Brandon Sinclair said that until recently, his communication with Coastal Carolina had been relatively minimal.
The Myrtle Beach junior running back said he hadn’t received much more than basic recruiting letters from the CCU coaching staff. Outside of going to a couple games – where he sat in the stands with teammate Drayton Arnold – he hadn’t even really visited campus.
Then Thursday rolled around, and Seahawks coach Mickey Wilson told Sinclair the Chanticleers weren’t just interested; they were prepared to offer him a full scholarship.
“I wasn’t really expecting it. It caught me off-guard,” Sinclair said. “But I was really happy about it.”
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The welcome surprise was the first offer for Myrtle Beach’s record-setting tailback. In addition to numerous individual game records, he could become the school’s all-time leading rusher early on in the 2015 season.
For his career, Sinclair has put up 3,997 total yards and 42 touchdowns rushing and receiving. He’s led the area in ground yardage each of the past two seasons, and he’s led the team in rushing for all three seasons he’s been with the varsity program.
Sinclair opted to give up baseball – he was a starter for the Seahawks last spring – in order to concentrate on the weight room. The goal, of course, is to increase his physical abilities and attract more NCAA Division I schools.
That doesn’t mean he’s shrugging off the offer from Coastal.
“I’m just glad that I would be able to go to school for free now. That’s the main thing,” he said. “There is a little bit of relief there. I’m going to keep on working on doing what I’ve done to get that first offer.”
Sinclair spent time in January at South Carolina’s Junior Day before attending Wake Forest’s over the weekend. He said he would ultimately include USC (where his father, Randy, played briefly in the mid-1990s), Duke, Wake Forest and Stanford in his wish list of offers.
IP Classic set for silver anniversary
One of the premier baseball tournaments in South Carolina is about to fire up its 25th anniversary event.
The 2015 field may also be one of the finest the IP Classic has offered, both in terms of teams and individual talent.
When the tournament begins Thursday at Georgetown’s Mike Johnson Park, seven of the eight participants will be ranked in the state polls. That includes No. 1 Wando, No. 3 Summerville, No. 6 Lexington and No. 9 Rock Hill in Class AAAA, as well as A.C. Flora, Belton-Honea Path and Wren, which represent the top three teams in Class AAA. The field is rounded out with host school Georgetown, which finished second in the region behind only Socastee a year ago.
First pitch for Wando-Rock Hill is 2 p.m. Thursday – the opening game of the tournament. Georgetown will play A.C. Flora at approximately 4:15, with Lexington-Summerville and Belton-Honea Path taking on Wren in the final game of the first day.
Action resumes at 10 a.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday, with four games each day. Sunday’s games – the matchups of teams with like placements in their respective classes – begin at 9 a.m., with the title game being played at 3 p.m.
As far as top prospects, the four-day tournament will feature plenty. The list includes A.C. Flora catcher Josh Hernandez, one of the top juniors in the state, as well as University of South Carolina commitments T.J. Hopkins and Sawyer Bridges from Summerville. Wando outfielder Kep Brown has already been named one of top 50 players for June’s Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by Baseball America. Brown, at one time verbally committed to USC, is also regarded as the top senior in the state by multiple publications.
Coastal Invitational Tournament
For those looking for a touch of throwback baseball, Waccamaw’s Coastal Invitational Tournament will be taking place Thursday-Sunday at the Warriors’ stadium.
The tournament is continuing its wood-bat tradition, something it started in 2009.
The eight-team field includes three Class AAAA programs in Conway, Byrnes and Greenwood, the defending CIT champion. Upper State Class AAA school Palmetto, Waccamaw, Johnsonville and Chesnee out of Class AA and Class A Lewisville are also in the mix.
“There’s not that many wood bat tournaments in South Carolina baseball,” Waccamaw coach Jeff Gregory said. “It separates the good hitters from the average hitters.”
Waccamaw provides the bats, and Gregory estimates that 20-30 are broken each year.
The Warriors will open the event against Byrnes at 1 p.m. Thursday. Games will continue throughout the day, with Conway playing Chesnee at approximately 5:30.
In addition to four games every day of the event (including the final/championship games Sunday), there will be a home run derby at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Two of the teams were ranked in the South Carolina Baseball Coaches Association preseason polls. Chesnee was No. 2 in Class AA, while Lewisville was No. 2 in its division.
As far as Waccamaw, the Warriors will be replacing all but three players from last year’s Class AA District VII runner-up squad.
“We still expect to be in the hunt for a region title,” Gregory said. “It all just filters in. Last year, I was just so senior heavy, a lot of these guys had to stay down. But I think we’ll make a push.”
Conway will be playing for the first time in four years without Grant Holmes. The pitcher and outfielder graduated last year and was the Los Angeles Dodgers’ first-round pick in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
Tournament passes for the Coastal Invitational, good for all four days, are $15.
Baseball at the Beach
The six-team field for the annual Baseball at the Beach tournament will head to Myrtle Beach High for the Seahawks’ three-day tournament Thursday-Saturday.
Tim Christy’s Myrtle Beach team will be joined by area programs St. James and Aynor, as well as Fort Mill, Eastside and Northwestern.
Fort Mill-St. James will lead things off at 2 p.m. Thursday, followed by Northwestern-Aynor at 4 p.m. and Eastside Myrtle Beach at 6 p.m. Five games are scheduled for Friday. St. James-Aynor will wrap up pool play Saturday morning prior to the event championship game at 1 p.m.
Ticket information was not immediately available.
Northwestern enters the season ranked No. 5 in the SCBCA Class AAAA preseason poll, while Eastside was at the same ranking in Class AAA.
Toast of the Coast wrestling
Area wrestling coaches and athletics directors are reminded the deadline for Toast of the Coast nominations is 9 a.m. Tuesday. Nominations or questions can be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Athletic directors and coaches are encouraged to send spring sports schedules to email@example.com if they have not already done so.