Toast of the Coast

Lacrosse began as an option for Sarah Bryson. She’s since turned it into a lifestyle

A mere novice to the game a few short years ago, St. James’ Sarah Bryson has become one of the top goal scorers in S.C. high school lacrosse.
A mere novice to the game a few short years ago, St. James’ Sarah Bryson has become one of the top goal scorers in S.C. high school lacrosse. jhughes@thesunnews.com

A few years ago, lacrosse was merely an option for Sarah Bryson.

“I was looking for another sport aside from softball,” said the St. James student-athlete prior to her sophomore year at the school.

One would not be able to tell that by watching her during her senior year with the Sharks.

During her final season with the fledgling program, Bryson scored 64 goals while assisting on 13 more. Her work allowed the team to an undefeated regular season and two playoff wins — both program firsts.

As a result, she was named a first team all-state performer at the Class 4A-A level. For her efforts this season, it’s time to add another honor to the list, Bryson being named The Sun News’ Toast of the Coast Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year.

One could argue the 2017 campaign merely put a lid on what proved to be a solid career.

During her sophomore season, she scored a mere 17 goals. The following year she nearly doubled the total, hitting the back of the net 32 times.

However, her final season in a Sharks uniform saw her at her finest, a notion that for Bryson came as she developed a knowledge of the game as well as a love for it.

“I just went out and played (lacrosse), and it was awesome … it was great,” she said. “… (My favorite experience) was every moment, every game, just doing well and growing as a team and making our mark at St. James.”

She leaves the program as its all-time leading scorer with 103 goals. “Getting my 100th goal at Waccamaw (had to be the favorite moment of my career),” she said.

Bryson — who also ran track and played basketball during her time at the school — has signed to play lacrosse at Coker College.

“It being in Hartsville, it just was the best school I’d seen,” she said. “When I hit campus, I knew.”

In much the same fashion in which she earned all-state recognition, Bryson is spending her summer training and getting in shape for the challenge ahead.

Lacrosse also faces its set of hurdles, but everything takes time — a process she understands through experience.

“(Lacrosse) can go bigger,” she said. “They are getting more schools into it, so we’ll have (more) opponents throughout the state.”

Joe L. Hughes II: 843-444-1702, @JoeLHughesII

Editor’s note

This is the third installment in a 10-day series honoring the top athletes from the spring high school sports season. Tomorrow: Boys lacrosse

2017 Toast of the Coast Girls Lacrosse Team

Player of the Year

Sarah Bryson

School: St. James

Year: Senior

Notable: Scored 64 goals and assisted on 13 more en route to leading the Sharks to an undefeated regular season and its first two playoff wins.

Lee Adii

School: Carolina Forest

Year: Senior

Notable: The Panthers midfielder scored 29 goals over the course of the season, with 54 shots on goal. She also forced 24 ground balls, allowing her to be named a Class 5A All-Lower State performer.

Celie Anderson

School: Waccamaw

Year: Senior

Notable: Scored 59 goals this past season for the Warriors, while notching an assist as well. Anderson also forced 23 ground balls this past season.

Callan Curry

School: Carolina Forest

Year: Junior

Notable: Curry scored nine goals during this past season. Her most emphasis, however, was as a defenseman, forcing 36 ground balls and winning 25 face-offs. For her effort, she was named a second team Class 5A performer.

Isabella DiMarino

School: Carolina Forest

Year: Junior

Notable: Scored 26 goals this past season on 64 shots, while assisting on five more. She also forced 26 ground balls, and won 33 face-offs.

May May Henry

School: Waccamaw

Year: Senior

Notable: The Warriors attack scored 29 goals on 59 shots, while assisting on eight other scoring opportunities. Also forced 20 ground balls.

Danielle Johnson

School: Carolina Forest

Year: Senior

Notable: A second team all-state performer, Johnson had 143 saves over the course of the season, stopping better than 55 percent of shots against her.

Ameriah Lawson

School: Socastee

Year: Junior

Notable: The Braves midfielder scored 18 goals this past season on 30 shots. She also forced 14 ground balls.

Sophie Lesando

School: St. James

Year: Junior

Notable: The Sharks’ junior dynamo scored 33 goals and assisted on 20 more this past season, en route to being named a second team all-state Class 4A-A performer.

Kelsey McElroy

School: Socastee

Year: Freshman

Notable: The Braves young midfielder scored 24 goals on 27 shots. She also forced 18 ground balls, while winning a team 73 percent of her face-offs.

Reagan Parr

School: St. James

Year: Junior

Notable: Scored 29 goals on 41 shots attempted for the Sharks, in addition to forcing 13 ground balls and winning 17 face-offs.

Amy Pfefferkorn

School: St. James

Year: Senior

Notable: Scored 17 goals and assisted on 20 more in a banner season for the Sharks.

Kate Weiss

School: St. James

Year: Senior

Notable: Finished second on the team with 36 goals this past season, while winning a team-high 41 draws.

Athena Vereen

School: Myrtle Beach

Year: Senior

Notable: Leaves Myrtle Beach girls lacrosse program as its leading scorer after another solid season for the Seahawks.

Coach of the Year

Michael Lesando

School: St. James

Notable: Led the Sharks to a 13-1 record this past season, along with a pair of playoff wins — both program firsts.

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