Sevier County freshmen making a splash in college

Feb. 17, 2014 @ 12:41 PM

It continues to be a breakout year for Sevier County athletes in college.

Pigeon Forge's Wil Crowe proved the county can excel on the diamond as well as the basketball court on Sunday, not giving up a hit in his debut for South Carolina. It's the latest in a string of great rookie campaigns from Sevier County athletes. Sevier County's Devin Schmidt has proven to be a star for Delta State University's men's basketball team while Gatlinburg-Pittman's Karsen Sims is having no problem cracking the lineup at Division I Coastal Carolina. 

Schmidt has broken out from the start for Delta State. He's second on the team in scoring at 15.8 points per game. That includes an eye-opening 35-point performance on Feb. 3 in a 92-70 win over West Alabama. Delta State is 20-3 on the year and Schmidt has been the team's leading scorer nine times as a freshman.

Back in Division I, Gatlinburg-Pittman's Karsen Sims has started 13 games this winter and is averaging 7.4 points per game for Coastal Carolina. That includes a team-high 18 points on Dec. 28 at Longwood. Sims had 12 points in her last outing, an 82-81 loss to Campbell on Feb. 13. That game was the freshman's first since missing three contests due to an injury. Before that, Sims had started the previous six games for the 11-14 Chanticleers.

Now there's Crowe, who began his college career by throwing 6 1/3 hitless innings in his debut for the Gamecocks on Sunday. The freshman got the victory in a 12-0 win over Bucknell. He walked one, struck out five and hit one batter on 76 pitches. Not a bad start, although he is the same pitcher who threw 157 pitches in last year's state championship victory.

South Carolina is 3-0 on the young season and plays host to Presbyterian today at 4 p.m.