Warriors In the News


Spartanburg Christian Academy captured its fifth straight SCISA 2A/1A girls track and field state championship with a 56-30 decision against Palmetto Christian on Saturday afternoon in Charleston.

 Logan Morris led the way for the Warriors by winning four events including the 1,600- and 3200-meter races. SCA won eight of 11 running events, as well as, the shot put.

 “I’m so very proud of these athletes,” Warriors coach Steve Conway said. “After four titles, I was worried we would be complacent but the girls worked even harder and we fielded our best team ever. It was a wonderful day. We had so many heroes today.”

 “It was a rough day, but we worked through it,” Morris said. “Everyone gave their best, and we were able to defend our title. We are excited.”

Taylor Shilling is going from SCA to SMC.

 The Spartanburg Christian Academy outside hitter signed to play the next two years at Spartanburg Methodist College during a ceremony on Wednesday.

 Shilling recorded 57 aces, 137 kills and 324 digs last year. She plans to move over to libero or defensive specialist with the Pioneers. Shilling will major in sports management.

 “It’s a good transition for me,” she said. “I really like the coach and the athletic program. They are really good at marketing their athletes. They knew I didn’t want to go far away and that the talent level in Spartanburg County is high.”

 Shilling was a five-year member of the volleyball team and won three state championships. She said SCA helped her know what to expect at the next level.

 “I think it’s prepared me really well,” Shilling said. “It’s given me a winning mentality. I know that it takes hard work to win championships.”

 Shilling is also thankful for the opportunity that SCA provided her to play collegiately.

 “I’m just ecstatic really,” she said. “I’m blessed to play volleyball. God has given me the talent, and SCA is the best family in the world. I love my team. We’re all best friends and just so close.”

Spartanburg Christian Academy is the Academy Sports and Outdoor boys team of the week. The Warriors are 5-0 in SCISA Region III-2A and ranked No. 2 in the state poll. http://preps.goupstate.com/news/article/42216/landrums-bridges-spartanburg-days-devore-earn-top-honors/

Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year:  Logan Morris
Logan Morris has developed an amazing resume during the course of her cross country career at Spartanburg Christian Academy.
 She has won four SCISA 2A team and individual state championships, as well as three Spartanburg County titles in a row. She also broke her own county record this past season with a time of 18:25.55.
 While many would think Morris is winding toward the end of her high school running days, it’s actually quite the opposite. She still has three years to go.
 Morris’ dominating style also has helped her earn her third straight Herald-Journal/GoUpstate Preps Girls Runner of the Year award. The freshman has not come in second to an in-state runner in two years and helped the Warriors earn an eighth straight state championship this season.
 Morris said the accolades do not come easy and she plans on staying on top of her game.
“I’ll have to continue to work hard and stay healthy,” she said. “I’d have to say that it would be nice to keep winning (this award). Every year I feel like I’ve improved. This year was good, but last year was a big step up.”
SCA coach Steve Conway said Morris does everything necessary to be a champion runner.
“Logan constantly amazes me,” he said. “She amazed me at her first practice so many years ago, and she amazed me at her last race when she ran 18:05 at Foot Locker and was named to the All-South team. Her maturity, her focus, her drive and her work ethic are all off the chart, especially considering that she’s only 14.”
In addition to the Footlocker, Morris also has participated in the Adidas race. She said the postseason races help her continue to push herself as she prepares for track season this spring.
“I got to face some great competition,” Morris said. “It definitely helps to get me better.”
Morris said her individual honors do not match what her team has accomplished. The state titles and win at last year’s county meet rank at the top. The Warriors were runners-up in the county this year, and Morris is hopeful SCA can continue as contenders.
“That’s amazing for our team,” she said. “We come from such a small school. We had a lot of injuries and worked hard and did our best. Hopefully we can come back next year and go for the win.”


