Published on 1/3/2013
By Chris Sokoloski
Here are some of the events that made 2012 a memorable sports year in Georgetown County.
* Taylor Headden signed to play softball at USC-Salkehatchie in April.
* Mason Brett signed to play baseball at USC- Sumter in April and participated in the North-South All-Star Game at the Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach in June.
"It's the best baseball you're going to see in South Carolina," Brett said.
* Jaleel Filmore won the varsity 150-pound division at the S.C. High School Weightlifting Championship in May. It was his second weighlifting state title. Todelle Darby finished third in the 205-pound division.
* The softball team made it to the Lower State semi-finals where they lost to Dillon in May. The baseball team lost in the District VII finals.
* Harold Langley Jr. signed to play basketball at USC-Salkehatchie in June.
* 2007 graduate Josh McElwee was drafted by the Texas Rangers in June, and after a short stint with the Spokane Indians, he finished the season with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
"I feel like if I get an opportunity I can make the best of it. Hard work will get me up there. Maybe I'll get a shot at playing in the big leagues one day," McElwee said before he was drafted.
* Former softball and volleyball coach Meagan Johnson was inducted into the Coastal Carolina University Athletics Hall of Fame in November.
* Teondre Bromell signed to play basketball at Olney Central College in May.
"I have high hopes of going to the NBA and it all starts right here," Bromell said.
* The boys track team won the Region VII-A title in April and the girls team was second. Randy Dozier, Rakiem Palmer, Rayshod Pittman and Devino Cuttino won the 4x100 relay at the state track meet in May. Da'Shaun Aiken was third in the long jump. The Bears finished third in the team competition. Desaree Green finished third in the high jump for the Lady Bears.
* The Geathers family held a free football camp at the school in May featuring several current and former NFL players.
"I wanted to bring my teammates home with me to let them see how we live, and to give back to the community," said Clifton Geathers.
* The football team won the Region VII-A title on the last night of the regular season in October and was a No. 1 seed in the Lower State. The Bears then lost in the first round of the playoffs to Hemingway.
* The volleyball team won 11 games and a Region VII-A title, but lost in its first playoff match in October.
* Basketball players Da'Shaun Aiken and Jasmine Eaddy were named to the preseason top 5 in Class A by the Coastal Basketball Coaches Association in November. Aiken also hit a shot from beyond half-court to beat Georgetown in the finals of Georgetown Dental Shootout in November.
* The Georgetown Belles qualified for the state tournament but did not make the World Series for the first time in six years.
* Baseball players from around South Carolina descended on Georgetown in July for the O-Zone state tournament, the first tournament to be played at the county's new 8 Oaks Park. Andrews and Pawleys Island fell in the early rounds and the eventual champion was Midland.
* Teams for North Carolina won the Dixie Darlings and Dixie Angels Softball World Series at 8 Oaks Park in August.
* Evan Runion placed second in a National Junior Golf Tour event in Garden City in January.
* LeeShawn Cromedy signed to play football with North Greenville in February.
* Caroline Pender signed to play golf for Spartanburg Methodist College in March.
* Trenton Grate-Reed signed to play football at Newberry College in March.
* Cody Floyd won the S.C. High School Weightlifting Championship in May.
* The softball team won the District VII championship and made it all the way to the Lower State finals before losing to Hartsville in May.
"A chance to play for the Lower State championship was a very big thing for us. I hope it prepares us to be state champions next year," said coach Al Hutchinson.
* Katie Lunsford signed to play softball at Aiken Tech in May.
* Leonard Leak signed to play football at The Apprentice School in April and Korey Ward signed in May.
* Baseball player Mac Jordan participated in the North-South All-Star Game at the Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach in June.
* Baseball coach Mike Johnson became the winningest active high school coach in June after the retirement of David Horton of Bamberg-Ehrhardt. Johnson has won 733 games in 43 years. Mike Johnson Park was named the best high school baseball facility in the state in December.
"I've been blessed to have the opportunity to take care of it. I've just always loved the old place," said Johnson, who after 42 years of coaching has no plans to retire.
* Michelle West signed to play volleyball with Coker College in June.
"It seems like my life has been school and volleyball," West said.
* Catcher Seth Wall tried out for a spot on the USA Baseball squad in August.
* Megan Strickland signed to play softball with Coker College in November. She also participated in the Queen of Diamonds Showcase South in August.
* Anthony Blair and Dillon Alford were named to the South squad for the 64th annual North-South All-Star Football Game in Myrtle Beach in December.
"They're there because they have worked harder than anybody else. You're not going to get what you want unless you put your heart into it," said coach Bradley Adams.
Lowcountry Prep School
* The girls basketball team beat James Island in February to win the SCISA Class A state title. The Fighting Marlins also beat the Lions in 2011 in the state championship game. Rachel Exum scored her 1,000th point in January and her 1,500th point in December.
* Seventh-grader Luke Gordon won his division in the Rip Curl Gromsearch National Championships in November.
* Mark Prudhomme of Georgetown won his fourth straight National Wild Turkey Federation Rare Breed Champion of Champions trophy in February.
