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

Chants fall to Rams in OT, face Gamecocks Saturday

Chants fall to Rams in OT, face Gamecocks SaturdayIt took a couple of extra minutes in overtime, but [more]

St. James takes runner-up to Lexington at WSCGA

St. James takes runner-up to Lexington at WSCGAThe St. James High girls golf team turned in another [more]

NMB captures runner-up finish at Hub City Classic

NMB captures runner-up finish at Hub City ClassicThe North Myrtle Beach volleyball team scored some big victories [more]

Coast FA girls teams shine at Charleston tournament

Coast FA girls teams shine at Charleston tournamentTwo Coast FA girls teams entered the Women's Charleston Select [more]

Edward's late grab sets up Gamecocks' game-winner

Edward's late grab sets up Gamecocks' game-winnerSouth Carolina receiver and Conway High product Bryan Edwards made [more]

Tigers wake up in time to knock off Boston College

Tigers wake up in time to knock off Boston CollegeFour fourth-quarter touchdowns led the No. 2 Clemson Tigers to [more]

CF girls, MB boys prevail at St. James Invitational

CF girls, MB boys prevail at St. James InvitationalThe Myrtle Beach boys and Carolina Forest girls swam to [more]

Leathernecks lay leather to Chants in blowout fashion

Leathernecks lay leather to Chants in blowout fashionWestern Illinois, ranked 19th in the NCAA Division I FCS [more]

Chiefs come out swinging for quick TKO of Camden

Chiefs come out swinging for quick TKO of CamdenThe No. 2-ranked North Myrtle Beach High football team scored [more]

Braves blast past Sharks, win Battle of Highway 707

Braves blast past Sharks, win Battle of Highway 707The Socastee High football team showed it can rebound from [more]

Saints win another thriller, set program victory mark

Saints win another thriller, set program victory markFor the second consecutive week, the Christian Academy of Myrtle [more]

Panthers excel in all three phases in shutout of Lions

Panthers excel in all three phases in shutout of LionsThe Carolina Forest High football team bounced back in a [more]

Lady Chants rally to down Troy in double overtime

Lady Chants rally to down Troy in double overtimeThe Coastal Carolina women's soccer team had a flair for [more]

Photo Gallery: Rivals clash in Battle of Highway 707

Photo Gallery: Rivals clash in Battle of Highway 707Socastee defeated visiting St. James 65-14 in Friday's installment of [more]

Seahawks shock Tigers, keep Victory Bell in MB

Seahawks shock Tigers, keep Victory Bell in MBIn the long, rich rivalry of the Battle of the [more]

Photo Gallery: MB claims Battle of the Victory Bell

Photo Gallery: MB claims Battle of the Victory BellMyrtle Beach stunned No. 5 Conway 13-12 on Thursday night [more]

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Seahawks net region wins

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Seahawks net region winsThe Carolina Forest volleyball team completed a clean sweep of [more]

Socastee stays perfect in region play at midpoint

Socastee stays perfect in region play at midpointThe Socastee High girls tennis team captured its 10th win [more]

Week 6 Previews & Picks: Sharks, Braves try to reply

Week 6 Previews & Picks: Sharks, Braves try to replyThe Battle of the Victory Bell rings into action one [more]

Golf: Sharks target future; Panthers knock off Braves

Golf: Sharks target future; Panthers knock off BravesHow good is the St. James girls golf program? Good [more]

White goes from goat to hero in Coastal's OT win

White goes from goat to hero in Coastal's OT winSenior Wes White took a loose ball and found the [more]

MB tennis, volleyball rule the net in sweep of Tigers

MB tennis, volleyball rule the net in sweep of TigersThe Myrtle Beach High girls tennis and volleyball teams dominated [more]

Socastee boys, NMB girls take second at XC meet

Socastee boys, NMB girls take second at XC meetFive Grand Strand area cross country teams hit the ground [more]

Tennis: Braves, Saints net big wins over region rivals

Tennis: Braves, Saints net big wins over region rivalsThe Socastee High girls tennis team delivered an impressive 1-2 [more]

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Sharks sweep region foes

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Sharks sweep region foesIn a showdown for first place in Region 6-5A standings, [more]

Chants fall to Rams in OT, face Gamecocks Saturday

Chants fall to Rams in OT, face Gamecocks SaturdayIt took a couple of extra minutes in overtime, but [more]

St. James takes runner-up to Lexington at WSCGA

St. James takes runner-up to Lexington at WSCGAThe St. James High girls golf team turned in another [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach