Eventually, it had to come to this.
The individual and team pursuit of state titles becomes real for area athletes on Saturday, part of a bonanza of events on the spring sports calendar.
Here’s a look at what lies ahead:
Baseball: Aynor paid a visit to Lake City on Friday night, with the winner traveling to Bishop England on Saturday in the Lower State 3A winner’s bracket. Waccamaw awaits the loser in a win-or-go home matchup, this following a 6-4 loss Thursday night to the Battling Bishops.
Green Sea Floyds also finds itself in an elimination game, playing host to Hannah-Pamplico at 3 p.m.
Softball: A trio of area clubs begin the second leg in their respective pursuits of state gold. Both starting at 3 p.m., Conway will play host to White Knoll while Green Sea Floyds welcomes Branchville. At 5 p.m., Hanahan makes the journey to Horry County to take on Aynor.
Boys soccer: Following a Chris Matlashewski golden goal in sudden death, Socastee earned the right to host either River Bluff or Fort Dorchester in the Lower State 5A boys soccer semifinal round.
Myrtle Beach also awaits its opponent, the Seahawks either making the trip to Chapin or welcoming Crestwood to Ashley Booth Field.
Track and field: Next week, the state’s best on the track will convene at Harry Parone Stadium in Columbia for the state meet. Before then, area athletes have their share of work to do at state qualifiers.
Track teams in Class 5A will get their first look at Parone Stadium on Saturday, hoping to make a return trip next week. The top five finishers in each event from Region VI-5A will advance to the state track meet.
As for Class 4A, its track teams will convene at York High School — 30 minutes outside of Rock Hill — for this year’s state qualifier, while Lower State 3A teams will travel to Bishop England High School to decide who advances to next week’s state event.
The Lower State 2A meet will be held at Woodland High School in Dorchester, while the Lower State A championships are scheduled to take place at Scott’s Branch High School in Summerton.