Myrtle Beach senior George Kandris, a four-year starter at center, has some words of caution for players on future Seahawks football teams: the success this Seahawks senior class has had over the past few years wasn't as easy to attain as they made it look.
"When we were coming up into high school football, we weren't used to the varsity being undefeated and the varsity being very good," Kandris said. "We were used to varsity having to work and we came up with old school stuff, having to still work hard.
"Now these younger kids are kind of getting things handed to them, so it's a big difference. They're very spoiled [with success]. They kind of haven't learned what we did and been through what we did. They're going to need to learn some very good work ethic very soon."
With 21 seniors on the roster, including quarterback and Notre Dame commitment Everett Golson, Saturday's 27-23 win over South Pointe in the Class AAA state championship game marked the end of an era in Myrtle Beach football.
In the four years these seniors have been at Myrtle Beach, the Seahawks have gone 53-5.
"I think the biggest thing about these guys is the work ethic they have," Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson said. "They've done a super job in the weight room and the offseason speed and conditioning program. They show up every day and they're ready to go to work.
"To see them get back [to the state championship game] with all the hard work they've put in is pretty special."
Myrtle Beach reached the state championship game in each of the past three years. The Seahawks beat Chester in 2008 and South Pointe this year, and lost to Clinton in the 2009 title game.
"A lot of people don't realize how tough it is," Wilson said. "No. 1 you have to be good enough to do it, No. 2 you've got to stay healthy, and No. 3 you've got to be lucky. Fortunately we've had all three of those things help us out."
Golson and Kandris have been starters since their freshman year, and defensive tackle Ervin Brown, running back Daiquone Ford and defensive back Alex Holloman are three-year starters.
The seniors have posted some impressive offensive numbers, both this season and in their careers. Despite missing eight games this year with injuries, Golson's career passing totals are 11,634 yards, 26 interceptions and 151 touchdowns, which are the sixth most all-time in the nation, according to statistics compiled by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Donte Sumpter caught 89 passes this year for 1,369 yards and Dallas Goodman was just 32 yards shy of 1,000 receiving yards on 60 receptions. Ford gained 1,367 yards and scored 20 touchdowns on 165 carries this season, and in relief of Golson this year, Mitch Campbell completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 2,366 yards and 30 touchdowns with nine interceptions.
"It's been so much fun watching [Golson] progress from eighth grade until now," Wilson said. "It's going to be sad with both him and Mitch leaving. Not only are they great quarterbacks, they're super kids and have done a great job."
Leadership has never been an issue in the class of 2011. "Our whole group as seniors just kind of take on that leading role, so it's not like we have one specific leader," Golson said. "The whole group as seniors have kind of taken on that role to help the underclassmen come up and show them what Myrtle Beach Seahawks football is all about."
A lot of Seahawks are being rewarded by colleges for their effort and success.
Besides Golson, Sumpter has committed to East Carolina and offensive lineman Jason Rexroad has committed to Middle Tennessee State.
Other players, including Ford, Goodman, Campbell and Holloman, have received scholarship offers or likely have them forthcoming.
"It's definitely been a very fun ride," Kandris said. "These four years have been really good."