Athlete of the Week: Sharks net leadership from Wallace

sjsoc-17It’s been a roller-coaster season for the St. James High boys soccer team, but senior center midfielder Brandon Wallace is enjoying the ride and steering the Sharks into the postseason.

Despite losing several seniors and some key underclassmen off last year’s team and undergoing an offseason coaching change, the Sharks are heading to the Class 3A playoffs and appear to be peaking at the right time behind the leadership of Wallace and his felloe seniors.

“We lost (12) players from last year so we’ve had some trouble with team chemistry,” said Wallace, who was voted the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week.. “But as the season has gone along we have started coming together as a team. I think if we can finish up strong we’ve got a good chance to make a run.”

In addition to graduating nine seniors, the Sharks lost three key underclassmen – leading scorers Conor Sloan and Quadarius Grate and goalkeeper Haywood Brandon –  who signed pro contracts that prevent them from playing at the high school level. Former coach Monty Carr was replaced by coach Drew Pavy with assistance from girls coach Thuba Nkomazana.

“(Brandon) is a key part of the team as he is always involved on the offense, not only scoring goals, but creating goals for his teammates,” said Pavy. “Throughout his high school career he has had to play many different positions, but he has always stepped up for the betterment of the team.”

The mass turnover has left a lot of responsibility for Wallace, who has been playing soccer since he was 4 and have up baseball and basketball in middle school to focus solely on the sport. His senior season has been a topsy-turvy ride from the start, but he has been up to the challenge, scoring 10 goals and making four assists so far this year.

“We came out in the Michael Nash Memorial Tournament and beat Socastee 3-0,” Wallace recalled. “I think we got a little overconfident and we really struggled in the middle of the season.”

The Sharks got off to an unlikely 7-0 start but then won only two of their next nine outings, including a 1-0 loss to rival Socastee in a rematch that counted toward the region record and left St. James on the bubble for a playoff bid.

Following some down time over spring break, the Sharks rattled off three straight wins last week by a combined score of 11-1 to clinch the No. 3 seed in the playoffs, beginning with a 6-0 shutout of Wilson in which Wallace netted a hat trick.

“I think the Wilson game was a big turning point for us because we had lost three games in a row,” Wallace recalled. “Things really started clicking for us after that game. We won three in a row and took (No. 3-ranked) Myrtle Beach to a shootout.”

The Sharks came out on the short end of penalty kicks by a 5-4 score but gained some much-needed confidence that they can play with anyone in the state when they play their best. That’s good news for Wallace and his teammates heading to the final week of the regular season and the playoffs.

“We’ve got Wilson and Socastee this week, so we want to finish up strong and build up some steam going into the playoffs,” Wallace said. “I think we can beat with anybody when we play our best.”

Comments

comments

Conway sweeps Socastee; NMB, SJ games postponed

Conway sweeps Socastee; NMB, SJ games postponedThe Conway High boys and girls basketball teams swept visiting [more]

Boys Hoops: Green breaks CA record; Braves beat CF

Boys Hoops: Green breaks CA record; Braves beat CFChristian Academy of Myrtle Beach junior Michael Green reached another [more]

Lady Panthers' second-half surge knocks off Socastee

Lady Panthers' second-half surge knocks off SocasteeThe Carolina Forest High girls basketball team broke up a [more]

Coastal adds Michigan OL transfer to recruiting class

Coastal adds Michigan OL transfer to recruiting classCoastal Carolina head football coach Joe Moglia announced Sean Fitzgerald, [more]

Earnhardt clears air about interest in buying Panthers

Earnhardt clears air about interest in buying PanthersRetired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he is interested [more]

CCU's Ruiz picked to play in Latin America Amateur

CCU's Ruiz picked to play in Latin America AmateurCoastal Carolina junior golfer Luis Ruiz has been selected to [more]

CAC swimmers clean up on medals at Tiger Invitational

CAC swimmers clean up on medals at Tiger InvitationalThe Coastal Aquatic Club (CAC) sent 37 swimmers to compete [more]

MB grad Sessions waived during 11th NBA season

MB grad Sessions waived during 11th NBA seasonFor the first time since his high school days at [more]

Horry/Georgetown Invite: CF, NMB, MB finish 1-2-3

Horry/Georgetown Invite: CF, NMB, MB finish 1-2-3The Carolina Forest High wrestling team captured the bi-county championship [more]

Battle at the Beach: MB makes it rain 3s; CA falls

Battle at the Beach: MB makes it rain 3s; CA fallsOn Friday night, a leaky roof forced the Myrtle Beach [more]

CCU Hoops: Coastal splits with visiting Georgia State

CCU Hoops: Coastal splits with visiting Georgia StateArtur Labinowicz scored a career, team and game-high 32 points, [more]

Hoops: Chiefs, Tigers use last-second shots for wins

Hoops: Chiefs, Tigers use last-second shots for winsNorth Myrtle Beach High's Cooper Chandler picked the right time [more]

MB Winter Bump tourney expects record crowd, field

MB Winter Bump tourney expects record crowd, fieldThe annual Myrtle Beach Winter Bump Volleyball Classic, hosted by [more]

Knaffle garners SCCAWS Player of the Year award

Knaffle garners SCCAWS Player of the Year awardSt. James High junior Smith Knaffle may need to add [more]

CCU Hoops: Chants split Sun Belt twinbill with GSU

CCU Hoops: Chants split Sun Belt twinbill with GSUJaylen Shaw moved into 13th place on the Coastal Carolina [more]

North Myrtle Beach boys, girls cruise past St. James

North Myrtle Beach boys, girls cruise past St. JamesThe North Myrtle Beach boys and girls basketball teams swept [more]

Wrestling: Locals earn top rankings; Chiefs take two

Wrestling: Locals earn top rankings; Chiefs take twoThe latest rankings were released Tuesday for SCHSL wrestling, but [more]

Boys Hoops: Socastee, Conway win region debuts

Boys Hoops: Socastee, Conway win region debutsThe Socastee High boys basketball team won a thrilling Region [more]

Girls Hoops: Seahawks knock off No. 1 Wilson

Girls Hoops: Seahawks knock off No. 1 WilsonThe Myrtle Beach High girls basketball team saw region rival [more]

CCU student-athletes post top semester in classroom

CCU student-athletes post top semester in classroom A record 264 Coastal Carolina student-athletes posted at least a [more]

Riptides make successful plunge at Polar Bear meet

Riptides make successful plunge at Polar Bear meetRiptides Racing's swimmers braved the cold weather and icy roads [more]

Local teams break ice with region rivals, reschedules

Local teams break ice with region rivals, reschedulesThe new year is only one week old and already [more]

Panthers suffer tough loss to Saints, face uncertainty

Panthers suffer tough loss to Saints, face uncertaintyThe Carolina Panthers' season ended in a heap atop sacked [more]

Ragin' Cajuns sweep CCU in Sun Belt doubleheader

Ragin' Cajuns sweep CCU in Sun Belt doubleheaderCoastal Carolina faced the top men’s basketball team in the [more]

Moglia announces return to role as CCU head coach

Moglia announces return to role as CCU head coachCoastal Carolina’s Joe Moglia announced he has been medically cleared [more]

Conway sweeps Socastee; NMB, SJ games postponed

Conway sweeps Socastee; NMB, SJ games postponedThe Conway High boys and girls basketball teams swept visiting [more]

Boys Hoops: Green breaks CA record; Braves beat CF

Boys Hoops: Green breaks CA record; Braves beat CFChristian Academy of Myrtle Beach junior Michael Green reached another [more]

Comments are closed.

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