The South Carolina Holiday Season is Underway after the 51st Annual Carolighting

People around the country are beginning to get their holiday decorations out of the attic. However, if you are a fan of everything in South Carolina, you already know about that. This is because Governor Henry McMaster and his family officially started the South Carolina holiday season by lighting the State House and the State Christmas tree during the 51st Annual Governor’s Carolighting.

At the ceremony, Governor McMaster stated, “Our family is eager to join South Carolinians from around the state in celebrating the beginning of the holiday season at our beautiful State House.” Governor McMaster spoke the truth. The State House certainly was beautiful. The pillars of the house were lit up in the festive colors of red and green. A choir was present to sing beloved Christmas carols. However, the most beautiful part of the evening was the lighting of the State House Christmas tree, a massive Concolor Fir decorated with blue, red, and green Christmas lights. A beautiful star also sat upon the top of the 35-foot-tall tree. The tree came from Pinetum Christmas Tree Farm in Sawnton, Maryland.

Governor Henry McMaster is 117th Governor of South Carolina, and he has served in office for less than a year. This was his very first year hosting the legendary event. Governor McMaster assumed office after Nikki Haley resigned the position in order to become the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Governor McMaster intends to run for the position in the 2018 election, and he has already won the public support of Donald Trump, who stated, “I’m so happy with the job he’s done…he’s doing some special job, but he does it with his heart.”

Admission to the event was free, and attendees were rewarded with a spectacular evening. If you missed it, be sure to attend next year!

South Carolina Defeats Florida International

The University of South Carolina men’s basketball team went on the road last night to face the Florida International Golden Panthers. The Gamecocks were heavy favorites entering the game, and they proved why by dominating every aspect of the game on the way to a 78-61 victory.

Despite having the superior talent, South Carolina struggled early in the game. Whether it was the extended break for the Thanksgiving holiday or playing in an almost empty stadium, something was clearly not right with the Gamecocks. The Golden Panthers led most of the first half, and they actually held an eight-point lead with only five minutes left to play. The Gamecocks finally woke up and used a late push to finish the first half with a slim 38-36 lead.

South Carolina was a completely different team in the second half. They played suffocating defense and near flawless offense throughout most of the half. This great play helped the Gamecocks extend their lead to 22 points in less than seven minutes. Florida International tried to fight back, but the talent disparity was just too much to overcome.

The Gamecocks can thank their starting lineup for the victory last night. Chris Silva led the way with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Everyone else in the starting lineup scored at least seven points. The excellent output from the starting lineup was greatly needed because the entire South Carolina bench only managed to score four points against the Golden Panthers.

The South Carolina Gamecocks now have a 5-1 record, and the team is probably more talented than they were last year. A repeat of last year’s Final Four appearance may be unrealistic, but South Carolina clearly has the talent to beat almost any team in the country this year. The Gamecocks’ next game will take place on Thursday, November 30, when they host the Temple Owls.

South Carolina Boasts Strong Defensive Line

In 2016, the South Carolina Gamecocks were one of the more anticipated teams in the SEC football conference. While the team looked like they would be able to build on the success that they had in the prior year, the ended up going three and five in the SEC and six and seven overall. While it was not a great overall season, the South Carolina Gamecocks did have some successes including a few upset wins. This year, the South Carolina Gamecocks have several reasons to be optimistic about their chances of competing in the tough conference (https://www.seccountry.com/south-carolina/south-carolina-football-preview-senior-d-tackles-critical-2017).

One of the main reasons why the Gamecocks are considered a strong team in the upcoming year is due to the strength of their defensive line. The team currently has one of the best duos of defensive tackles in the country. Both Ulric Jones and Taylor Stallworth were among the most productive defensive tackles in the prior year and are expected to be even better in the upcoming season. This should be a huge advantage in the SEC, particularly when they are playing teams that like to run the ball.

Along with the two returning starters, the Gamecocks have a lot of young talent to join on the defensive line. M.J. Webb is one of the most highly anticipated players on the team. As a 4-star freshman recruit, Webb will likely get the chance to start by the middle of the year. During the spring game earlier in the year, Webb showed the ability to rush the pass from the outside. However, he still has not shown to have the ability to consistently defend the run, particularly when he will have to be up against some of the top offensive tackles in the country. The team also has depth in returning contributors Dante Sawyer and Aaron Thompson