Top 15 local sports stories of 2010
Sun, 26 Dec 2010 03:16:27 GMT —
#15: Carolina Forest and Surfisde Youth Baseball Excel
Two youth baseball teams made big headlines in 2010. The Carolina Forest Little League 11 and 12 year olds won the South Carolina state champioship. They beat Abbeville 9-5 to take the state crown. Carolina Forest advanced to the Southeast Regionals in Warner Robbins, Georgia falling just four wins short of making it to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. Meanwhile, the Junior Dixie Boys from Surfside Beach had only twelve players on their roster, but they packed a punch. Surfside won the Dixie Youth World Series Championship in Dothan, Alabama. It was the second straight year that a team from Surfside won a Dixie title.
#14 Waccamaw wins the 2009/2010 WPDE Zone Cup
The Zone Cup is awarded to the area high school with the best overall performance in varsity sports. Waccamaw had four state champions and scored points in 14 varsity sports. Waccamaw has won the WPDE Zone Cup four of the past five year.
#13 Myrtle Beach wins the 3A football state championship
Myrtle Beach upset South Pointe 27-23 behind three touchdown passes from two time WPDE Zoneman winner Everett Golson. Golson and the Seahawks fell behind 16-7 at the half and were down by 9 points at the end of three quarters before rallying. Golson's TD pass to Dallas Goodman proved to be the difference. The Seahawks have now won six state titles in school history.
#12 Denny Hamlin sweeps Darlington weekend
Denny Hamlin had a big weekend on the NASCAR circuit at Darlington Raceway sweeping both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races last May. He's only the third driver to turn the trick at the Lady in Black joining Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and Mark Martin. Hamlin's Southner 500 victory was his first at the track and one of eight trips to victory lane in 2010. Hamlin finished second in the championship points to Jimmie Johnson.
#11 Lake City RB Shon Carson wins the WPDE Zoneman
Carson was the area's leading rusher with nearly 2300 yards on the ground and 33 touchdowns. The future South Carolina Gamecock won the Zoneman by a landslide in the final voting by area head coaches and the media. Carson went on to win Offensive MVP honors at the Shrine Bowl and will play in the Offense-Defense All American bowl in Myrtle Beach on New Year's Eve.
#10 Myrtle Beach Pelicans switch affiliations
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans stunned the Grand Strand by changing its minor league affiliaton. For 12 seasons, the Pelicans were a Single-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves producing more than 70 big leaguers. New Texas Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg, who also owns the Pelicans, decided to move the Birds under his umbrella. The Pelicans will take the place of the former High-A affiliate in Bakersfield, California. Following that announcement, the American League champions agreed to come to BB&T Coastal Field for an exhibtion game against Coastal Carolina prior to the start of the MLB season. The Braves moved their Single-A club to Lynchburg, Virginia.
#9 Felton and Sessions switch teams
A pair of former WPDE Mister Hoop Zone winners switched NBA teams. Ex-Latta high star Raymond Felton left the Charlotte Bobcats as an unrestricted free agent to take up residence with the New York Knicks. Felton will make seven million dollars this season playing point guard for the Knicks. Felton has already energized the Knicks helping them move into second place in the Atlantic Division behind the Celtics. Meanwhile, Ramon Sessions was traded along with Ryan Hollins from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In exchange, the T-Wolves got Delonte West and Sebastian Telfair. Sessions is averaging about 10 points a game playing backup point guard for the Cavs and will make nearly four million dollars this eason..
#8 Marcus Lattimore commits to the Gamecocks
Five-Star running back Marcus Lattimore of Byrnes HS decided to stay in-state and play for the South Carolina Gamecocks. The 2009 South Carolina Mister Football picked USC over Auburn, Penn State and Oregon. As a freshman, he finished second in the SEC in rushing and was a major reason why South Carolina made it to the SEC Championship game.
#7 Coastal Carolina Football makes the FCS playoffs
The CCU football team was given up for dead after starting the season with a 2-5 record, but head coach David Bennett rallied the Chanticleers. CCU won the final four games of the season to earn a share of the Big South Conference championship. The Chants won a tie-breaker on the final day of the regular season and made the FCS playoffs for the second time in the program's eight year history. Coastal lost in the first round to Western Illinois at home, but what a year it was for the Coastal Carolina footblal team making the playoffs when nearly everyone counted them out.
#6 Coastal Carolina basketball sets win mark and reaches NIT
The CCU basketball team set a school recorde by winning 28 games and earning a spot in the NIT for their first post-season appearance in 17 years. CCU won the Big South regular season with Joe Harris breaking the all-time conference record for rebounding and head coach Cliff Ellis earning Big South coach of the year honors. CCU lost in the first round of the NIT to to UAB Blazers.
#5 Everett Golson commits to Notre Dame
Myrtle Beach QB Everett Golson was an early commitment to the North Carolina Tar Heels, but lingering concerns about an NCAA investigation opened the door for Golson to reconsider. Golson made a trip to South Bend, Indiana and switched his pledge ot the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. The two time WPDE Zoneman iwnner plans to enroll at Notre Dame in January.
#4 CCU Baseball wins an NCAA Regional, hosts a Super Regional
The Coastal Carolina baseball team earned the number four national seed in the NCAA Tournament. CCU won a Big South record 55 games. Coastal won their NCAA Regional with two thrilling wins over the College of Charleston. On a Sunday night elimination game, Rico Noel hit a walk-off home run to force a winner take all Monday afternoon thriller. CCU won the clincher 11-10 in ten innings. CCU then hosted a Super Regional for the first time ever and lost to eventual national champion South Carolina. Head Coach Gary Gilmore was named Big South coach of the year for a sixth time.
#3 Dustin Johnson contends in two majors in 2010
Coastal Carolina produce Dustin Johnson earned two PGA Tour victories in 2010. He captured the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach and later won the BMW Championship. Johnson also led two majors on the final day. At the US Open, Johnson had the 54 hole lead at Pebble Beach, but shot an 82 in the fourth round to finish in a tie for 8th. On the final hole of the PGA Championship, not realizing he was in a bunker, Dustin grounded his club in an area that was surrounded by fans and not looking like the traditional bunker on a golf course. The two stroke penalty cost him a chance at his first major title. It will go down as one of the most talked about rules infracations in golf history. Dustin went on to earn a spot in the Ryder Cup and later teamed with Ian Poulter to win the Shark Shootout. Dustin Johnson has earned nearly $5,000,000 this year.
#2 Gamecocks Football wins the SEC East, upsets #1 Alabama
The South Carolina Gamecocks football team beat number one ranked and defending national champion Alabama 35-21. It was the first time in their 118 year history that the Gamecocks had beaten a top ranked football team. The Gamecocks went on to win the SEC East before losing to Auburn in the SEC Championship game. The Gamecocks will make only their 15th post-season appearance in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl against Florida State on New Year's Eve.
#1 Gamecocks win baseball national championship
After 26 post-season appearances and nine trips to the College World Series, the Gamecocks finally did it as Whit Merrifield delivered the biggest hit in South Carolina history in the 11th inning to bring home Scott Wingo with the game winner. South Carolina's 2-1 win over UCLA was the last game to be played at historic Rosenblatt Stadium. Despite losing their World Series opener, the Gamecocks won six straight games with their back against the wall to pull off one of the most important athletic moments in the history of the school.