Thomas Heyward Academy: Promoting Sportsmanship

The history of many areas of South Carolina includes the fact that the advancement of the railroad played a major role in creating some of today’s towns and communities. There is a small and beautiful town called , that owes its origins to accepting the railroad for the advancement of their town. In the midst of this lush southern area, the Thomas Heyward Academy was founded. A small private school, they pride themselves on learning through hard work and good sportsmanship. The key sports focus for this school is basketball, with a better selection of players and teams than many of the larger schools.

Ridgeland, SC is one of the most beautiful areas of South Carolina. This community that was actually originally named Gopher Hill. But, when the nearby town of Grahamsville didn’t want the noise, smoke and smell of a railroad, Gopher Hill accepted the challenge. The town name remained the same until 1902 when it was renamed Ridgeland. It was a geographic name, appropriate, due to the fact that the area is located on the highest hill between Charleston and Savannah. The Civil War devastated Ridgeland, as it did with so many towns in South Carolina. But the people are strong and, through perseverance, they slowly rebuilt it to the community of today.

The private school of Thomas Heyward was named after Thomas Heyward, Jr., a local resident that was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Headmaster John D. Rogers, Jr. takes the job of teaching very seriously. The community was built on hard work and the theme of the school is the same. There is an excellent balance between academia and sports. This school loves their basketball, and it’s proven through the choices of: Boys and Girls Varsity Basketball, Boys JV Basketball and Boys and Girls B-Team Basketball.

There is an obvious air of support from parents and the town. Whether it’s a home or away game, small or large game, everyone turns out to cheer the team on. The are some of the best, and can always be seen displaying the sponsors that back the teams. The Booster Club has dinners, raffles and an All Sports Banquet each year to purchase uniforms, equipment, cameras and even paid for a new gym floor and beautification of their Rebel Field. This type of support is given at the one hundred percent level.

If you happen to attend any of the basketball games at Thomas Heyward Academy, you can see the daily lessons in action. Seats begin to fill pretty quickly, even before the game starts. The eyes of parents and students alike dart back and forth from the game floor to the basketball scoreboards; with anticipation of the excitement. Everyone in town shows up to cheer the teams on and the players perform with a professionalism that might be unexpected in members so young. The lessons these kids learn at Thomas Heyward Academy and from the strong rooted town will be carried with them throughout their lives.

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