High School Sports

No decision on Chris Wells: Hilton Head Island High baseball coach remains suspended

Hilton Head Island High principal Amanda O'Nan had no update Wednesday on the suspension of baseball coach Chris Wells, who was barred from the Seahawks program on Monday following allegations of possible S.C. High School League violations.

O'Nan said a decision on Wells' future could sometime Thursday. Wells did not coach in Monday's 10-2 win over Hanahan and was not going to coach in Wednesday's game at Berkeley. The Seahawks did not name an interim coach, O'Nan said, instead allowing the staff of assistants to handle all coaching responsibilies.

Assistant coach Blair Carson was in the third base coaching box Monday in Wells' absence.

The Seahawks' possible violation likely involves the transfer of Ryan Cherry from Bluffton to Hilton Head High. The junior was a seldom-used pitcher on last year's American Legion Post 185 team, the Lowcountry Heat, a club in which Wells served as an administrative assistant, according to Post 185 coach Chris Seelbach.

But if the S.C. High School League deems that Wells was a Heat coach, Cherry would be ineligible for this year's team. The rule, which was established in order to prevent the recruiting of other schools' students, says players, "must not have participated on an outside team in which a coach or volunteer coach from the school the student is transferring to coached or had input into the selection of the outside team."

Mike Cherry, Ryan's father, said Tuesday that Wells never recruited his son to Hilton Head High. The pitcher worked about one inning last summer and was not present during the one game Wells coached in. The coach and player did not meet until preseason practices began this year at Hilton Head High, Mike Cherry said.

"I support my principal's decision to hold me out while we answer the questions from the SCHSL," Wells wrote in an emailed statement Tuesday. "I trust this will be resolved quickly and the SCHSL will be completely satisfied that all the rules were followed by Hilton Head High School and its baseball program. Any further comment by me to the media isn't prudent at this time."

Related content:

Hilton Head Island High baseball coach Chris Wells suspended (March 26, 2013)

Hilton Head High baseball coach, AD discuss details of $5,500 fine (Oct. 10, 2012)

Beaufort High, HHH baseball programs penalized (Oct. 2, 2012)

Baseball Coach of the Year: Chris Wells (June 19, 2011)