The South Carolina Gamecocks have defeated rival Clemson for the second consecutive year in the annual Certified SC Grown Palmetto Series. The Gamecocks edged the Tigers 8-7 for the past academic year.
“Our student-athletes dedicate themselves to excellence academically and in competition,” South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner said. “I am so proud of their accomplishments and the coaches and staff who help them succeed. Thanks to the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, who brought the in-state competition to life, one that stretches beyond the fields, in the community and in the classroom.”
The Certified SC Grown Palmetto Series is sponsored by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) and is a year-long competition between the two schools in which points are awarded for the winners of head-to-head meetings in each sport. Points were also awarded for highest team GPA and for a food drive during the fall aimed at tackling hunger in their communities.
“South Carolina is home to championship level athletes and farmers, and SCDA is proud to be a part of this fierce, but friendly, rivalry that brings two great universities together to support our farmers,” SCDA Commissioner Hugh Weathers said. “We encourage fans to look for the Certified SC Grown label and continue to support both our farmers and this great competition.”
South Carolina earned victories over the Clemson in women’s soccer, volleyball, women’s golf, women’s diving, women’s basketball, women’s tennis, and men’s tennis.
It’s special to know that we contributed not only in the pool, but also in the classroom towards another Palmetto Series win. It’s a big deal to us.McGee Moody, Swimming & Diving Coach
“It always means a lot to beat your rival,” said women’s soccer head coach Shelley Smith. “Our focus is always the postseason and doing your best throughout the season, but it’s an important piece no matter what. It’s a matter of pride in this state, and we love bringing that victory back to the University and all of our fans. Both teams give it their all every time we meet. It’s a fun rivalry and it means a lot to our players to get that result.”
“I think it’s huge for the University to be able to say that we won two years in row,” said Chelsea Drennan, who recently graduated and was South Carolina’s career assists leader. “We always want to beat Clemson in anything whenever we can.”
The Gamecocks also took home the academic point, which was the deciding point in this year’s series, as the South Carolina student-athletes earned a higher combined grade point average than their Clemson counterparts for the fall and spring semesters.
“Rivalries bring out the best in athletes,” said McGee Moody, head swimming and diving coach. “In the bigger competitions, you’re elite athletes always step up. It’s special to know that we contributed not only in the pool, but also in the classroom towards another Palmetto Series win. It’s a big deal to us.”
Having won the competition in each of the first two years of its existence, the Gamecocks look forward to competing with their instate rivals as year three ramps up when the new academic year begins in the fall.
The Palmetto Series trophy will be presented to South Carolina on September 16 during the first home football game of the season.
For more information about the Certified SC Grown Palmetto Series, visit palmettoseries.com.