Spartanburg Christian Academy volleyball players pose after beating Holly Hill Academy on Tuesday for their second straight SCISA 2A state championship.
Spartanburg Christian Academy made it back-to-back SCISA 2A state volleyball titles with a 3-1 victory against Holly Hill Academy on Tuesday night at Heathwood Hall in Columbia.
The Warriors (35-5) took the first game 25-7 before dropping a 25-22 decision in Game 2. SCA rebounded with 25-10 and 25-23 wins in the third and fourth games, respectively. It rallied from a 21-16 deficit in Game 4 to claim the match.
“That’s the trademark of this team,” Warriors coach Monica Fain said. “Our middle hitters Allison Gaminde and Kallie Hall played great. Allison, as a senior, showed great leadership on the floor. We were down and never quit.”
Fain said that Gaminde and Hall led the team in kills, while Tinsley Fain was the leader in assists and serves. Gaminde said pulling out the win was due to staying collected.
“It’s just amazing. I couldn’t ask for anything better,” she said. “We never stopped pushing and had to make sure we calmed ourselves down, smiled and just had fun.”
Senior outside hitter Taylor Shilling said staying focused gave the Warriors the drive to rally.
“It was pretty tough, but I don’t think we were ever worried,” she said. “We just appreciate that all our hard work has paid off.”
“This team has never stopped playing,” Fain added. “Whether they are up or down, they have always continued to play start to finish. That’s what they did tonight. It was a team effort.”

Robotics Competition at McCracken Middle School
Children participate in a First Lego League robotics competition, held at McCracken Middle School, in Spartanburg, Saturday afternoon, 10-13-2012. Six teams from McCracken, Spartanburg Day School, Spartanburg Christian School, Lone Oak Elementary, Spartanburg Charter, School, and Jesse Boyd Elementary participated in the first ever FLL scrimmage in Spartanburg, hosted by the McCracken Middel School Robotics program.

SCA Knocking Off the Area's Best
Spartanburg Christian Academy’s Tinsley Fain comes up with a dig during a game against Greer earlier this month.

Spartanburg Christian Academy has a long list of impressive victories this year.
 The Warriors are the defending SCISA 2A state champions, but private schools aren’t the only notches in the win column. Several public schools have been falling one by one, as well.
 SCA has beaten Boiling Springs, Broome, Chapman, Chesnee, Greer, Landrum, Woodruff, Camden, Eastside and Woodmont to name a few. The Centurions, Panthers and Eagles are defending region champions.
 The Warriors are 22-2 overall, and head coach Monica Fain said her team is on the right track for a second straight championship.
“I like to schedule anybody and will play anybody,” she said. “My goal having a tough schedule is preparing the team for anything they will see in the playoffs. By winning those games, it’s given us confidence going into the playoffs.”
SCA is led by senior middle hitter Allison Gaminde with 175 kills, .627 hitting percentage and 4.1 kills per game. Sophomore setter Tinsley Fain is the team leader with 60 aces and 9.2 assists per game.
 Gaminde enjoys playing larger schools and feels it benefits her team.
“I think it helps us a lot,” she said. “We wouldn’t be as good as we are now. It’s good when we can beat them because it shows we’re not just a small private Christian school. We can play with them.”
Defensively, the Warriors are led by senior defensive specialist Taylor Shilling with 133 digs, block and 31 aces. Emily Lanier, a senior libero, has also proven dependable with 28 digs, seven aces, four assists and a kill.
 Shilling said the team has gained a ton of confidence from performing well against public schools.
“It has definitely proven to ourselves that we’re talented and have a shot,” she said. “We’re a really tight team and play together with a lot of court sense.”
Shilling and Lanier are described by their coach as consistent players.
“Taylor’s court awareness is one of the best,” Fain said. “She just placed the ball where they are not. She’s very stable in every category. Emily is the same as Taylor on just being dependable and consistent.”
The Warriors are 3-0 in SCISA Region III-2A with three games to go. The consensus is winning a region title will help toward a repeat as state champions.
“It’s the most important thing to me right now,” Gaminde said. “It’s not just for the seniors but for the whole team because we’ve all worked so hard.”
 “Of course it would be a disappointment if we don’t win it,” Shilling said. “I think it’s helped us pretty well playing our non-region games, but we’ll see how it goes.”

Spartanburg Christian Academy’s Logan Morris finished first in a course record 18:38 as runners from several schools competed in the SCA Warrior Invitational cross country meet at Va-Du-Mar McMillan Park in Boiling Springs on Monday.

