Laurens YMCA 2013 Fall Soccer Information

The Laurens YMCA is again having a fall soccer program for youth in the area.

Click on the following to see information about it: Fall Soccer 2013

Raiders Name New Head Coaches For Boys and Girls Basketball.


On Tuesday afternoon , Athletic Director mark Freeze announced the new head coaches for the boys and girls’ varsity basketball teams at Laurens High School. The new head coach for the Lady raiders is Yoneko Washington and for the boys Ben Sinclair.  

Yoneko may be better known to long time Raider fans by her maiden name which is Allen. Yoneko is a Laurens native who played for the Lady Raiders from 1996-1999 where she lettered for 4 years. She was a team captain on the Lady Raider teams that won the state championships her last two years where the teams won 58 consecutive games. She was named AAAA player of the year her senior season. She also participated in the SC-NC All-Star Game her senior season. 

She went on to graduate from Western Carolina and played collegiate basketball for 4 years lettering all 4 and served as captain 3 of those years. She was an Academic All-American with a GPA of 3.98 

She has served as head coach at Union County for 5 years and is coming home to Laurens after serving as the head coach at Boiling Springs this past season. 

She has a son Zaylen and a new daughter Xiyael. 

She said it has always been a dream to come back home and coach at Laurens and that she hated to leave Boiling Springs because she wanted to finish rebuilding the team but the opportunity was just not one she could pass up.  She has kept up with the raider program over the years as she and Coach Travis Langford have kept in touch over the years. She stated that after she meets with the team and observes them during off season workouts she will have a better idea of what she wants to do buy described her style of play as “run and gun” pushing the ball with pressure defense. She said she would not measure her team’s success strictly on wins and losses but on individual improvement over the first couple of years.  

When asked about what coaches had meant a lot to her over the seasons she mentioned her father Melvin Allen, former Gray-Court Owens coach Ronnie Wilson and Coach Langford. 

She also mentioned her desire to generate interest in being a Raider by making herself available to the middle school coaches and other local youth basketball programs. It is her desire to help and support them as much as possible.  


Ben Sinclair was born in Georgian but has lived most of his life in SC. He played basketball at Airport High in Columbia. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina.  

He began his coaching career in Columbia at Dreher High. He has served as JV head coach, assistant varsity coach and has coached tennis. This will be his first head varsity coach position and he is coming from Wade Hampton in Greenville. He has been there since 2006 and has picked up a lot of experience working with long time coach Darryl Nance where their team went undefeated and won the state championship in 2011.  

Coach Sinclair will be teaching social studies at the Laurens High. In addition to starting his new job as head coach of the Raiders he will soon start his “new job” as husband as he and his fiancée Mallory Stamps will be married this summer.  

When Coach Sinclair was asked about his new team he stated that it was it would be a different team than this past season because of the loss of key senior players therefore making it a younger but less experienced team but none the less he still will go on the court expecting to win each game. He said his teams will work hard and smart and learn to function as in team in a fast pace offense and a good man-to-man defense much like Coach Washington mentioned.  

He will continue to have Assistant Coaches Andre Lytes and Rico Salliewhite on his staff and may add another. He mentioned that he also wanted to get out in the community and at the junior highs to get the younger athletes excited about becoming Raider basketball players.  







Clinton’s Foster and Pitts Sign To Play Baseball

The number of local athletes that have signed letters of intent to continue their athletic careers on the next level as well as their education continues to grow. On Monday May 20th, 2013, Clinton High School senior Dalton Foster signed a letter of intent with USC-Salkehatchie. Foster is a member of the Region 3-AAA All-Region team this year and talks about his choice of USC-Salkehatchie in a video interview below.

On Monday May 13th. 2013 another Red Devil senior Brandon Pitts signed a letter of intent to continue his education and baseball career at USC-Union. Also below is an interview done with him about his choice of schools and career goals.

Dalton Foster

Brandon Pitts

Congratulations to both these young men!


Raiders Have Five Sign Letters of Intent

The athletic conference room at Laurens High School was a busy place at noon on Friday, May 17th 2013.  At that time, five Raider seniors signed letters of intent to further their education and athletic careers at various institutions in the state.

The Raider baseball program had three players to sign on Friday. Christian Burton signed to play at USC-Union, Di’Markus Sanders at USC-Salkehatchie and Shannon Smith at Erskine. Below you will find interviews with these young men done after the ceremony in which they answer questions about why they chose these schools, career goals and other topics.

Two Raider basketball players also signed to continue their education and athletic careers. Dra Cunningham signed with Orangeburg Calhoun Prep Academy and Tyrez Young with South Carolina Sports Academy in the Myrtle Beach area.  Interviews with them are also below.

Congratulations to these young men!

Christian Burton

Di’Markus Sanders

Shannon Smith

Dra Cunningham

Tyrez Young

Bates Signs With Southern Wesleyan

On Friday May 17th, 2013 Clinton High School senior Gabby Bates signed a letter of intent to play basketball and continue her education at Southern Wesley University in Central, SC. The three sports star for the Red Devils also mentioned there was a chance she might also play volleyball and participate in track when the Warriors start their program hopefully next season. Listen to the interview below to find out what other schools recruited her and career plans.

