Week of Champions set to kick off for 35th time

mmccombs@islandpacket.comJune 12, 2013 

Tom Simpson, a coach at Coker College, watches Tanner Manthei hit during the 2012 Week of Champions tennis clinic at Hilton Head Island High School.

JAY KARR THE ISLAND PACKET — FILE/The Island Packet

Much like the Heritage a couple of years ago, the Week of Champions faced an uncertain future heading into 2013. And just like the Heritage, someone came through for Week of Champions.

Just as the Royal Bank of Canada secured the Heritage's future by signing on as the golf tournament's primary sponsor, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes stepped up to run the Week of Champions, which had been run since its conception by volunteers Gary and Wanda Wetherington and Greg and Connie Brezina.

Week of Champions, which returns Monday for its 35th year on Hilton Head Island, provides a week of free sports clinics for area youth with a Christian message. The camp is now the FCA's largest and is in the hands of director Chuck Workman.

Workman says more than 500 kids have registered for clinics this year, the first for online registration.

"It's crazy. It's awesome," Workman said. "I can't wait to see what the Lord will do next week."

The clinics are held on Hilton Head Island, as well as in Bluffton, Ridgeland and Hardeeville.

Two new additions for this year include a free concert by Christian recording artist The Advice on Sunday before the clinics begin and a NASCAR pit crew demonstration featuring a car and pit crew from Michael Waltrip Racing on Wednesday at Hilton Head Christian Academy.

"It's not just a demonstration," Workman said earlier this spring, "it's a hands-on demonstration."

There will be clinics in cheerleading, baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer and tennis.

The guest speaker for the annual banquet, held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Sonesta Resort's Crystal Ballroom in Shipyard Plantation is former University of Mississippi and University of Arkansas head football coach Houston Nutt.

35TH ANNUAL WEEK OF CHAMPIONS

Monday, June 17-Friday, June 21

All clinics are free and open to kids, ages 8-12. All kids receive a free T-shirt.

Registration: www.southcoastalfca.org/woc

Banquet information: Mike Brock, 843-290-3744

Clinic information: Chuck Workman, 843-415-3898; Hardeeville clinic, Addison Jarrell, 843-784-2231

FREE CONCERT

Christian recording artist The Advice will perform at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 16 at First Baptist Church of Hilton Head Island

NASCAR DEMONSTRATION

A Michael Waltrip Racing car and pit crew will be on hand at Hilton Head Christian Academy for a free, hands-on demonstration from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Wednesday.

SPORTS BANQUET

Former Mississippi and Arkansas head football coach Houston Nutt will be the guest speaker at the annual dinner to be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Sonesta Resort's Crystal Ballroom in Shipyard Plantation. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

CLINIC SCHEDULE

Hilton Head Island Clinics

Monday-Tuesday

Cheerleading: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Hilton Head Island High School; limited to 100 participants

Football: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Hilton Head Island High School

Soccer: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Hilton Head Island High School; bring your soccer ball

Wednesday-Thursday

Baseball: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Hilton Head Island High School; bring your own glove

Basketball: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Hilton Head Island High School

Tennis: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Hilton Head Island High School; bring your own racquet

Friday

Golf: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Arthur Hills Golf Club, Palmetto Dunes; bring your own clubs; limited to 70 participants

Bluffton Clinics

Monday-Tuesday

Cheerleading: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Bluffton High School; limited to 100 participants

Football: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Bluffton High School

Soccer: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Bluffton High School; bring your own soccer ball

Wednesday-Thursday

Baseball: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Bluffton High School; bring your own glove

Basketball: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Bluffton High School

Friday

Golf: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Hilton Head Lakes Golf Course; bring your own clubs; Limited to 70 participants

Ridgeland Clinics

Monday-Tuesday

Baseball: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Boys and Girls Club of Jasper County

Football: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Boys and Girls Club of Jasper County

Hardeeville Clinic

Soccer: Football: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Richard Gray Sports Complex

ATHLETES

Here's a look at some of the athletes and coaches who are participating in this year's Week of Champions:

Baseball: Chad Ogea (Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Rays), Andy McGaffigan (New York Yankees, Montreal Expos, Cincinnati Reds), Blair Carson (minor leagues, Hilton Head Island High coach), John Parker (youth coach), Jason Rockwell (Savannah Sand Gnats chaplain)

Basketball: Rodney Monroe (N.C. State, Atlanta Hawks), Theresa Gernatt (Atlanta Dream chaplain), Nicole Hedden

Cheerleading: Marilou Braswell (University of Georgia), Beth Herring (Bluffton High coach), Renee Vilcheck (Hilton Head Christian Academy coach)

Football: Antonio London (Detroit Lions), Wallace Francis (Atlanta Falcons), Brandon Davis (University of South Carolina), Josh Gordy (Indianapolis Colts), Rush Lowther (Clemson)

Golf: Tim Sutherland (Hilton Head Lakes professional), Doug Weaver (Palmetto Dunes professional)

Soccer: Joel Christy (former The Citadel coach), Tom Engstrom (Charlotte Eagles), Kit Seelbach

Tennis: Brian Marcus, Wendy White Prausa, Rob Castorri, Dan Santorum

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