MYRTLE BEACH — Students and fans wrapped around the Myrtle Beach schools’ superblock Friday morning to show support for the Myrtle Beach Seahawks and send the team off in style to the Class AAA Football State Championship in Columbia.
This will be the fourth trip to the championship game in six years for the Seahawks, who will meet Daniel High School Saturday at 3 p.m. in Williams-Brice Stadium.
“He’s been up since about 1 o’clock this morning,” said Pamela Porchia of her son, senior player Michael Porchia, before the parade began. “He’s just so excited. When they first started off, they didn’t do anything, but then they picked it up and bam, they’re here.”
Students from Myrtle Beach Intermediate School formed two columns in the parking lot at Doug Shaw Stadium, where the parade began, and held handmade signs with “Go Seahawks” and “Seahawk Nation.” Homecoming Queen Danielle Duncan led the parade, with a large Seahawks flag flying behind her motorized wheelchair and a colorful shaker in hand, followed by the school’s administrators and booster club board, the marching band and varsity cheerleaders.
“This is remarkable – no one thought we’d be here,” said cheerleader and senior Homecoming Princess Spencer Gray. “This pumps up the city and means a lot. This is one thing I’ll never forget.”
The football team and coaches received a police escort from the school resource officer, complete with siren, and the hands came out along the route for players to slap as they were greeted with smiles and cheers of “good luck” and “go Seahawks.”
“I think this is huge – it’s a big boost for Myrtle Beach,” said Arminia Thomas after seeing grandson Noah Thomas pass by in the parade. She said the team is young, but the coaches helped pull it together.
The parade wound past Myrtle Beach primary and elementary schools, by the baseball field, tennis area and on to the high school, with students from those schools and Myrtle Beach Middle school stationed at specified points. With the buses already packed, the team loaded up and set out for Columbia.
“That’s who you need to be,” Myrtle Beach Intermediate Principal Deb Colliver told her students, saying events like this inspire them to reach their potential and is a perfect example of one of the habits instilled in students in the Myrtle Beach cluster to “begin with the end in mind.”
She said her students made their signs in art class, and the parade was kept a surprise to curb some of the excitement, especially for those who had testing on Friday.
“You can tell the spirit’s alive and well in this community,” Colliver said.
Contact VICKI GROOMS at 443-2401 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_VickiGrooms.