- 5/19/2013 Shepard designs dream room
- 5/19/2013 Sue Jolly Award will honor student Mock Trial Team member
- 5/19/2013 Anglican Church to host homeless meeting
- 5/19/2013 North Augusta bookings
- 5/19/2013 Suspect sought in theft of Walmart cell phones
- 5/19/2013 STEMfest exposes students to principles of science, technology
- 5/19/2013 North Augusta crime blotter
- 5/19/2013 North Augusta High School hosts 309 student runners
- 5/19/2013 Predators fall to Knights in walk-off fashion
- 5/12/2013 Predators stumble against Knights, face uphill battle
- 5/12/2013 Lady Predators have to win to stay in
- 5/12/2013 Phil Schaefer reflects on North Augusta history
- 5/12/2013 North Augusta golf team’s season ends in Sumter
- 5/12/2013 NAHS grad named SEC Men’s Golf Freshman of the Year
- 5/12/2013 World’s No. 1 disc golfer pays a visit to Hippodrome
- 5/5/2013 Lady Jackets bow out of playoffs following extra-innings loss
- 5/19/2013 Column: Downtown developments: Vacations less and less important
- 5/19/2013 Wrinkles: Recognizing mothers and angels
- 5/19/2013 Phragments from Phyllis: A mother’s a mother for the rest of her life
- 5/19/2013 Letter: Bring the troops home from Afghanistan
- 5/19/2013 Column: New PASS exams intended to benefit student performance
- 5/19/2013 Chaplain's corner: In his hand
- 5/12/2013 Column: The best of both borders
- 5/12/2013 Chaplain’s Corner: A mother’s joy
- 5/12/2013 Downtown developments: Bad customer service, part two
- 5/12/2013 Letter: Riverkeeper is a benefit to North Augustans
Higgenbottom signs with USCA
JoJo Higgenbottom has been rounding the bases at North Augusta High School for three seasons, and has now punched his ticket to play for USC Aiken.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder signed the paperwork Thursday at the high school, confirming his Pacer play plans.
"It's a good school, a good program, and close to home, and everything just kind of fell into place when they offered me," the 18-year-old North Augusta native said.
"They were the last ones to offer me, and I just kind of fell in love with it instantly, after my visit there."
He has served mainly at first base for the Yellow Jackets, and is getting encouragement to consider third for the Pacers. "I guess I might have a shot at first, but either way they want me, I can play."
He also received offers from North Greenville College, Lander University and Erskine College, and had also been in communication with Brevard College, USC Sumter, Darlington Tech and Gray Military Academy, a new school taking shape in Columbia.
Baseball has been a Higgenbottom pursuit for "about as long as I could walk," he recalled. "Basically, it's been a part of my life ever since I can remember."
His batting average in 2012 was about .375, with two homers and "20-plus" RBIs in the mix. Highlights in recent months included being named as the most valuable player of the Palmetto Games, a competition featuring top players from travel teams around the state, he said.
Recruiting coordinator Jason Walck, an assistant coach with USCA, credited Higgenbottom with "good experience" and "obviously coming from a good program," with solid experience in travel-team action.
"He's certainly one of the better hitters in the area. For our program, that's always seemed to be a strong point, and he has the chance to jump in there right away and really please us with the offensive bat that he can provide."
Higgenbottom said he is looking to improve his speed and continue getting stronger. "They recruited me because I can hit. I've got to stay in the cage and keep hitting."
He estimated that the Pacers, this year, have signed 14 recruits. "From what I've heard, they've got a lot of seniors, so they'll be bringing in a good bit of people."
Walck said Higgenbottom represented a chance for the Pacers to haul in a talented player without having to look far afield. "We've got a good one in him, and he's right around the block."
Higgenbottom confirmed high expectations for the Pacers. "I want to go ahead and promise four national championships and bring those rings back to Aiken County. Get off the track, because the freight train's coming from North Augusta."