I have been the sports director at WPDE since February of 2000 and have taken great pride in our station’s commitment to the local sports scene. In addition to our 19 sportscasts a week, the WPDE sports team locally produces over 40 speciality programs outside the realm of the newscast. I would like to use this space to give folks an outline of what we do throughout the course of the year.
The End Zone
This is our 50 minute high school football show that has become a Friday night fixture in our lineup. The WPDE team brings you 16-20 games of action each and every week with one of the highlights of the show featuring a winning team joining us live in the studio. wpde.com has web video of the show along with stats and each team’s schedule and results.
The End Zone Banquet
Each December, we cap off the high school football season with a banquet honoring the top 45 players in our area with a live 60 minute show. The highlight of the evening is the presentation of the ZONEMAN Trophy, WPDE’s version of the Heisman, given to the best high school football player in our area as voted upon by area coaches and media.
The David Bennett Show
Every Sunday at noon during the football season, coach David Bennett takes us through every twist and turn of Coastal Carolina’s football season. In addition to full highlights of every CCU game, the show has features on the program and player profiles.
South Carolina and Clemson
The Gamecocks and the Tigers are a statewide phenomenon and even though both schools are hours away from our market, WPDE Sports brings extensive coverage of both football programs throughout the season.
WPDE is the pre-season home of the Carolina Panthers as well as regular recaps of games from Charlotte throughout the NFL season.
Palmetto Pigskin Preview
A free, weekly 36 page football magazine available at Sonic locations in the Florence/Myrtle Beach area. This publication has the full rundown on Coastal Carolina, South Carolina, Clemson, the Carolina Panthers and the high school football scene.
The Hoop Zone
30 minutes of wall to wall high school basketball beginning in January. This show is one of the most unique sports programs in local television. The show’s debut in 2001 featured current NBA star Raymond Felton of Latta live with his team in the studio. It’s a chance to shine the spotlight on girls athletics on the high school level.
The Hoop Zone Banquet
The top 15 boys and top 15 girls in the area are honored and awarded Mister and Miss Hoop Zone. The list of previous winners include Raymond Felton of the Charlotte Bobcats, Ramon Sessions of Nevada, and Casaan Breeden of Florida State. Miss Hoop Zone winners include North Carolina Lady Tar Heels stars LaTangela Atkinson and Christina Dewitt.
Buzz Peterson Show
Coastal Carolina’s men’s basketball coach Buzz Peterson’s debut season featured 20 wins and a trip to the Big South Championship game. Coach breaks down each CCU game as well as conducts a coaches clinic and features on the CCU players and behind the scenes.
The Zone Cup
Modeled after the NCAA’s Sears Cup, WPDE Sports awards the top high school in the viewing area for overall athletic performance in varsity athletics. 21 varsity sports scored points to a school’s overall score. The competition concludes in May and the first year of Zone Cup competition provided a tie between Myrtle Beach and Cheraw.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
WPDE Sports provides extensive coverage of the Atlanta Braves "A" affiliate. Over the years, such major league names as Rafael Furcal, Marcus Giles, Jeff Francouer, Brian McCann and Adam LaRoche have called Myrtle Beach home before making it to the show.
Darlington Race Weekend
Mother’s Day weekend is the new home for Darlington’s Nextel Cup weekend. WPDE Sports provides full coverage of NASCAR’s best as they visit the "Fenway Park" of racetracks.
WPDE Celebrity Sports Shootout
Heading into its 6th year, the charity golf event at Wachesaw East has topped $75,000 in overall earnings. The money raised from the tournament goes to $5,000 scholarships to high school seniors who apply to the WPDE Sports Scholarship Fund.
High School Football Previews
Beginning in August, WPDE Sports provides 34 training camp reports from every high school football team in the area to get ready for the season premiere of the End Zone.