Jack Jolly will have a view of South Carolina’s All-Star Weekend unlike that of anyone else.
The Carolina Forest varsity coach isn’t just the chairman of the all-star committee – responsible for aiding with the nuts and bolts of six games in three days – he’s also the father of one of the S.C. Select Team members. Panthers catcher Robert Jolly was one of four area players on the 18-man roster that will play Thursday and Friday at TicketReturn.com Field in the sport’s version of the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.
But for Jack Jolly, he’s been through this before. One of his other sons, Matthew, was a North-South selection in 2010.
“It hasn't really hit me yet on the accomplishment of having two sons make an all-star team and play in this event,” he said. “We are humbled by the fact they both were chosen to play and my wife [Pam] and I are very proud of both of them. It is quite an honor and we are very fortunate to experience this with Matthew and now Robert.”
All-Star weekend – which also includes the North-South games Friday night and Saturday morning at the Ripken Experience – is a who’s who of the state’s top talent. There are 12 NCAA Division-I signees on the S.C. Select team alone, with plenty more on the four North-South rosters.
Oddly enough, Robert Jolly isn’t the only player on the Select squad who is following an older brother on an all-star roster.
Grant Holmes was named to the Select series, and although he’s skipping the event following his first-round selection in last week’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, it doesn’t take away from his family’s doubled up distinction.
Holmes’ older brother, Colby, was named to the Select series in 2009.
“It's always great and says a lot about your program to have a player selected to the all star game,” Conway coach Anthony Carroll said. “As for having the two brothers both make it just says a lot about them and the work they were willing to put in to get to that level.”
Colby Holmes, who played at South Carolina before moving on to a professional career of his own last year, was selected to the all-star event after a standout career of his own at Conway. Holmes was the lone area player selected to the series that year.
Grant Holmes signed with Florida, but few expect him to make it to Gainesville after the Los Angeles Dodgers used the 22nd pick in the draft on him last Thursday.
Worth the time
Socastee’s Kyle Smith said the last few weeks have been tiring.
The Braves’ pitcher and third baseman was part of a team that played in the Class AAA Lower State tournament before moving on to Socastee’s Senior Legion team and graduation last week. Still, the opportunity to be his school’s first selection to the Select series has given him a boost of energy.
“I love baseball, and any opportunity I get to play, it’s a blessing,” he said. “I’ve been given this gift to play on a bigger platform.
“I get to represent my community. They’ve raised me. It feels good to represent them.”
Smith, who is expected to be a set-up pitcher when he begins at The Citadel, was also an all-state selection.
The same goes for Georgetown’s Kevin Woodall Jr., will also be the first player from his school to play in the Select series. Woodall, who heading to Florence Darlington Tech in the fall, was one of four Bulldog seniors to sign college offers.
Contact IAN GUERIN at email@example.com.