Chesnee’s River Lawrence and Spartanburg Christian Academy’s Logan Morris set new course records to win individual titles at the SCA Warrior Invitational on Monday at Va-Du-Mar McMillan Park.
But, the cross country meet wasn’t all about winning. It also served as a fundraiser for U.S. Olympic runner Lopez Lomong.
Lomong, originally from South Sudan, was taken from his family by rebels at the age of 6 and forced to join the Peoples Liberation Army during the Sudanese conflicts. Lomong was able to escape to a refugee camp in Kenya, living on rations for several years, before relocating to the United States. He was adopted by an American family, became a citizen and competed in the previous two Olympics.
Lomong has since partnered with World Vision to offer care, support and a better future for families in his home country.
SCA sold wristbands with the phrase “Be the ONE” during the meet, raising more than $500 for the cause. Warriors coach Steve Conway said seeing several Upstate teams come together in support was heartwarming.
“Sports are great. I love sports. But, it can’t be just about winning or trophies. It’s got to be about something more,” he said. “Those that make winning or trophies their God will ultimately be empty. Today was about encouraging them to be the one, just like our bracelet says.”
Lawrence finished with a time of 17:10, while Jehu Jackson (Carolina HomeSchool) was second with a 17:48. Lawrence said earning the win, along with helping out others, was rewarding.
“It feels good. It’s my second win out of four races I’ve been in,” he said. “I got top three in all four of them, so I’m pretty pumped and ready to get into the region. There is nothing like coming out to a race and supporting someone else. It’s always my best intention to help someone else out instead of myself.”
Morris broke her own record with an 18:38, while Carolina Homeschool’s Olivia Evans was second with a 19:29. Morris was also pleased with her result and success of the fundraiser.
“I know the course, so that helps a lot. I know where the markers are and where the hills are, so it’s a lot easier,” she said. “It makes the race so much easier because you know you are running for someone else instead of you or your school. It’s great to actually come out and win with that on your mind.”
St. Joseph’s boys and girls swept the team titles. The boys defeated Carolina Homeschool 59-61, while the girls topped SCA 44-58. Carolina Homeschool coach Ken Roach was pleased with his team’s effort.
“We’re trying hard,” he said. “We’re pushing, and I know the guys really wanted to do well today. That’s a great finish, and we’re proud of that.”
Landrum’s boys and girls finished third. Spartanburg Day was fourth in the boys race, followed by SCA. Chesnee placed seventh, while Oakbrook Prep was ninth.
Carolina Homeschool’s girls placed fourth, while Spartanburg Day and Westgate Christian finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
Boys Team
1. St. Joseph’s 59; 2. Carolina Homeschool 61; 3 Landrum 74; 4. Spartanburg Day 110; 5. Spartanburg Christian Academy 136; 6. Southside Christian 157; 7. Chesnee 163; 8. Greenville Tech 183; 9. Oakbrook Prep 275; 10. Newberry Academy 304
1. River Lawrence (Chesnee) *17:10; 2. Jehu Jackson (Carolina Homeschool) 17:48; 3. Addison Helms (Greenville Tech) 17:49; 4. Matt Green (Carolina Homeschool) 17:52; 5. Carter Powell (St. Joseph’s) 18:02; 6. Connor Vogt (St. Joseph’s) 18:03; 7. Ben Christopher (SCA) 18:20; 8. Troy Hodge (Landrum) 18:25; 9. Caleb Bouwkamp (Landrum) 18:27; 10. Walker Tiller (Spartanburg Day) 18:29
Girls Team
1. St. Joseph’s 44; 2. Spartanburg Christian Academy 58; 3. Landrum 77; 4. Carolina Homeschool 90; 5. Southside Christian 110; 6. Spartanburg Day 120; 7. Westgate Christian 230; 8. Greenville Tech 239
1. Logan Morris (Spartanburg Christian Academy) *18:38; 2. Olivia Evans (Carolina Homeschool) 19:29; 3. Keyes Gilmer (St. Joseph’s) 20:00; 4. Sara Catherine Masachi (St. Joseph’s) 20:15; 5. Carol Lewis (St. Joseph’s) 20:22; 6. Martha Coleman (Carolina Homeschool) 20:46; 7. Madison Burgess (SCA) 20:52; 8. Mary Chandler (Southside Christian) 21:01; 9. Hannah Ward (SCA) 21:18; 10. Sydney Newsom (Southside Christian) 21:35


