Athlete of the Week: Butler leads CAMB into spotlight

The Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach boys basketball program has grabbed headlines in recent years by winning three SCISA Class A state titles. Now the Lady Saints are looking to follow in their sneaker steps.

And no one on the CAMB campus personifies the progress the girls hoops program has made than Mary Chandler Butler, a sophomore point guard who was named the Mammy’s Kitchen “Athlete of the Week” award for her recent play.

Beginning on the varsity squad as a fourth-grader due to the lack of numbers in the school to field a full varsity roster, Butler has seen the girls go from the step-sisters to the boys team to holding their own.

“This is one of our better seasons and it feels good to be competitive with a lot of the teams we play,” Butler said of the Lady Saints, who are off to a 4-5 start. “When I first started playing half the team was eighth-graders, so it was tough for us to play against older teams, but now we’ve got a pretty tight group.”

After struggling through the difficult years, Butler is beginning to see the fruits of her and her teammates’ labor. After borrowing home courts for the past six seasons, CAMB will open its own school gym next month.

“It’s going to be nice because we’ve had to borrow a gym (First Baptist Church) for so long,” Butler said. “Sometimes there’s a scheduling conflict and we get kicked off the court. It’s going to be great to have our own place to play.”

Butler also has been a big part of the school’s emergence in other sports. She helped CAMB reach the SCISA Class A state championship match in volleyball before falling just short of a first girls state championship for the school. She hopes it’s just the beginning steps for the Lady Saints to make a name for themselves.

“We are the underdogs, but it wasn’t as hard to get girls to come out for volleyball as it has been for basketball,” said Butler, who is averaging 15.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game this season. “For whatever reason the interest hasn’t been there, but that’s starting to change.”

Butler, who also stars for her Coast FA travel soccer club, is happy to be a part of the group of girls who are turning things around at CAMB. With a new school, gym and more students on the way, she hopes to hang a state title banner to hang next to the boys’ growing collection.

“That’s really our goal, and we have a lot of talent coming up in the younger grades to make a run at it for the next couple of years,” Butler said. “It was tough being the young one for so long. I never scored that much so the first two years were hard. Now it would be great to go out with a state championship.”

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