Moore Signs With Clinton Junior College

On Monday May 6, 2013 Laurens District 55 High School senior Mary Anna Moore signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Clinton Jr. College in Rock Hill, SC. The All-Region I-AAAA player led the Lady Raiders in all the major offensive categories this past season.




This is an interview and photos done with her at the signing.







Spring Football Practice and Powder Puff / Spring Game Information

One sure sign that school is almost out is that spring football practice is here. The LDHS Raider football team will hold practices on May 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15. The Raiders will be working on installing their new triple-option offense under the direction of Coach Lawson and his new offensive coordinator Coach Jay Brannon. He is coming to Laurens after having worked at Union H.S. and spending the last five years as head coach at West-Oak High school. 

Then on Thursday May 16 the team will hold its Annual Spring Game at KC Hannah Stadium starting at 6pm. In conjunction with the Spring Game the annual Powder Puff game will also be held. They will start at 6 pm and play for 15 minutes and then the football team will play for two 15 minute quarters. After that the girls will come back out and play their second half. When they are done we will play two more 15 minute quarters. Cost will be $3 per person.  

Booster club membership and Century Club membership information for the 2013-2014 year will be available. As usual, membership in the Century Club will get you 2 reserved seats for regular season football games and 2 passes that will admit you to all home regular season contest for all other sports. Some new features for the Century Club are also in the works so get you name on the contact list at the Spring Game / Powder Puff contest on the 16th 

Also on sale will be a coupon book for $20 that has over 50 coupons to various local businesses.. One coupon in the book offers a free oil change and tire rotation from a local dealership that is alone worth well over $20. These books are being sold by the football team to help pay for equipment need for the team. Also on sale will be diamond “L” stickers similar to those used on the football helmet in the past. These will be sold $5 for 2.  

Make plans to come out see a fun night of Powder Puff football and to get a sneak peak at next year’s Raider football team.

Indya Kinard Signs with Claflin University

On Tuesday April 22nd, 2013 Clinton High School senior Indya Kinard signed to play basketball at Claflin University in Orangeburg… Indya was a 5 year varsity player who started the last 4 years… This past season she averaged 9.8 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game… Below is an interview done with her after the signing. 

Free YMCA – Chevy Youth Baseball Clinic



Join Us!

The Family YMCA of Greater Laurens, Laurens Dixie Youth Baseball and Smith Chevrolet are proud to be hosting a youth baseball instructional clinic.  The clinic is for boys and girls ages 6-14.  Collegiate and Professional baseball players and coaches from Ripken Baseball Academy will be on hand to personally teach your children the skills and fundamentals to succeed.  The child does not need to play in a league to participate. Softball players are welcome to attend; the drills are great for both sports!!

Please visit:, to view a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

The Clinic will be presented on Wednesday April 17, 2013 at the YMCA/Dixie Youth Collyar Park Baseball Complex.  Check-In will be from 4:30-5:30pm.  The clinic will be from 5:30-8:30pm.  A snack will be provided to all participants at 8:30pm.

Register at

At the site, select GSAA as your market and your RSVP password is playball.


RSVP and Signed waiver required for attendance.

Participants will need to wear their team uniforms or practice apparel and bring their own glove, water bottle and bat if available.  Cleats or tennis shoes are acceptable.

The Family YMCA of Greater Laurens, Laurens Dixie Youth Baseball and Smith Chevrolet appreciate those who support our youth program, our participants, volunteers, parents and fans.  The League provides opportunities for boys and girls ages 3-15.


Freeze Retires as Head Basketball Coach at LDHS


This afternoon Head Basketball Coach at LDHS Mark Freeze announced his retirement from that position.  His plans are to remain on as Athletic Director and teacher at LDHS. Below is part of his announcement to local news media.

“I am announcing my retirement as basketball coach at Laurens High School effective immediately.   We are at a good time for a change.  Ten players are seniors and a new coach can come in and build his own team with new blood.  If I would stay on, then I’d have to go 3-4 or more years to see it through and I am not willing to do that.  I’ve coached 34 basketball teams (29 on the varsity level), 9 football teams, 9 track teams and 1 tennis team in the past 35 years.  Those years include 19 at Laurens High (78-91, 07-13) and 16 years at Dorman High (91-07).  It has been a great career in coaching and I always knew when it was time to let it go, I would do so and now is that time.  

It has been a pleasure working with my principal, Mrs. Sonya Bryant, and my superintendent, Dr. Billy Strickland, and I will continue to work with them in my role as teacher and athletic director until it comes that day in the future when I fully retire.  I appreciate their wonderful support in all coaching endeavors and in my role as athletic director and teacher and look forward to continuing this relationship.  

I’ve worked alongside some great coaches in 35 years in a lot of sports and ate lunch yesterday with three men from the 90’s that coached football at Dorman and it was a wonderful time.  I enjoy the daily grind of meeting the challenges of athletics and watching our athletes compete. 

For the first time ever, I’ll spend a full Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and even Valentine’s Day with my wife and family and we will see how that goes.  Terri may not like it.  No more putting on the video or heading to the gym or coming in late to the house during those times.  I may find out I don’t not like it but I bet I will. ”