Ask any student-athlete about what number they want to be in anything and, more than likely, the answer you get will be "first."
There's an old baseball adage which says that you can never have enough pitching. This year, thanks to an influx of arms and a new three-game-a-week League III schedule, the Kershaw County Post 17 American Legion baseball team may well have mound talent to burn.
Grey Hoke saw his stock soar after he threw a three-hitter at A.C. Flora which played a large role in Camden's 2-1 win on April 4.
Midway during his senior season, Emmonti Payne was shifted from his outside linebacker post to fullback by the football staff at Lugoff-Elgin High School.
Abbey Cheek flew out to centerfield in her second at-bat in Chapman's 10-3 win over Camden in Wednesday's 3A District 4 softball elimination game.
Fighting fire with fire, Lugoff-Elgin answered Hillcrest's five-run top of the third inning by hanging up a four-spot in the bottom half of the frame before tacking on four more an inning later to advance to the final round of the 4A District 3 softball tournament with an 11-5 win over the visiting Rams on Monday night.
Among the things lost in Camden's extended one-run bottom of the sixth in Friday's AAA District I baseball tournament opener with Woodruff was the effect the length of the inning had on its starting pitcher Grey Hoke.
In the final practice before Thursday's 4A District 3 softball tournament opener, Lugoff-Elgin spent plenty of time working on its bunting.
Thousands of ponies have galloped over its expansive grass field, with riders in tow, smacking a plastic white ball for more than 116 years. But the Camden Polo Field never had a match like the one it survived in 1999.
Having heard from even the most talent-laden teams about how a successful season has been a pleasant surprise, it is refreshing when a coach of a squad in the midst of one of its best seasons in school history says he had a feeling this would be a special campaign.
This was a game in which Camden was supposed to romp to victory and carry a full head of steam into Friday's opening round of the AAA state baseball playoffs.
Mike Robinson is really getting the hang of these college signing ceremonies.
Leaving nothing to chance, Camden head coach Denny Beckley signaled Josh Hough to run to the bullpen as soon as Chapin opened the top of the seventh of Friday's game with back-to-back singles.
Adding injury to injury on top of insult, Lugoff-Elgin head baseball coach Randy Stokes refused to play the "woe is me" card following his team's fourth straight loss.
Protecting the perimeter has been a credo for armies through the ages. And if that strategy is good enough to prevent enemy invasions, it is good enough for a softball team.
As he was heading home in the wee hours of Friday morning from Thursday's evening's baseball game at Georgetown, Kershaw County American Legion baseball team pitching coach Will Dorton stopped by a gas station to fill his car's tank. While there, Dorton, who still had his Post 17 uniform on, had a local police officer come up to him asking how the team did and who was pitching in that night's third game.
Kershaw County will make its long-awaited American Legion State Tournament debut on Saturday when Post 17 takes on Rock Hill in the third (scheduled for 4:30 p.m.) game at Riley Park in Sumter.
Before they left following Wednesday morning's off-season contioning session, members of the Lugoff-Elgin football team took a knee and listened to their head coach who was in his third full day on the job.
It was a normal day which was about to take an abrupt U-turn.
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