Athlete of the Week: Sharks get big boost from Pascoe

sjfoot-12When Sage Pascoe transferred from Pennsylvania to the Grand Strand his sophomore year, he didn’t know anything about the St. James High football program. That’s probably for the best.

Pascoe didn’t know the Sharks had never beaten Loris, never had a winning season, and never won a playoff game. And just one year later, he helped his new teammates accomplish all those goals with a 7-5 season and a second-round playoff run.

“I didn’t know all the details, but I knew it was a fairly new school so it wasn’t that shocking,” said Pascoe, who was voted the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week after leading the Sharks to a long list of school firsts. “We set a bunch of goals before the season and we reached them all, so it was special to be a part of that.”

Pascoe timed his arrival well with new coach Robby Brown’s turnaround tenure, and he was big reason why the Sharks were able to put their humble past behind them in 2015, the program’s 11th season. Just as he was able to make the transition to a new school, town and team, the Sharks were able to come together as a cohesive unit committed to a special season.

“I moved here without knowing anybody, so playing sports made it a ton easier. In the summer before I was able to work out with the team and form some bonds before school started,” Pascoe said. “We started clicking as a team and we really came together as we reached our goals. It was a great experience to be a part of that.”

Pascoe credits the turning point for the team as the season opener, when St. James defeated Class 2A power Loris for the first time. He filled a variety of roles on both sides of the ball as the season progressed, playing running back, wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback, safety and special teams – a jack of all trades that came in handy when he helped the Sharks rally for a 16-14 victory at Lake City in the regular-season finale – a win that sent St. James into the playoffs with confidence.

“We had a lot of nail-biters that came right down to the end, and that helped us win at Lake City,” Pascoe said. “That was a huge win because it gave us the first winning season in school history, and it also gave us a lot of confidence going into Marlboro County. We were so fired up for that game and it was like everything clicked. We knew we had it in us to beat them.”

The Sharks’ first-ever playoff victory also gave them a head of steam for their second-round match at Midland Valley, which played Myrtle Beach in the Class 3A Lower State final last weekend. St. James lost that game after a strong start, but Pascoe and Brown will be back for next season looking to use the momentum to take the Sharks to the next level.

“We’re losing some linemen, but we have some young people ready step up like always,” Pascoe said. “I think Coach Brown will do a great job to put us back in the playoffs, and I know us seniors have gotten a taste of success and we want more. It will be great knowing that we helped turn (the football program) around.”

  • Editor’s Note: Pascoe and North Myrtle Beach volleyball player Maddie Roy have been named the Mammy’s Kitchen Boys and Girls Athletes of the Fall Season. The two were far ahead in the poll before voting issues arose.

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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