It’s not really surprising that Spartanburg Christian Academy had a few butterflies competing in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes 7 on 7 Camp.
After all, it was the Warriors first time facing varsity competition of any kind.
SCA is a second-year football program but only played a middle school and junior varsity schedule last year. It played eight games against the likes of Woodruff and Orangeburg-Wilkinson in the passing tournament on Tuesday at USC Upstate. The FCA camp will finish up with a morning session beginning at 9 a.m. today.
Warriors coach Chad Turner said the camp is important for his team on both sides of the ball.
“It’s important for us because we are a smashmouth offense but getting to see what 90 percent of other offenses in the Upstate run,” he said. “We run a West Coast passing scheme where we utilize a lot of running backs. What’s great for (our quarterbacks) is they are going up against very fast athletes all over the field, and they are having to make quick reads and quick decisions.”
The Warriors have a pair of sophomores, Adam Patrick and Seth Mason, in a battle for the starting quarterback position. Both feel their confidence level has increased throughout the camp.
“I just want to make sure I make the right reads,” Mason said. “There were a little jitters on the first play (on Monday), but then it got better.”
“We’re a second-year program, and last year we didn’t pass too much,” Patrick said. “The passing stuff was a little different at first. We’ve never done a 7 on 7 until now. We’re just coming in here to have fun and try our best and see what we can do.”
Turner feels the lessons learned during the three-day camp will translate to the beginning of the regular season. SCA will play at the South Carolina Independent School Association 2A level.
“We’re trying to teach them when you go 11 on 11 in any given game that anything can happen,” he said. “If we’re going up against speed, we’ve got to be physical and instinctive. We’re trying to teach them to be competitive on every play.”
Junior outside linebacker Derrick Hackle feels the Warriors are already beginning to earn respect amongst the other schools participating.
“We’re coming into this season with a goal to be heard from by other schools,” he said. “We’re hearing other coaches say that they are seeing something different about our team. It makes us feel like we’re gaining success.”
The Warriors admit much is yet to be learned. However, they feel progress is being made.
“The difference we saw today in our eight games was unbelievable,” Turner said. “We saw routes get sharper and timing get faster. Each game, regardless of who was on the other side, the kids gave 200 percent. I’ve been very, very pleased with how they are responding.”




When Nick Willis played in the Western North Carolina Tournament series through U.S. Kids’ Golf last fall, his goal was playing in the World Championship at Pinehurst this August.

Willis, a 12-year-old SCA student, not only finished well enough to qualify for Pinehurst, but in the process also qualified for the European Championship held in Scotland this summer. His family hadn’t thought much about putting him in the tournament until his grandfather, Don Willis, suggested it eight months ago.

Playing at Gullane No. 2, Willis placed 10th in his age group. He finished at 13-over and got better as the three-day tournament progressed.

The Spartanburg Christian Academy golfer admitted to some nerves on day one as he battled the wind to shoot an 80. He shaved five strokes off of that on Day 2 and shot a 75 in the rain. On Day 3, he faced the wind and the rain and shot his best score of 74.

“Over there you just have to hit the ball low and keep everything on the ground,” Willis said. “You have to land everything in front of the green.”

It was definitely different than what he’d experienced on U.S. courses, his dad and caddy Paul Willis said.

“The breaks are different,” he said. “It’s a different grass. The biggest thing was the wind.”

The highlight of his trip, however, was not the tournament and his strong finish.

It was the opportunity to play golf on the historic St. Andrews course. In order to play at St. Andrews, tee times are scheduled months in advance — which the Willis family didn’t know. Still, they were able to enter the ballot draw to get Nick a tee time.

Nick and his family were outside St. Andrews at 3:15 a.m. to enter to get the round. Willis shot an 83 on the course, but it was the 18th hole that made the round magical.

With a crowd watching, the rising 8th grader sank a 15-foot putt to par the hole and got applause from the folks in the gallery.

“I probably will never forget this experience ever,” he said. “It’s the best experience so far in my life.”