* Former Carvers Bay and Pleasant Hill basketball coach Barry Triplett was inducted into the S.C. Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in March. Triplett won 514 games and two state titles.
"He always encouraged me to coach. He never made me feel like I was his assistant. He made me feel like I was an integral part of the team," said Carvers Bay basketball coach Jeff Mezzatesta, who considers Triplett to be a second father.
* In the annual Race for the Inlet in March, Billy Krier and Krystal Patton, both of Myrtle Beach, were the top finishers in the 5K division; and Steven Egnatoff of W. Va., and Lisa Tolley of Seneca were the top finishers in the 8K division.
* Kris Kelly of Murrells Inlet bowled his first 300 game in March. It was also the first 300 game at the Frank Entertainment lanes at Inlet Square Mall.
* God's Favorites won the YMCA Adult Basketball League in March for the third straight year.
* Eight-year-old Chloe McKellar of Murrells Inlet won a state gymnastics title in April.
"It's fun and I get to do what I love," Chloe said.
* The Beach United Football Club Crush '99 girls u-12 team won the state championship in April.
* Zola Pieterse of Myrtle Beach, Dillon Phipps of Loris and Elliott Winn of Pawleys Island were the top three finishers in the fourth annual St. Christopher's 5K Fun Run/Walk in May.
* Virgil Dugan of Georgetown sank his second hole-in-one at Wedgefield Plantation in June. Dugan took up golfing after losing an arm in an industrial accident in 1964.
* The Wachesaw Equestrian Center reopened under new management in July.
* Toronto King of Pleasant Hill won a long jump title in the Hershey's Track and Field South Carolina championships in July.
* Georgetown's 8U Machine Pitch baseball team won the Back to School Madness tournament in Myrtle Beach in August.
* Joey Alba signed to play basketball with Laramie Community College in August.
* 11-year-old angler Cole Suggs of Charleston caught a 40.8-pound fish to help BeerAbility win the Tailwalker Marine Offshore Challenge in August.
* The County Thunder won the 12U division of the Beach Brawl baseball tournament in Myrtle Beach in September.
* The Georgetown Diamond Dogs and the Pawleys Island Rebels won their brackets at the Columbus Day Challenge in Myrtle Beach in October.
* Two Georgetown County swimmers - John Grey Crosby and Quinn Barrier - qualified for the YMCA Southeast Regional competition in October.
* In the second annual Bridge2Bridge run in Georgetown in October, Frank Pepp and Misty White were the top finishers in the half marathon, and Tyler Cross of Charleston and Mary Cooper Jordan of Georgetown were the top finishers in the 5K.
* The Marlins won the East Bay Minor League Division with a 13-1 record in June.
* Georgetown County officials cut the ribbon on the new 8 Oaks Park in Georgetown on July 11 and Stables Park in Pawleys Island on Oct. 22.
* Nick Davis signed to play football with the Greenville Titans in February.
* Casey Altman signed to play tennis at Coker College in March.
* The boys tennis team won the state title in May. It was the fifth state title for the boys, and ninth for coach James Brown.
* The girls track team won the Region VII-AA title in April. Grace Barnett won titles in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meters at the state track meet in May. She was also second in the 4x800 relay with Mackenzie Arnold, Kristina Chandler and Amelia Jones. The Lady Warriors finished second in the team competition.
* The baseball and softball teams lost to Hanahan in the District VI finals in May.
* Taylor King signed to play soccer with USC Sumpter in February and teammate Sam Mauney signed in May, weeks before the school dropped the program.
* Jaquan Rogers signed to play football with the Greenville Titans in May.
* After ending a 15-game losing streak to Bishop England with a win in the Lower State semi-finals, the boys soccer team lost 1-0 to Academic Magnet in the Lower State final in May.
"They did a great job. They're great kids. They can walk away knowing they knocked off Bishop England. It's a new day in certain ways here and I thing they're responsible for that," Waccamaw coach Ben Schoen said about his seniors.
* Kacie Williams signed to play volleyball for Newberry College in May.
* Boys tennis coach James Brown rode his bicycle 2,584 miles from Huntington Beach, Calif., to Surfside Beach to raise money for the Ashley G Foundation. It took him 42 days in June and July.
"It's hard for me to fathom that we started in California and we're across the United States," Brown said.
* Tolley Rice signed to play tennis at Elon University and won her fourth straight individual state tennis title in November.
* Sarah Elliott signed to play tennis for Coker College in November.
* The Competitive Cheerleading squad won the Class AA Lower State title in November and finished third at the state meet.
* For the sixth straight year, the volleyball lost to Bishop England in the Lower State final in November. The girls tennis team also lost to Bishop England in the Lower State final.
"I'm disappointed because I knew we could have beat them but I'm happy to be a part of such a great team," said Melaina Moore after the volleyball team's loss.
* The girls finished second and the boys finished third at the state cross country meet in November. Individually, Grace Barnett was second and Robert Jones was third.
* The girls golf team finished fourth at the Lower State tournament in October and ninth at the state tournament in November.
* Adam Dear signed to swim for East Carolina University in December.
* Riley Morris signed to play softball at Coker College in December.