Before the busiest portion of the high school baseball season, the area’s coaches almost universally made the same decree.
Expectations for the Grand Strand’s teams were low, and most finding any sort of success should be considered ahead of schedule, at best.
The sandbagging coach-speak seems to have worked. Four area teams qualified for their class’s respective Lower State tournament, in part due to a bunch of seniors who are being recognized this week. That included five players selected for the North-South All-Star games.
“Clearly we’ve been proving them wrong,” said Waccamaw’s Will Golden, one of the area’s North-South picks. “That fact that we’ve got five guys coming here, it says a lot about the Grand Strand. It means something to be a part of this. You must have done something to get to this point.”
Golden, Myrtle Beach’s Praise Thorsen and Hunter Todd, Carolina Forest’s Cameron Cauble and Carvers Bay’s DaXavier LaSane all suited up Friday for the North-South openers.
The North teams won both games, with the AAAA/A squad topping the South team 10-4, and the AAA/AA North team winning 12-0.
That means all five – who joined SC/NC Select picks Austin Schmitz and Dylan Thompson among the local all-star nods – will finish their high school careers on the same field in the consolation game at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The pair of Seahawks teammates believed playing in the North-South games were a fitting end to suit up with each other one more time.
“You always have someone with you,” Todd said. “It’s someone you’ve had with you your whole life. It’s a great way to end your high school career.”
Said Thorsen: “We’ve known each other for a while. It’s good to know somebody.”
Carvers Bay’s LaSane was separated from the core schools, but he heard much of the same chatter early on. He agreed that it may have been a motivational tactic.
“They can’t predict the future,” the USC-Sumter signee said. “As you go on, you’ve got to see what’s there. We had a decent year. All of us had a decent year.
“It makes you want to go out there and make them want to come to our games, make them see our effort.”
For Cauble, he was the next in the line of Carolina Forest players selected for one of the two all-star events. The Panthers have had eight selections in the past four years, more than any other area team.
He joins Chris Orlando, Erich Knab, Robert Gray, Cullen Marcis, Hayden Rothenburg, Ryan Flynn and Robert Jolly. But he added he believes the school’s four-year streak – also the longest on the Grand Strand – isn’t ending after him.
“Everybody strives to be an all-star at the end of the year,” Cauble said. “It’s good for the program. It’s definitely coming along. Throughout the next couple years, there are going to be more names coming up in the all-star game.”
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