(Standard-Sentinel file photo)

Saluda High Stadium
Repairs Explained

Dear Saluda Community,
  Bettis Herlong Stadium at Matthew’s Field has a long, rich legacy in Saluda.  It is a gathering place for the community and the home to the Saluda Tigers and Friday night football. It is the pride and joy of the county as well as a place where Saluda purple is proudly worn by everyone. Many lifelong memories have been made on this field. For many years our seniors took their graduation walk here and you can find youngsters who dream of playing on Friday nights on this field at REC league, Middle School and JV games. Cheerleaders have demonstrated true Tiger spirit in this stadium. Also, many of our students fulfill their goal of playing in our award winning marching band on this field.
  Considerable work has been done through the years to maintain this treasured facility. In addition to the general upkeep of pressure washing, painting, and maintenance, the grass playing field receives significant attention each year in order to provide the best conditions for our players. Buddy Deloach has worked more than 12 years to provide the best care possible to the Bermuda grass turf. After 45 years, however, it is now time for the facility to undergo more extensive work so the legacy can continue.
  In 1972, the University of South Carolina sold a section of bleachers to Saluda as USC made way for what we know today as Williams Brice Stadium. Head football coach, Bettis Herlong, and principal, Bill Whitfield supervised the work of moving and assembling the new seating in Saluda. Later, concrete walls were added creating classrooms, restrooms and storage space below the stadium. When the walls were added, some of the bracing from the original structure was removed and now after years of use, has become a cause of serious concern.
  A facilities study conducted earlier this year by the SC State Department of Education revealed that the stadium needed significant attention. In January, a structural engineer examined the facility and determined that work needed to be done before the stadium could be safely used. The work will include replacing the bracing, eliminating any corrosion to the steel beams, providing structural sound concrete skirting to the front and sides of the seating, creating handicap seating to meet ADA compliance and painting. The concrete wall behind the seating will be removed to eliminate concerns of a wall of that height becoming a structural problem.  Drainage problems on and around the field are also being addressed so that stability will be ensured for the future.
  While it is a tall order, the goal is to have the work completed by the start of football season in August. It will not be possible to have permanent restrooms in place for the 2017-18 season and we ask for everyone’s patience as we utilize portable restrooms in the upcoming year.
  The Saluda County School District administration and School Board is committed to providing the most cost efficient and safe facility for our community. The much needed work to the stadium will first ensure a safe facility, and with proper maintenance, provide a home for the Saluda Tigers for many years to come.
David M. Mathis,
Saluda County Schools

Ridge Spring Native Crowned
Miss Earth United States

Washington, D.C., – Mae-Ann Webb of Ridge Spring, South Carolina, has been crowned Miss Earth United States. She will serve in the title through August 5.
  One of the planet’s most watched international pageants, Miss Earth focuses on empowering women to be a voice for environmental protection. 50 young women are selected annually to represent their states for one year and compete for the United States title.
  Last August, Webb was awarded national first runner up in Washington, D.C. Corrin Stellakis of New York was crowned 2016 Miss Earth United States and competed at the Miss Earth competition in the Philippines. Stellakis was named to the international title of Miss Earth Fire, causing the organization to invite Webb to step into the national role.
  “Our judging panel was greatly impressed by both of these young women last August,” said Laura Clark, National Director of Miss Earth United States. “We are so happy to honor Mae-Ann with her new national title. She is a remarkable young woman.”
  Mae-Ann Webb is a 25 year old resident of Ridge Spring. She earned a degree in Retailing and Hospitality Management at the University of South Carolina. Webb was a USC Life Scholarship Recipient, named to the Dean’s List and President’s List, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha and a member of the University’s Dance Team. She is currently working toward earning a second Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.
  Webb has entertained on Royal Caribbean Cruises and performed at four Collegiate Bowl Game Halftime Shows. She has been featured on the TLC television show “King of the Crowns,” was a featured extra in the Marvel movie production “Iron Man 3,” has been featured in several issues of Supermodels Unlimited Magazine, and has walked the runway in fashion and bridal shows ranging from coast to coast.
  “Keep your dreams alive,” said Webb. “Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”
  Webb has traveled on international mission trips to Barbados and Peru. Adhering to Miss Earth’s mission to impact environmental protection, she created the program, “Let’s Talk Trash: Speak Up, Clean Up,” which aims to eradicate litter and change the community’s behavior now and for future generations.
  “Community service will always be the most important aspect to pageantry,” says the new Miss Earth United States. “Positive changes in communities such as cleaning up litter, planting trees or gardens, promoting sustainable living or giving of your time to spend with children or the elderly will change lives, leaving a lasting positive impact for the future. I am blessed to be a part of an organization that truly reinforces the importance of giving back through ‘Beauties for a Cause’.”
   The 2017 Miss Earth United States Pageant, presented by Earth Water, will take place on August 5 in Washington, D.C. and air via livestream as well as on the Dish Network. The 17th annual Miss Earth competition will take place in October and is managed by Carousel Productions of the Philippines.  

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