Kevin Orford knows what his replacement is getting as the next football coach at Hilton Head Prep.
"This group of athletes, it's going to be a great team," he said Tuesday. "It's going to be a really good team."
Orford stepped aside as coach of the Dolphins last week after just a year in order to focus on his business, KOL Global Logistics. In doing so, he stepped away from a group that he thinks has the potential to do big things in 2012.
"With everything we've put into place, 14 of our 28 guys in the gym every day, some squatting over 300, eight of them benching over 200 pounds for the first time, I was pretty excited about this year," he said. "And the fact that we had a schedule this year that was a pretty favorable for us. ... We had an opportunity to run the table."
The Dolphins return their leading passer, rusher, four starting receivers and a bevy of defenders.
"We were a few plays away from having a great year our first year," Orford said. "We're a few players away strength-wise from being where we need to be to compete for a title right now."
As for his expectations for 2012 under new tutelage? Orford clearly has high expectations.
"He should expect to make a run for the title," Orford said. "Because all the pieces of the puzzle are there right now."
Seahawks make college decisions
A quartet of Hilton Head Island High School seniors announced their college decisions Wednesday, led by Alex Couch, a 2011 USATF Junior Olympic Cross-County All-American, who will head to the College of Charleston next year. Couch, who was part of a three-time Class 3-A state champion cross country team, will run for Cougars coach Amy Seago.
Jessica Bonilla, a captain for the defending state champion girls soccer team, will head to Columbia College this fall.
Taylor Place of the Seahawks baseball team will play for Oklahoma Panhandle State University.
Morgan Raffaele of the girls lacrosse team will head up the road to play for Newberry College. The goalkeeper for Meg Hendy's team was named the Seahawks' most valuable defender in both her freshman and junior years.
Rebels rake in honors
The Thomas Heyward girls bassketball team was a big winner at the High School Sports Report Winter Sports Awards Banquet held Sunday in Charleston.
Caitlyn Cooler was named the SCISAA 2-A player of year, while Brielle Jungblut and Jamie Malphrus were named all-state in SCISAA 2-A.
Gary Mazzanna was chosen as the independent school coach of the year.
The entire team followed that up Wednesday when it was honored on the floor by the S.C. State Legislature in Columbia for its state championship.
Down a Dolphin
The Hilton Head Prep baseball team has lost six straight games since Dylan Powell broke his hand. Head coach Lew Kent doesn't think Powell will play again this season.
The Dolphins started the season 7-0, but have dropped to 7-6.
Honors pour in for local players
A pair of Hilton Head High girls lacrosse players have been named to the 2012 all-state team, as Elaine Natoli and Jenna Sheeran both brought home second-team defenders honors for the Seahawks. Hilton Head High's season was highlighted by an appearance in the first round of the Class 4-A playoffs and a regular season sweep of rival Bluffton.
The two girls weren't the only ones to bring home honors, though, as a pair of golfers at Hilton Head Prep collected SCISAA awards.
Tyler Williams earned SCISAA Region 3-AAA Player of the Year honors with a stroke average of 35.83 while teammate Woody Woodward was named to the all-region team with a stroke average of 35.86.
BATRUP awards announced
Three players each from Bluffton and Beaufort High were named to the all-tournament team for the BATRUP Spring Break Baseball Invitational, held by the Bobcats during the first week of April.
The Bobcats -- who finished 2-2 as the host team -- saw Michael Grant, Tucker Mosley and Jake Martin selected to the group.
Meanwhile, Luke Smith, David Tilton and Alex Silon were named all-tournament members for the Eagles, who finished 3-1 and capped off the tournament with a victory over Bluffton.