As the year winds down, we're taking a look back at some of the biggest sports stories we've covered in the Lowcountry during 2013. From a coaching change to a renewal of the biggest rivalry in the state, these are our pick for the top 5 stories of the year.
5. Kevin Higgins steps down as Head Coach of The Citadel
After 9 seasons, Higgins left the Bulldogs to become the Assistant Head Coach at Wake Forest under one of his former assistants Dave Clawson. During his time, Higgins left his mark by installing the triple option, winning SoCon coach of the year in 2012 and putting together a record of 43-58. The school is still searching for their new Head Coach.
4. Jadeveon Clowney's hit in the Outback Bowl
Perhaps the most iconic single play to happen in all of sports this year, Clowney went through the Michigan line untouched in the 4th quarter and hit Vincent Smith so hard, not only did he fumble the ball, but his helmet went flying more than 5 yards back. The play helped turn momentum in the game and the Gamecocks would come back to win.
3. Serena Williams wins 3rd Family Circle Cup Title
Serena would become the first player to win 3 FCC titles since the tournament moved to Daniel Island in 2001 with a 3 set win over former champion Jelena Jankovic. But it was the match against her sister Venus in the semifinals the day before that will go down as one of the biggest matches in the tournament's history. A record crowd of over 9500 people were in attendance to watch the Williams sisters play each other.
2. Alex Rodriguez rehabs with the Charleston RiverDogs
It's hard to remember a single sports figure causing the kind of buzz that we had in the Lowcountry back in July when the Yankees third baseman came to town for a 2 game rehab stint with the RiverDogs. Almost 16,000 people visited Riley Park over the course of the 2 days while thousands more were talking about it on social media. A-Rod would go hitless over the course of his stint in the Lowcountry.
1. South Carolina beats Clemson for the 5th straight time
In a rivalry that has gone on as long as this one has, it's hard to witness anything that has never happened before. But that was the case this season as the Gamecocks beat the Tigers for the 5th straight time, their longest winning streak over their in state rivals ever. Connor Shaw would account for over 240 yards of offense and 2 touchdowns for USC while Clemson was undone by 6 turnovers including 5 accounted to Tajh Boyd.