Ragin’ Bulls athletics is building up steam

The Ragin’ Bulls of South Carolina Faith Athletics and Music College are preparing to take the field for their 2019 home opener.

The S.C. Faith A&M Football team hosts Virginia Prep Sports Academy at 2 p.m. Sept. 15 at Lynda Davis Stadium located on the old Stall High School campus at 7763 Northside Drive in North Charleston.

For those not familiar with S.C. Faith A&M, it is a two-year postgraduate sports/music program that provides community college opportunities for students with an interest in participating in college athletics or marching band.

A student who doesn’t have the grades coming out of high school to be accepted by many colleges or who needs to polish their skills in order to be more attractive to college programs can attend A&M and participate in the extra-curricular activity of their choice while earning college credits until they are ready to transfer to a four-year college.

The program, which is based out of Summerville, was founded in 2014 by retired law enforcement officer Urie Smalls. Its students have been referred to Trident Technical College for classes since, but on May 1 of this year that partnership became more official when the S.C. Faith A&M Director signed a Memorandum of Understanding with TTC to facilitate collaboration and cooperation between the organizations.

“When we first started this I did a lot of research because I knew we needed to do things right,” Smalls said. “I felt getting Trident Technical College involved was the way to go so I’m excited about them partnering up with us. I wanted our kids at an accredited and stable college and all their programs are good. The credits they earn there will transfer virtually anywhere.”

Smalls said eventually he would like A&M to have its own athletic facilities. However, that’s a big goal for a nonprofit organization that also has basketball, track and field, marching band and baseball programs.

“Our teams play against other junior college teams,” Smalls said. “Fans should come check us out. I think they would enjoy the atmosphere and be entertained. It’s just like a game at somewhere like Charleston Southern only on a smaller scale because we don’t have the funding.”

The Bulls’ football team has attracted a wide variety of athletes. Many members of the team played high school football in the Lowcountry but there are also players from Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Connecticut on the 2019 roster.

Bulls who might be recognized from their days at Lowcountry high schools include Ashley Ridge graduates Tyson Salley and Cliffton Brown Jr.; Berkeley graduates Daveon Moore, Lance Correthers, David Martin III and Michael Campbell; Cane Bay graduate Kaleb Stewart, Goose Creek graduates Darrell Spann, Anthony Williams and Darryl Washington; Hanahan graduate David Gross; Stratford graduates Ryan Robinson, Ellerson Green, Tyler Perry and Isaiah Washington; and Woodland graduate Khalil Mack.

The relatively new athletic program has had some success helping athletes reach their goals. Bulls’ defensive back Jordan White went on to play for Barton College in North Carolina and Bulls’ basketball player Ronald Clayton went on to play for Charleston Southern University.

However, Smalls says the primary goal of S.C. Faith A&M is to help young men and women further their education.

“We want to help athletes get their GPA up and generate some interest in their ability,” Smalls said. “Ultimately we would like them to get a degree, but we also want to prepare them for whatever comes after college whether that is joining the work force or the military. We are a faith-based organization so we also place a lot of focus on coming together and having a good perspective.”

The Bulls Football team is part of the Big Coast Conference. It also has home games scheduled for Sept. 28 against Palmetto Prep and Oct. 5 against Ramah JUCO. The Bulls will travel to Georgia Knights Prep Oct. 12, Myrtle Beach Prep Oct. 19 and Lamar Oct. 26.

For more information on S.C. Faith A&M, call (843) 732-2202, visit the www.scfamcollegeonline.com website or visit the program’s office in the 300 Building of the TTC Rivers Avenue campus.