Straight Up Sports is a collection of “Old Guard” Sports Broadcasters, Sports Writers and Reporters.  And we are talking about “Award Winning” contributors with decades of experience.  Of course, we will be heavy on the sports news of our region, but there are NO limits to what our members may contribute.

Straight Up Sports is a collection of “Old Guard” Sports Broadcasters, Sports Writers and Reporters.  And we are talking about “Award Winning” contributors with decades of experience.  Of course, we will be heavy on the sports news of our region, but there are NO limits to what our members may contribute.

Sturg and Price deliver a weekly podcast from Smoke on the Water, which is an offshoot of their award-winning afternoon radio show on ESPN Upstate.  Sturg was 2016 South Carolina Sports Broadcaster of the Year by the “National Sports Media Association”, and Price is a legend, recently working the past “Winter Olympic Games” in China.

Every night before a Clemson game, Sturg gets together with Joe and Jeff Bostic to discuss the following day’s game, and a look across College Football in general.  When that show is done, we turn it over to a line-up of the best Live Bands across the Upstate, State and Region.

Sturg and his family host “Straight Up Trivia” every Monday evening at Tip it Back Sports Grille in Greenville.  There are five rounds (four during football season) of random trivia questions, with four great prizes from Tip it Back and a “Mystery Gift”.  It’s great fellowship, and you are sure to learn something new!!

If you have a motorcycle or boat, then you must check out our sponsor.  GarageBaggerStereo.com carries all the best products and accessories for your bike or boat.  Stereos, speakers, digital equipment and more… whatever you are looking for to outfit your investment, GarageBaggerStereo.com not only has it, they have the best prices around.  Chris Lowe and his staff live in this business every day, let them help you with your next purchase!

Links of Interest

Our Contributers

Mark B. Sturgis

Mark Sturgis attended the University of Alabama and majored in “Broadcast and Film Communications” before graduating from Full Sail University.  Sturg’s career took him to Knoxville, Atlanta and Charlotte. 

After moving back to Greenville, Mark was afforded the opportunity to get into Sports Radio, where his show “Straight Up with Sturg” won three awards and he was named 2016 South Carolina Sports Broadcaster of the Year.  Despite some illness, Sturg still keeps busy in the business.

Bob Gillespie

Bob Gillespie is a former senior sportswriter, columnist and golf writer for The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., from 1979-2010. He also wrote for the Orangeburg Times & Democrat (1976-78) and the Charleston Post & Courier (1978-79).

Winner of The State’s Ambrose E. Gonzales Award for distinguished journalism in 1988, Gillespie also was twice a national runner-up in The Associated Press Sports Editors writing competition. In 2019, Bob was named the Herman Helms Excellence in Media award winner by the SC Athletic Hall of Fame.

Price Atkinson

Price Atkinson is a former swimmer and a graduate of the University of Kentucky.  After graduation, Price worked in the “Sports Information Department” in Lexington, before moving on to the US Naval Academy in the same position.

Price has always worked in Communications for College Athletics or politics. 

Price currently works as well with the US Curling Federation in Media and attended the past Winter Olympics in China with that position.

Willie T. Smith III

As a USC grad, Willie was the first black American to work in the newsroom of the Gastonia (N.C.) Gazette.  After 32 years in the business at various newspapers across the Southeast, Willie can still claim he’s has never been bored.

During his career, he won SC Press Association honors in columns, features and spot sports stories while on multiple beats.

In 2016, Willie was a finalist for SC Sportswriter of the Year.  Smith is also the recipient of the 2023 SC Athletic Hall of Fame Herman Helms Excellence in Media Award.

Will Vandervort

Will is an award-winning journalist with 26 years of experience working in both newspaper and Clemson Internet Media.  He’s A graduate of Bamberg-Ehrhardt and Anderson University.

Will has also written three books on the subject, including the recent best-seller, “The Hidden History of Clemson Football”.

Will hosts a podcast with Clemson and Pittsburg Steelers legend Levon Kirkland named “Bliev in Clemson Football”.

Will is now a Senior Writer for The Clemson Insider.

Links of Interest

Mark B. Sturgis

Mark Sturgis attended the University of Alabama and majored in “Broadcast and Film Communications” before graduating from Full Sail University.  Sturg’s career took him to Knoxville, Atlanta and Charlotte. 

After moving back to Greenville, Mark was afforded the opportunity to get into Sports Radio, where his show “Straight Up with Sturg” won three awards and he was named 2016 South Carolina Sports Broadcaster of the Year.  Despite some illness, Sturg still keeps busy in the business.

Bob Gillespie

Bob Gillespie is a former senior sportswriter, columnist and golf writer for The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., from 1979-2010. He also wrote for the Orangeburg Times & Democrat (1976-78) and the Charleston Post & Courier (1978-79).

Winner of The State’s Ambrose E. Gonzales Award for distinguished journalism in 1988, Gillespie also was twice a national runner-up in The Associated Press Sports Editors writing competition. In 2019, Bob was named the Herman Helms Excellence in Media award winner by the SC Athletic Hall of Fame.

Price Atkinson

Price Atkinson is a former swimmer and a graduate of the University of Kentucky.  After graduation, Price worked in the “Sports Information Department” in Lexington, before moving on to the US Naval Academy in the same position.

Price has always worked in Communications for College Athletics or politics. 

Price currently works as well with the US Curling Federation in Media and attended the past Winter Olympics in China with that position.

Willie T. Smith

As a USC grad, Willie was the first black American to work in the newsroom of the Gastonia (N.C.) Gazette.  After 32 years in the business at various newspapers across the Southeast, Willie can still claim he’s has never been bored.

During his career, he won SC Press Association honors in columns, features and spot sports stories while on multiple beats.

In 2016, Willie was a finalist for SC Sportswriter of the Year.  Smith is also the recipient of the 2023 SC Athletic Hall of Fame Herman Helms Excellence in Media Award.

Will Vandervort

Will is an award-winning journalist with 26 years of experience working in both newspaper and Clemson Internet Media.  He’s A graduate of Bamberg-Ehrhardt and Anderson University.

Will has also written three books on the subject, including the recent best-seller, “The Hidden History of Clemson Football”.

Will hosts a podcast with Clemson and Pittsburg Steelers legend Levon Kirkland named “Bliev in Clemson Football”.

Will is now a Senior Writer for The Clemson Insider.