It’s a tale of two tennis teams, where one has to win and one has to lose. But both coaches were extremely happy with what they saw on the courts. The season has just begun and you would be hard pressed trying to decide who won and who lost. Both teams performed extremely well and the players and coaches are looking forward to another successful year.
The Socastee Braves traveled up to the Myrtle Beach Seahawks Monday and came away with a hard-fought 4-2 victory. This opening match was a non-conference contest between two traditional rivalries that are now in separate regions. Socastee moved up to Region VI-AAAA last year and Myrtle Beach remains in Region VII-AAA.
Socastee jumped out ahead with convincing wins a No’s 1 and 4 singles but Myrtle Beach stormed back with victories at No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles. Two matches were still in progress and looked very tight.
Although the Braves won both matches, they went down to the wire.
“Myrtle Beach gave us everything we could handle,” Socastee coach Kirk McQuiddy said. “We only won 4-2 and it was close enough that it actually could have gone either way.”
The fourth-year coach was proud of the way his team responded under pressure and feels matches like this will make his team stronger as they continue through the season. He saw his players dig deep when they had to and come up with the big plays for the win.
“I see a team that is going to improve over the season,” McQuiddy said. “They’re going to be together for this year and next year so we should continue to be a very strong program. But what really impressed me tonight was that the kids that were supposed to win …did… and the two fellows in those tough matches were able to dig deep and do whatever they had to do to gives us a win. And that’s what a strong team is all about … when you need a win you can rely on any one of your five singles players to bring home a win.”
When asked what kind of team will you have this year, Socastee’s No. 1 singles player Britton Bellamy responded with one word, “Balance?” Bellamy stated the top players are fairly equal and that anyone could beat anyone on any given day.
“My boys did everything I asked,” Myrtle Beach coach John Hairston said. “Socastee is a deep strong team but my young players responded well and the future looks bright for Seahawk tennis.”
Coach Hairston commented this was the strongest and hardest working team he has ever had during his four-year tenure as the Seahawk coach. He has an even distribution of players from the seventh grade to seniors and with the help of the school administration he has been able to build a solid program for Seahawk tennis.
“We have a really good team this year,” Seahawk freshman John Ed Cahill said. “We have a deep team and we’re excited and loud and we like to cheer each other on.”
Last year Myrtle Beach came in second in the region with conference members Wilson, North Myrtle Beach, St. James and Georgetown.
Results of last Monday’s Myrtle Beach/Socastee match were: No. 1 Singles Britton Bellamy (Soc) def. John Ed Cahill 6-1, 6-2; No. 2 Noah Johnson (Soc) def. Isaac Giddens 6-4, 6-4; No. 3 Josh Wallen (MB) def. Robert Warstler 6-2, 6-1; No. 4 Connor Barr (Soc) def. Corbin Duerk 6-0, 6-0; No. 5 Brent Glasgow (Soc) def. WJ Vaught 6-4, 7-6. No. 2 Doubles: Ryan Burch/Grant Singleton (MB) def. Nick LeFevre/Brandon Rogers 6-4, 6-2.
Neal Peterson • 650-5505