For as many area football players who have gone on to play at various college levels over the last five seasons, one college in particular has been noticeably absent in the recruiting game.
Although Coastal Carolina has developed into a nationally known Football Championship Subdivision program, the Chanticleers had not offered a high school player from the Grand Strand in at least four years.
That changed last week.
Per North Myrtle Beach coach Perry Woolbright, Chiefs defensive back Colby Gore received a scholarship offer from CCU. It’s his fourth college offer. And it’s one that doesn’t come lightly given Coastal’s recent history locally. That should be changing, slowly but surely, according to CCU recruiting coordinator Cory Bailey.
“We probably did miss on one or two kids,” said Bailey, who evaluated not only current but past recruiting when he was hired in January of 2013. “After that initial cycle, it became an emphasis to recruit those kids, and especially locally.”
Bailey, who can’t comment specifically on any prospect until a Letter of Intent is signed and received, confirmed only one current area player from the Class of 2015 has received a verbal offer from the school (written offers can not be distributed until August of a player’s senior season). Again, though, Bailey expects that to change in the coming weeks and months.
He said each of the staff’s 10 assistants have approximately 25 in-state schools, with coordinators Clayton Carlton and Dave Patenaude handling the bulk of the high school programs in the Myrtle Beach and Florence areas.
“We place a huge emphasis on the state of South Carolina in general,” Bailey said. “With the way we’ve reshaped South Carolina, I don’t think we’ll miss anybody.”
Bailey said the staff had a recruiting meeting on Thursday dedicated to in-state players. He also said there are three or four players within one hour of the Conway campus worthy of a scholarship offer.
If that was the case in years past, it didn’t show.
A handful of locals – including Myrtle Beach Tyler Keane, Socastee running back Delano Walters and Aynor lineman Ashton Culick – accepted walk-on spots with the Chants. But as far as scholarship offers, they’ve been few and far between.
Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson said no Seahawk has received a scholarship offer from CCU since he took over the head coaching position in 2009, a span that includes two state title teams and at least 20 eventual college players. Conway’s Chuck Jordan believed it has been at least since 2007 – when Coastal pursued Seth Moreland and Tim Fowler – since any of his players were offered.
The trend started to take shape during former CCU coach Dave Bennett’s final years at the school. Small strides to get more Grand Strand players changed slightly with those preferred walk-on spots after Joe Moglia took over.
Keeping the progression going, though, means scholarship offers, not spots on the practice team with little real chance of playing time.
Gore has started to gain some steam in terms of college interest. The 5-foot-10, 165-pounder had 44 tackles for the Chiefs last fall. He also had an area-leading eight interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns, and seven pass deflections. The effort led him to earning a spot on the Toast of the Coast Defensive squad.
It’s also led him to that offer from Coastal Carolina.
VI-AAAA baseball format set to change
Despite hopes of finding a way to continue playing three-game baseball series in Region VI-AAAA, it appears the format will be abandoned next season when Socastee moves into the region.
The Braves will increase the region to six teams. If the region stuck with the three-game series, each team would be extremely limited in terms of non-region and even tournament games.
What several region coaches have said in the past week, however, is that teams hope to play two-game series each week, as opposed to playing games in the round-robin fashion most regions utilize. Playing the same team twice in a week could allow the teams some flexibility in which days games are played, but more importantly, it would prevent a team’s top pitcher from taking the mound against a single opponent more than once during the regular season.
Coaches are expect to finalize the plans for next year in the coming months.
Conway wrestling’s ‘Pin Autism’ fundraiser set
The Conway wrestling team will be holding it’s ‘Pin Autism’ fundraiser on April 26 at the high school.
The team, which last year hosted shared proceeds of its fundraiser with victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, will donate 50 percent of the proceeds from this year’s event to AutismSpeaks.org. The fundraiser has been broken up into three events: A 5K trail run and walk, a 1-mile family fun run and a breakfast provided by the Trestle. Tickets for the 5k are $25 through Saturday, with the price increasing to $30 after that. Tickets for the family fun run are $10, regardless of purchase date. Breakfast admission is $5 until race day and $10 on the day of the event.
All runners and walkers who register prior to Saturday will also receive a free T-shirt. Prizes for the top three finishers in each category will be provided. Every participant will be automatically entered into a drawing for a tablet and a three-month gym membership.
Interested parties can register online at RaceIt.com or contact Tigers wrestling coach Kyle Santmyer at the school.
State soccer rankings
Six area teams appeared in the most-recent SCSoccer.com/Eurosport polls, released late Sunday night.
The Myrtle Beach and Socastee boys and girls teams were each ranked in Class AAA. On the boys side, the Seahawks are now No. 6, with Socastee coming in at No. 12. The Myrtle Beach girls are No. 7, and the Braves are No. 11.
Two area boys teams are now ranked in Class AA, as well. Waccamaw is No. 4, while Region VIII-AA foe Loris has moved into the polls at No. 8.