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Phillips receives award from Pageland school

Posted: March 11, 2014 2:56 p.m.
Updated: March 12, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Chronicle-Independent (C-I) staff reporter Gary Phillips recently received a 2013-2014 community service award from Central High School in Pageland. Phillips received the award for supporting Central Eagles athletics while serving as editor of The (Pageland) Progressive Journal. Although Phillips did not attend the event, Central officials announced the award during its Fall Athletic Awards night at the school Feb. 18.

Phillips said he was surprised and honored by the award.

"The coaches, players and administrators at Central High School were always a real pleasure to work with," Phillips said. "I rode the bus with the football and baseball teams to almost all of their away games and it was like a big family. I want to especially thank freelance sportswriter Jerry Haigler. He wrote the vast majority of the stories and all I had to do was take photos. That made it fun for me. Jerry will always be a good friend."

Central High School Head Football Coach Craig Hatcher said Phillips was more than a journalist -- he became part of the Eagles’ family.

"The service award goes to people or a person that helps the program and we felt like Gary went above and beyond to befriend our coaches and players, get a good story and some great pictures that the players always looked forward to seeing," Hatcher said. "I really enjoyed him being around and working very hard with us. It has been a pleasure to get to know him and I hope the acquaintance can continue even though he is now at a different paper."

Phillips joined the C-I team at the end of December and said being a part of the community was important to him in Pageland, a

s it is now in Camden.

"I got to know the coaches and players at Central, but it was even more than that. I got to know many of the parents and the cheerleaders and band members and everyone involved in making sports a big event," he said. "There’s just nothing like a small town."

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