All-County Boys Soccer: Matlashewski tops team

Grand Strand Sports Report and Waccamaw Publishers are teaming up to recognize the best prep athletes in Horry County. The format features a player and coach of the year, plus one player from each school. This is the first installment of out all-county teams.

Chris Matlashewski was a diehard Gamecocks fan when he headed to Clemson soccer camp two years ago. Not only was he converted, he was also recruited by the Tigers.

“I went up there my sophomore year and I loved it,” said Matlashewski, who was named the All-Horry County Player of the Year following a successful four-year career at Socastee. “That was my dream school and I went back for a visit in August. They pulled the trigger and I accepted on the spot. I’m excited to get started next month.”

Matlashewski earned his ticket to Tigertown with a stellar stint at Socastee. He scored 29 goals and dished out 17 assists in his senior season, giving him 120 goals and assists as an attacking midfielder/forward.

But he says his proudest accomplishments are what he and his teammates were able to achieve, including a 40-0 region record.

“It didn’t end the way we wanted, but this was supposed to be a rebuilding year,” said Matlashewski, whose Braves were knocked out in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs. “We had a rough start, but we bonded as a team and went on a 17-game winning streak. It was a fun season. I made a lot of great memories with my teammates.”

Matlashewski was picked to play in the Clash of the Carolinas all-star game next month but will already be at Clemson getting ready for the fall season. Coach Joseph Owen, for one, has no doubt there’s more to come. “Chris is one of the most talented players I have ever coached,” he said. “The sky is the limit for his soccer career.”

Matlashewski headlines an impressive list of all-county players who were considered for POY. Myrtle Beach’s Sam Chestnut had a breakout junior year with 35 goals; Christian Academy senior goalkeeper John Sessums had over 100 saves; and St. James senior/Coastal Carolina commit Luke Williams’ season was cut short by injury.

Myrtle Beach’s Jason Himmelsbach was named the Coach of the Year after leading the young Seahawks to a 21-6 record and the Region 7-4A title. He returns a strong lineup in 2019.

ALL-COUNTY BOYS SOCCER TEAM
Player of the Year – Chris Matlashewski, Socastee
Coach of the Year – Jason Himmelsbach, Myrtle Beach
Aynor – Dylan West
Carolina Forest – Anthony Powalie
Christian Academy of MB – John Sessums
Conway – Sammy Sawyer
Loris – Brandon Bandel
Myrtle Beach – Sam Coughlin
North Myrtle Beach – Hamdane Aoudou
Socastee – Zendon Andrews
St. James – Luke Williams

Photo by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews

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