Athlete of the Week: Gerber leaves ice for greener sport

cflax-gerberJust as winter turns to spring in three short months, Carolina Forest lacrosse standout Phil Gerber made the transition from the ice to grass in three short years.

The former hockey player officially switched sticks and sports as a sophomore, and he graduates as one of the state’s leaders in various statistical categories. More important was the senior captain’s leadership in the Panthers’ first-ever SCHSL playoff berth.

After relocating to the Grand Strand from New Jersey in the third grade, Gerber played roller hockey at Market Common and ice hockey in Wilmington (NC) before taking a swing at lacrosse. What started out as an experiment gone wrong quickly became Gerber’s new-found sports passion.

“I loved playing hockey. It must have been in my blood, but the travel made it tough,” said Gerber, who was voted the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week. “My freshman year the lacrosse team’s goalie was sick and they asked me to try it since I had a hockey background. I tried it in practice and I didn’t do so well. I wasn’t a goalie but I did like the sport. That’s how it all started.”

Although Gerber’s hockey background didn’t translate well between the pipes, his stick skills came in handy as he made the transition to midfielder, where he ranked sixth in the state in face-off percentage and eighth in the state in groundballs. He also was one of the Coastal League’s leaders in assists, making him a much-needed work horse on a talent-rich team.

“The transition came pretty easy for me. I played summer league for the Swamp Foxes and a lot of my teammates helped me learn the game,” Gerber said. “I really like winning face-offs and groundballs. You’re not the one scoring a lot of goals but you do get to win the ball and get it to the scorers. I take pride in doing the things that help my team win.”

That task was made more difficult by a tough schedule designed to improve Carolina Forest’s playoff resume. After being overlooked for the postseason last year, the Panthers beefed up their schedule to include state powers Academic Magnet, Blythewood and River Bluff. Going 11-1 netted them a postseason bid before falling in the first round last week.

Gerber leaves the program with a lot of momentum, and he is happy to see the foundation has been laid at Carolina Forest for future teams to build upon. His experiment in lacrosse also opened a new door for Gerber, who will play at the next level at Greensboro (NC) College in the fall on an academic scholarship. Not bad for a converted hockey player.

“Even though I wasn’t one of the guys who helped start the (Carolina Forest) program, it feels awesome that I was able to help take it to the next level,” Gerber said. “We’ve got a lot of younger guys coming up to build on what we’ve started. I hope they can keep it going.”

Photo by John Daly

Comments

comments

Pelicans open second half with eye on playoff streak

Pelicans open second half with eye on playoff streakThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans begin the second half of the [more]

Mutiny gives Strand fans small taste of World Cup

Mutiny gives Strand fans small taste of World CupAmerican soccer fans don't have a rooting interest in this [more]

All-County Track & Field: Second shots strike silver

All-County Track & Field: Second shots strike silverThe frontrunners in this year's My Horry News All-County Girls [more]

Pelicans help propel South to victory in All-Star Game

Pelicans help propel South to victory in All-Star GameA pair of Myrtle Beach Pelicans played key roles in [more]

NMB's Ballard, MB's Coble reconnect at North-South

NMB's Ballard, MB's Coble reconnect at North-SouthA pair of former teammates and rivals joined forces for [more]

Pelicans fail to finish .500 after losing first-half finale

Pelicans fail to finish .500 after losing first-half finaleThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans dropped their final game of the [more]

CCU's Biermann, Lancaster make All-American squad

CCU's Biermann, Lancaster make All-American squadCoastal Carolina shortstop Seth Lancaster and designated hitter Zach Biermann [more]

Ibarrondo comes to rescue to rally first-place Mutiny

Ibarrondo comes to rescue to rally first-place Mutiny The Myrtle Beach Mutiny needed a wake-up call late Saturday [more]

Pelicans split twinbill with Mudcats, play finale today

Pelicans split twinbill with Mudcats, play finale todayAfter the Myrtle Beach Pelicans fell 2-1 to the Carolina [more]

Pelicans lose fifth straight, play doubleheader today

Pelicans lose fifth straight, play doubleheader todayVictor Diaz's seven strong innings for the Carolina Mudcats were [more]

All-County Boys Tennis: Johnson, MB duo top list

All-County Boys Tennis: Johnson, MB duo top listThe future looks bright for the sport of high school [more]

Hess carves his way to Team USA surfing nod

Hess carves his way to Team USA surfing nodCarter Hess carved his way to a spot on the [more]

Pelicans' bullpen spoils Thompson's perfect start

Pelicans' bullpen spoils Thompson's perfect startAfter Keegan Thompson was removed following seven perfect innings for [more]

Piggot feasts, scores four goals to lead Mutiny win

Piggot feasts, scores four goals to lead Mutiny winThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny rolled to a 6-0 victory over [more]

CCU trio makes all-region; Lancaster an All-American

CCU trio makes all-region; Lancaster an All-AmericanCoastal Carolina shortstop Seth Lancaster was named to the Perfect [more]

Braves' icons Avery, Jones to appear at Pelicans game

Braves' icons Avery, Jones to appear at Pelicans gameThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans will welcome former MLB All-Stars and [more]

Coastal guard Labinowicz announces plan to transfer

Coastal guard Labinowicz announces plan to transferCoastal Carolina University men's basketball player Artur Labinowicz plans to [more]

Report: Myrtle Beach Bowl 'near lock' for 2020 kickoff

Report: Myrtle Beach Bowl 'near lock' for 2020 kickoffIn yet another development in the Grand Strand's booming sports [more]

Adaptive surfers depart for US Surfing Championship

Adaptive surfers depart for US Surfing ChampionshipLocal surfers, volunteers, and family members gathered at the Charleston [more]

All-County Boys Golf: MB's Jarman trades bat for club

All-County Boys Golf: MB's Jarman trades bat for clubIf things had worked out differently, Myrtle Beach High senior [more]

Gamecocks' season ends one win shy of Omaha

Gamecocks' season ends one win shy of OmahaThe University of South Carolina baseball team saw its season [more]

Pelicans' Ademan, Pereda, Peyton make all-star team

Pelicans' Ademan, Pereda, Peyton make all-star teamMyrtle Beach catcher Jhonny Pereda, right-hander Tyler Peyton and infielder [more]

Johnson wins at St. Jude, recaptures No. 1 ranking

Johnson wins at St. Jude, recaptures No. 1 rankingFormer Coastal Carolina two-time All-American and Myrtle Beach resident Dustin [more]

Gamecocks slam their way into final game with Hogs

Gamecocks slam their way into final game with HogsThe South Carolina baseball team scored five runs in the [more]

Pelicans win ninth straight, make late run at first place

Pelicans win ninth straight, make late run at first placeThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans racked up their ninth straight win [more]

Pelicans open second half with eye on playoff streak

Pelicans open second half with eye on playoff streakThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans begin the second half of the [more]

Mutiny gives Strand fans small taste of World Cup

Mutiny gives Strand fans small taste of World CupAmerican soccer fans don't have a rooting interest in this [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach