Fifteen of 30 teams that participated in Trident’s Class A, AA and AAA groupings earned spots in the Junior Boys Division II post-season tournament based on their records during the regular season. While most of the teams the Islanders played this year were made up of fourth and fifth-graders, some teams included sixth-graders.
Sullivan’s Island won its first tournament games against Northwood Academy (32-27) and Blessed Sacrament (37-18) before losing to Stiles Point in the semifinals (19-32).
SIES mom Layne Kipp headed up the Sullivan’s Island Cheerleading Team, which formed from a group of 14 fifth grade girls at the school and came to include the first-grade sister of one of the basketball players.
In addition to traveling to nearly all the Islanders’ games, the girls made guest appearances during basketball games at Moultrie Middle School and performed at halftime for The Citadel.
“This group of girls has so much spirit. They loved cheering on their fellow classmates, and I am so proud of all their hard work and dedication to the season,” Kipp said. She added that it was a group effort on the part of the families “that would not have been possible without the help of Susan Stabene, Marcie Lesesne, Michelle Griffin and Sullivan Rodrigues.”
Sullivan’s Island Boys Basketball Team included: Lucas Browder, Trey Brown, Griffin Ferraro, Brody Hollingsworth, Isaiah Ludlam, Max Opoulos, Edward Reidenbach, Griffin Rodrigues, Cayden Sheets, Owen Silver, Tyson Smith, Harper Stephens, Will Virgilio and Harris Wilson.
Sullivan’s Island Cheerleading Team included: Adlai Allard, Maitland Arrington, Mackie Black, Ivy Braly, Avery Fralish, Chloe Griffin, Eliza Hughes, Vivian Kipp, Hathaway Klemm, Keelie Lesesne, Alia Nawabi, Celia Powers, Quinn Rodrigues, Caroline Stabene, and Harper Wesley.