As I sat in my office and read the story "Chants spend day packing, saying goodbyes" on June 15, my eyes filled with tears. I just couldn't help it - my heart was breaking for the baseball team and the coaching staff from Coastal Carolina University.
I do not personally know any of these guys but feel as if I know each very well. Why, you might ask? I, along with many others, go to their games, call them by their first names or nicknames, and they become part of our lives although they do not know us at all.
My 12-year-old nephew is a real sports fan, and my husband and I have taken him to both regional tournaments that Coastal has hosted. This year he retrieved a foul ball and after the final two regional games was lucky enough to get many of the Chants to sign the ball. All who autographed the ball did so very willingly and acted so appreciative for being asked. One thing I noticed about these guys was that each one thanked us for our support. That really impressed me.
This community has gained much from the success of this Coastal Carolina baseball team, and I thank the players and staff for that. No amount of money could have purchased the exposure this team has brought to our community.
My sincere hope was that CCU would win the Super Regionals and move on to Omaha for many reasons, most especially because these young men worked so hard and accomplished so much, they really deserved to go. It just wasn't in the cards, as coach Gary Gilmore said; however, the 2010 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers baseball team and coaching staff have earned much respect and the love of all who have supported them this year.
Thanks, team, for a great year, and much success to each of you in your future endeavors.
The writer lives in Loris.