Athlete of the Week: Lewis makes smooth soccer move

As a forward on the soccer field and a guard on the basketball court, Myrtle Beach’s Mason Lewis has always had a strong transition game. But nothing like the transition the senior displayed from the winter to spring sports seasons.

Three days after the All-Region 7-3A second-teamer led the Seahawks basketball team on a surprising run to the Class 3A Lower State semifinals, Lewis joined his soccer teammates in the Lexington Cats Kick Cancer Kickoff Classic.

Lewis scored eight goals in four games and led the Seahawks to wins over 4A foes South Pointe, Northwestern and TL Hanna to reach the title game, where they lost 2-1 in overtime to tournament host Lexington. He didn’t miss a beat in swapping out his sneakers for cleats.

“We made a deep run in basketball and I wasn’t able to practice much with the soccer team,” said the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week. “But it wasn’t that hard of a transition for me because soccer has always come naturally to me.”

Indeed, Lewis has been a scoring machine on the soccer pitch since his sophomore season, but his senior year was a breakthrough season on the hardwood. With Myrtle Beach losing several veteran players, Lewis moved from the bench to one of the team’s leaders.

“We had a bunch of seniors graduate last year and Coach (Craig) Martin said some people needed to step up and fill some roles,” Lewis said. “I finally got some more opportunities for playing time and I got better as year went by.”

But Lewis’ first love has always been soccer, starting at the Grand Strand YMCA and playing Beach United FC travel soccer for years, and he didn’t waste anytime showing it. After the Lexington tourney, he has improved upon his 2 goal-per-game average with 13 goals and five assists through the first six games of the season.

“We have a big senior class and that really helps having that leadership already in place,” he said. “Playing in the Lexington tournament against all 4A teams helped us understand what it’s like to play big games in a big environment.”

That experience should pay off for the No. 2-ranked Seahawks’ next opponent – No. 5-ranked undefeated region rival Socastee. It’s always a big game when these two state powers play, but Tuesday’s match at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium should be huge.

“It’s big rivalry, especially with us both ranked (in the top five),” Lewis said. “Even though we’re playing pretty well, we really haven’t reached our full capabilities. If we can play up to our abilities I think we can compete with anybody.”

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