The University of South Carolina won the first year of the Certified SC Grown Palmetto Series, an annual  points competition between the state’s flagship universities in head-to-head athletic events. Points were also awarded for highest team GPA and for a food drive tackling hunger in their communities.

Presented by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, the series between USC and Clemson University fosters a fun competition between the historic rivals while connecting fans and farmers around the food grown right here in South Carolina.

“We might not all agree ON the fields, but there’s one thing USC and Clemson can agree on and that is what we grow IN our fields,” Commissioner Hugh Weathers said. “South Carolina has a rich tradition in both sports and agriculture, and we hope fans will come together and continue to select Certified SC Grown.”

Points were awarded for the winner of each athletic contest between the two schools, including sports in which both teams competed as part of multiple-team tournaments. Points were also awarded for academics and the food drive benefitting Harvest Hope Food Bank.

USC earned 10 points for wins in men’s and women’s basketball, women’s diving, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, and volleyball, as well as the food drive and the academic point.

Clemson won five points for the competition in baseball, women’s cross country, football, and men’s and women’s soccer.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our student-athletes, coaches and fans for how they conducted themselves on and off the field. Thanks to SCDA, we’ve finally given an official name to this friendly competition, which encompasses community service, academics and athletics success.  We know it will be a tough competition every year and we are happy to claim bragging rights this year,” USC Athletics Director Ray Tanner said.

“We thank the SCDA for helping us kick off this exciting series. Clemson enjoyed unprecedented success with several student athletes and coaches winning prestigious national awards and three teams winning ACC championships. We look forward to competing with the Gamecocks again starting this fall,” Clemson Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich said.

The Gamecocks will celebrate the victory with a student-athlete tailgate party in August. The Palmetto Series trophy will be presented to USC on September 17 during the football game against East Carolina.