The Stratford High School volleyball team counts experience as a major asset as the curtains rise on a new season.

The Knights bring back nine players off last year’s team, which placed third in the region and advanced to the second round of the playoffs before falling in a competitive match to Carolina Forest. Six of those are seniors.

They were 17-9-1, including tournament matches, in 2018.

“My hope is that they will lead the rest of our team to success,” Stratford volleyball coach Aaron Tuuk said. “Our preseason goal always starts with making the playoffs but we want to continue to set the bar higher to make the Stratford program better every year.”

A key player returning is Kailynn Driggers, who made all-region as a libero last season. She had well over 200 digs for the second year in a row.

More key pieces back are defensive specialist Payton Lee, defensive specialist Jessica Scannell and setter Salena Jones, who had over 100 digs apiece.

Additional players are Chelsie Reynolds, Maddie Mitchum, Makenna Young, Tireh Smith, Tori Tennyson, Maggie McGuire, Aiyanna Lockett and Mikayla Stout.

Stout and Reynolds combined for 62 kills last season.

The Knights began the season with a 3-1 win over Fort Dorchester on Aug. 27.

Cobras’ Jackson wins Skyhawk Invitational

Cane Bay senior cross country runner Zane Jackson posted a time of 16:12.45 to win the Skyhawk Invitational by more than seconds on Aug. 24.

It was a school record by 57 seconds for Jackson.

The event was hosted by Hammond School in Columbia and more than 170 runners competed.

Todd records an ace

Ansel Todd, who just turned nine years old, made a hole-in-one on the 17th hole at Lake Marion Golf Course last month.

The par 3 was playing 75 yards for Cane Bay High School’s golf camp and Todd used a hybrid club.

Todd is the son of Cane Bay baseball coach and football offensive coordinator Shane Todd.

Stratford edges Fort in girls tennis

Aubrey Eudy, Ayoola Oladimeji and Livia Souza won at Nos. 3-5 singles as Stratford knocked off Fort Dorchester 5-2 in a girls tennis match on Aug. 27.

Elizabeth Sivertsen and Sarah Suter won at No. 1 doubles for Stratford while Sydney Blass and Sydney Polite took No. 2 doubles. Amanda Mills won a pro-set for Stratford.

Stratford (1-0) hosts Ashley Ridge on Sept. 3.

Hanahan blanks Philip Simmons in volleyball

Ellie Jansen and Anderson Thrower led a strong defensive performance as Hanahan defeated Philip Simmons 25-21, 25-13, 25-21 in a volleyball match on Aug. 27.

Stratford’s Cool medalist in girls golf match

Stratford dropped a match to Fort Dorchester by 13 shots, 177-190, but the Knights’ Chayse Cool was medalist with a 38 on Aug. 28.

Cool was also medalist with a 44 in a win over Ashley Ridge the week before.

Martin begins sophomore season at West Alabama

Former Goose Creek High School football and track standout Tyriq Martin is set to begin his sophomore season for the University of West Alabama football team.

UWA is ranked No. 24 in the 2019 American Football Coaches Association Preseason Division II Coaches Poll.

Last season, Martin made 31 grabs for 382 yards and six touchdowns for West Alabama. UWA hosts Limestone College on Sept. 7 to start the season.

As a senior at GCHS, he made 64 catches for 831 yards and rushed 42 times for 402 yards, combining for 12 touchdowns.

He was a 200-meter dash state champion in track and field.