High School Sports

Aynor baseball players receive state championship bling

Aynor baseball players are honored during halftime of last Friday’s football game.
Aynor baseball players are honored during halftime of last Friday’s football game. Submitted photo

Nearly five months removed from making history, Chad Sarvis still regularly asks himself, “is this life, or am I dreaming?”

Taking over the baseball program at Aynor – his alma mater – nearly 20 years ago, Sarvis molded it into a perennial powerhouse, respected statewide for its consistency and humility.

The team had done nearly everything it could do in S.C. high school baseball, checking off the list one-by-one:

▪ Region title

▪ District champions

▪ Best in the Lower State

In May, the Blue Jackets finally allowed their longtime skipper to check off the last of those goals, claiming the 2016 Class 2A state championship.

“It still seems like a dream to me,” Sarvis said. “Winning the first-ever baseball championship in Aynor High School history, it is something I’ll always cherish. Especially being a 1991 graduate of the school, the place where I got my start, this is something that will always be special to me.”

No pinching will be necessary to wake the Aynor baseball coach from his five-month dream, though. Slipping a gaudy championship ring on his finger may do the trick.

The entire band was back at Aynor on Friday night, members of the 2016 title team being given their rings. According to Sarvis, it is one of the first times the baseball squad was together in full since its glorious dog pile in Sumter following the final out against Strom Thurmond.

About as important, though, was the opportunity to share the occasion with the community.

“This community loves Aynor baseball, Aynor athletics,” Sarvis said. “You’ve been out to our baseball games and other athletic events, everyone loves the kids. It certainly makes for a special night.”