Story and photo by Trey Martin
For a school as large as Dutch Fork, the opportunity for success both in high school and out is high. The academic, artistic and athletic programs offered make Dutch Fork the best public high school in South Carolina and one of the best schools nationwide, but the 2016-17 calendar school year has taken the school to new heights.
The action kicked off in July, when alum Dustin Johnson, a golfer on the PGA Tour won the United States Open Tournament, one of the four major championships on the Tour. The 32 year old carried the momentum from the Major championship into 2017, where he has won three tournaments on the Tour, making him the current number one ranked golfer in the world.
During the fall, Dutch Fork athletics dominated across the board. The football team put together its first undefeated season on their way to winning the 5A State Championship. The cheer team came together on the mat to win their second State Championship, and the girls tennis team was the runner-up for the State Championship.
Throughout the school year, Dutch Fork was evaluated for the Palmetto’s Finest award, given to the high school in South Carolina that best prepared their students for success after high school. Though the Foxes did not win the award, the school saw numerous improvements both outside and inside the hallways.
In February, Dutch Fork set a personal record for athletes signing to play college sports on National Signing Day. The morning included both boy and girl athletes from football, tennis, baseball, and basketball taking the next step in the academic and athletic careers.
In April, two Silver Fox alums shined on the national stage. Alaina Coates, an All-SEC women’s’ basketball player for South Carolina and three time State Champion at Dutch Fork, was selected number two overall to the Chicago Sky in the WNBA Draft. Three days later, Wesley Bryan, a golfer on the PGA Tour, won the RBC Heritage tournament, becoming the first South Carolina native to win the tournament and qualifying him for Major tournaments in the future.
At the end of the school year, long time principal Greg Owings will retire after a remarkable career. Owings saw thousands of bright minds come through the halls of Dutch Fork, and many are making an impact on the world today. One thing is for sure, Dutch Fork has seen unprecedented success during this school year, and Owings is going out with a bang.