Jason Cox is adjusting to his new role.
The first-year Green Sea Floyds athletics director was officially announced as Doug Hinson’s replacement just before the end of the 2013-2014 school year. And as the coming fall sports season is fast approaching, the Trojans’ now-former baseball coach is already immersed in his new gig.
“It’s been a pretty easy transition,” Cox said. “I’m trying to get comfortable with all the situations and everything I need to man. Coach Hinson has been there for me every step of the way.”
After five years as the school’s baseball coach, Cox was promoted to the top job after Hinson was transferred to the same position at Aynor at the end of the academic year. Hinson had also served as the Trojans’ football coach and softball coach after arriving at the school in 2001, and he was one of the last Horry County head coaches to also serve as his respective school’s athletics director.
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And much like Hinson, Cox said that one of his biggest struggles could be fundraising. Horry County’s smallest high school has had issues in the past raising money for its 10 varsity sports simply because it has a smaller pool to draw from.
“It is our situation. But we’ve done an outstanding job of raising money this summer,” Cox said. “Our booster club has raised a lot of money through fundraisers and corporate sponsors. I see the community backing us.
“We always want more. But the community has done a great job supporting us.”
In addition to baseball, Cox had also served as an assistant football coach under third-year coach Tony Sullivan.
Cox also didn’t waste any time finding his replacement on the diamond. Derek Martin, who graduated from Coastal Carolina in 2008, has moved up from his spot as the Trojans’ assistant baseball coach.
Martin played at CCU for four seasons, hit .304 as a junior and .300 as a senior for the Chanticleers. After graduating, he went into education and joined the staff at Green Sea Floyds.
“He’s been with me my entire time,” Cox said. “He’s going to do an extremely good job. It was something that he wanted and I wanted.”
The Trojans’ baseball team missed the Class A playoffs this spring after making a run to the District VII finals as a No. 4 seed in 2013.
CNB set to return to Myrtle Beach
The CNB Kickoff Classic was canceled last year for the first time in the event’s 24-year history.
As a result, the annual five-game scrimmage will return to Myrtle Beach before rotating back to Conway in 2015.
The nine Horry County teams and Waccamaw will suit up Aug. 15, one week prior to Week 0 games. Socastee will play Waccamaw at 6 p.m. The other matchups, in order, are Green Sea Floyds vs. St. James; North Myrtle Beach vs. Conway; Carolina Forest vs. Loris; and Myrtle Beach vs. Aynor.
Last year’s event was canceled after inclement weather threatened the area just hours prior to the first game.
Area teams to play Beach Ball underdog again
Myrtle Beach and Socastee aren’t looked at as contenders when it comes to the Beach Ball Classic.
The two area schools generally pale in comparison to some of the top-flight national programs that come to the Grand Strand for the annual holiday tournament. Myrtle Beach coach Craig Martin is already preparing for that same public perception this year.
The 16-team field for this year’s Beach Ball Classic was released last week. It includes a pair of past tournament champions and a number of players drawing the eyes of college basketball’s top coaches. That means the Seahawks and Braves will again be playing in the shadow of some of the visiting squads.
“Can it be discouraging? I think to some of our younger players, they might not understand why we play those games and … understand how you improve in that situation,” Martin said. “For the most part, we’ve gotten to our kids and pushed them to compete when everything else is falling down around you.
“We understand that every time you go into the Beach Ball you’re going to have a good field. There are going to be some of the best players in the nation, some of the best teams in the nation.”
Bishop Gorman (Nev.), Franklin (Ohio) and Sagemont (Fla.) all have eyes on state titles of their own, not to mention national rankings. Those teams and others have players who have already or will soon commit to elite college teams.
Much of that has to do with height. Bishop Gorman has a pair of centers who are 6-foot-10 or taller and are being recognized as top-10 players for the Class of 2015.
Myrtle Beach’s tallest player likely will be a 6-foot-6 forward who played junior varsity last year.
That said, Martin has learned to appreciate what being a part of the Beach Ball Classic means to his team’s overall development. The Seahawks, following a consolation bracket victory over Spring Valley last season, went on to win the Region VII-AAA title and advance to the Class AAA Lower State finals.
Martin said taking some of those lumps in December may be unavoidable. But the payoff is worth it.
“The David vs. Goliath thing is great,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed that. I think we can learn a lot from it. I think the boosters from Myrtle Beach and the people in general want to see your kids out there.”