Georgetown: ‘we before me’
Georgetown boys soccer coach Chris Hapeshis has been preaching a “we before me” mentality with his team.
And the Bulldogs have bought in.
Following a 1-0 win Friday night over St. James, Georgetown improved to 2-0 in Region VII-AAA play for the first time in a while and the program has been on a steady incline. The Bulldogs had just two region wins in the past three seasons alone.
“It’s a huge win for us,” said Hapeshis, who said his team’s win over the Sharks was the first time Georgetown has beaten St. James in school history. “It was a total team effort and we’ve been preaching that for a long time and they’ve finally bought in. [St. James] might have better players, but we have a better team right now.”
Heading into Friday, the Bulldogs knew they were the heavy underdog but that didn’t stop them from going out and performing. After a scoreless first half, Georgetown’s Samuel Trejo scored the game’s lone goal in the 61st minute to put the Bulldogs up, and goalkeeper Christian Ramirez held off the Sharks.
“We made history,” Trejo said. “And it made it even more special by scoring the game-winner.”
Trejo, who also plays for Coast FA and is Georgetown’s only club soccer player, has taken on a leadership role with Georgetown and the younger players have been listening when he speaks.
“He does so much for this team,” Hapeshis said of Trejo. “At practice, he’ll push the guys and wants them to succeed. He’s a team player.”
St. James had command early on, outshooting the Bulldogs 8-2 in the first half. But the second half was a different story, and the Bulldogs got it together to outshoot the Sharks 9-2 en route to the win.
“I told them that we believe [we can win],” Hapeshis said.
Trejo said Georgetown’s morale is through the roof and that the team has set the bar high
“We felt confident coming in. Now we just need it to keep going and hopefully go undefeated,” he said.
And they’re on the right track. Thanks to Hapeshis and his development of the program.
“We have momentum now and we have some tough matches coming up,” he said. “We have to stay humble and not get complacent.”
Waccamaw boys take command of county
The Waccamaw boys golf team dominated the Claude Kirkland tournament in a battle of Georgetown County rivals.
With a three-day total of 288 (36-under), the Warriors outlasted Georgetown’s 399 (75-over) and Andrews’ 432 (108-over) for the title Thursday in the two-man scramble event held at Cherry Hill Country Club (Tuesday), Wedgefield (Wednesday) and Wachesaw Plantation (Thursday).
“It’s a fun event,” Waccamaw coach Chris Baily said. “The boys really enjoy it every year and always talk about it, with it being that two-man scramble. I’m pleased with the results.”
Last year, the Warriors won the annual tournament with a 296 total and set out to improve on that number this time around. Baily’s group not only beat that goal, but they shined.
“We did it,” Baily said. “It’s good we did. … Georgetown and Andrews are good, young programs and we saw some of the young, talented kids they have coming up.”
Now, Baily said he wants Waccamaw (27-1-1) to keep the ball rolling and has high expectations.
“We’re a strong team. There’s a lot of positives,” he said. “We’ll contend at a lot more events and we’ll even have a shot at the championship if we keep working. It should be a fun year.”
Alston breaks record, sets bar high
Alexus Alston is right where she wants to be.
At the top.
Alston finished first in four events Wednesday at Georgetown High School to lead the St. James girls track and field team to a first-place finish in a four-team event, and with her time of 15.7 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles event, Alston set a new school record.
“Very excitied for Alexus setting a new record at (100m) hurdles,” Sharks coach Ken McSorely said. “It’s just a nice win to pick up some momentum. Some spaces still have a lot of work needed to be done, but I’m pleased with their efforts.”
Alston puts in a lot of work, striving to be the best at what she does. On Wednesday, along with her win in the 100m hurdles, Alston took first in the 100-meter dash (0:12.7), 400m hurdles (1:12.4) and triple jump (34 feet, 4 inches).
While she has impressed thus far, Alston is far from finished.
“She leads this group,” McSorely said. “She’s a positive fuse and her (times) speak for themselves. She’s always trying to better herself and her teammates. She speaks up at practice and gets people to work hard; she has great leadership qualities.”
McSorely said Alston would like to be called Class AAA state champion at 100m hurdles – her bread and butter.
“She loves them,” McSorely said of the event. “And she sets the bar high.”
Meanwhile, Ka’Mauri Humes finished first in the 200-meter dash (0:26.8) and long jump (13 feet, 4 inches), Chelsea Glover took first in the 800m (2:48) and 1,600m (6:35), Karleigh Jones won the 3,200-meter dash (15:04), Abby Rumpf was first in the high jump (4 feet, 4 inches) and Sarah Bryson won the discus throw (71 feet, 7 inches) and shot put (25 feet, 10 inches) for the Sharks.
On the boys’ side, the St. James 3,200-meter relay team (Deep Patel, Ryan Hutes, Jason Brady, Kyle Bailey) took first place with a time of 9:33, Trey Myers took first in 110m hurdles (0:15.22) and 400m hurdles (0:58.34) and Hutes won the 3,200-meter dash (12:13) for the Sharks, who finished third (58 points) behind Georgetown (first, 94) and Andrews (second, 71).
Eighth-grader standing out for Lions
The Loris boys golf team had an unlikely medalist Thursday.
Eighth-grader Chessa Lee, a member of the Lions girls golf team, finished with a 14-over 50 at Dusty Hills Country Club as Loris (206) finished second, falling to Johnsonville (171) in a three-team match as Marion (224) finished third.
“We improved eight strokes from last match. We’re moving in the right direction and for our No. 6 player (Lee) to step up is great,” Lions coach Dave Albrecht said. “It’s a surprise for that young lady to be a medalist for us.”
Lee is able to compete on the boys team since the girls squad played in only six matches, and has been impressing Albrecht and the squad.
“She has been working really hard,” Albrecht said. “And she has a lot of potential, especially for an eighth-grader. … We have a pretty young team, and I have a few seventh-graders not quite ready yet, so it’s nice to have someone fill that No. 6 spot and she has exceeded expectations.”
Albrecht feels that with more development Loris can compete with the best.
“If we don’t set the bar high, they won’t try to get there,” he said. “With some hard work and constant improvement, hopefully by the end of the year we can make it to [the state championship]. We have a long ways to go, but if we keep working – you never know.”
Conway ends drought
Following an 0-10 region slate a season ago, any win would serve as progress for the Conway baseball team.
The Tigers made sure history would not repeat itself in 2016, taking only one game to surpass its win total from the previous baseball campaign.
Sophomore Dustin Herring stifled the South Florence lineup on Tuesday, yielding only three hits as Conway won its region opener 2-0.
“When you weren’t able to win any the previous year, any win in region play that we could get would be progress,” said Conway coach Anthony Carroll. “But I’m proud of these kids and their effort. They played some really good ball tonight, and were able to come away with a win.”
In a league as tough as Region VI-AAAA, there is no such thing as an off night.
Including Conway and South Florence, the state’s No. 1 team in Class AAAA resides in the conference — Carolina Forest. Perennial powerhouse Sumter, as well as Socastee and West Florence.
Despite the glee of his team getting the proverbial monkey off its back, Carroll also admits there is a long way to go.
“We have a long way to go, so we’re going to get right back to practice and see how we can get better,” he said.
The Sun News will highlight a handful of area high school teams and/or athletes each week. To increase the chances of being featured, coaches are encouraged to call in their scores and make themselves available for a short interview.