Athlete of the Week: Team success follows McKinney

socfoot-23countSocastee High three-sport athlete Sam McKinney is on a nice run over the last sports calendar year. His baseball and wrestling teams were Lower State finalists and his football team is coming off back-to-back trips to the Lower State semifinals.

But for McKinney, who was named the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week for his efforts on the football field, it’s more about the team than any individual accolades, and his near-misses with trips to the state championship only fuel his fire to take the next step.

“We’ve had some success but hopefully we can make it to state next time,” said the junior defensive back, whose Braves were eliminated from the Class 3A playoffs in a 40-25 loss to Marlboro County last Friday. “It just makes us want it that much more.”

McKinney anchored a solid Socastee secondary that helped the Braves get off to another school-record 12-0 start, but they met their match in the speedy Bulldogs. Marlboro County quarterback London Johnson torched the Braves for five TD passes.

“They have a bunch of athletes and they’re good, big and quick,” McKinney said. “We ran zone coverage against them but we just weren’t fast enough to keep up with them. They picked at us, created space, and made the plays that we didn’t make.”

McKinney suffered a mild concussion early in the game on a head-on collision with a Marlboro County rusher but remained in the game and came up with an interception that gave the Braves hope. But it wasn’t enough for a team that underwent an offseason coaching change and still went 12-1.

“(New coach Doug) Illing showed intensity and passion from the start that made this team come alive, drive and strive to be state champions,” McKinney said. “I don’t think the talent on our team was better, but the way we all connected allowed us to accomplish all the goals we did.”

Socastee claimed its second straight region title, but the Braves are stepping up to Class 4A next season. Playing against even bigger schools with more talent is a move that could very well effect McKinney’s recent hot streak, but it isn’t going to stop him from trying to keep it going.

“A lot of people are saying we don’t have the talent level it takes to compete in 4A, but I think we’re still a force to reckon with,” he said of Socastee’s sports programs. “We are going to work and play just as hard as we did this year and see what happens.”

So far it’s only good things for McKinney, who is awaiting medical clearance to begin training with the wrestling squad. Although those programs may be more individually oriented than football, McKinney is a team player regardless of the season.

“I don’t really have a favorite (sport), but I love the team aspect of football,” he said. “Wrestling and baseball are a little more individual but you’ve got to have that team behind you if you want to win, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Photo by Nancy Thompson

Comments

comments

CAC swimmers race rivals, storms at Palmetto Invite

CAC swimmers race rivals, storms at Palmetto InviteWhile most of South Carolina was under rain showers this [more]

CCU takes series from ASU in de facto tripleheader day

CCU takes series from ASU in de facto tripleheader day Coastal Carolina played 22 innings on Saturday (completing game 1 [more]

North edges South as rain keeps teams on their toes

North edges South as rain keeps teams on their toesThe Class 4A North-South All-Star Boys Tennis showcase managed to [more]

NMB's Smith picked to kick at Ray Guy prospect camp

NMB's Smith picked to kick at Ray Guy prospect campNorth Myrtle Beach High's Zane Smith received the Ray Guy [more]

Rain plagues CCU's series with Appalachian State

Rain plagues CCU's series with Appalachian StateGame one of the weekend series between #16 Coastal Carolina [more]

Girls Soccer: McCoy, Hall top all-region for Panthers

Girls Soccer: McCoy, Hall top all-region for PanthersThe Carolina Forest girls soccer team cleaned up on the [more]

Strong finish lands Chants in top 10 but no NCAA bid

Strong finish lands Chants in top 10 but no NCAA bidThe Coastal Carolina men’s golf team shot a final-round, 7-under [more]

Boys Golf: Seahawks earn repeat as state runner-up

Boys Golf: Seahawks earn repeat as state runner-upThe Myrtle Beach High School varsity boys golf team finished [more]

Lone Panther Fortenberry ties for third in Class 5A

Lone Panther Fortenberry ties for third in Class 5A Carolina Forest's Chris Fortenberry finished tied for third individually at [more]

Coastal ace Bilous claims Sun Belt Pitcher of Week

Coastal ace Bilous claims Sun Belt Pitcher of WeekCoastal Carolina junior Jason Bilous was voted the Sun Belt [more]

MB's Cahill, Wallen make deep runs at state singles

MB's Cahill, Wallen make deep runs at state singlesThe Myrtle Beach High boys tennis team sent a pair [more]

Chants climb leaderboard in second round of NCAA

Chants climb leaderboard in second round of NCAAThe Coastal Carolina men’s golf team shot an even-par round [more]

Soccer: SJ's Williams joins MB trio on all-state squad

Soccer: SJ's Williams joins MB trio on all-state squadThree Myrtle Beach High soccer players and one St. James [more]

SJ's Bray, MB's Edwards at top of All-Region 7-4A list

SJ's Bray, MB's Edwards at top of All-Region 7-4A listFollowing a near-miss bid to the Class 4A state championship [more]

Locals top all-region team; MB's Bodge earns all-state

Locals top all-region team; MB's Bodge earns all-stateGrand Strand area teams dominated the All-Region 7-4A team, and [more]

MB's Grigg, NMB duo put teams in hunt for 4A title

MB's Grigg, NMB duo put teams in hunt for 4A titleDefending state runner-up Myrtle Beach is in a familiar position, [more]

Confidence Cougars beat Manzer Academy for title

Confidence Cougars beat Manzer Academy for titleThe Confidence Cougars, an AAU team made up of players [more]

CCU struggles on first day of NCAAs but still in hunt

CCU struggles on first day of NCAAs but still in huntThe Coastal Carolina men’s golf team shot a 2-over par, [more]

Chants sweep Trojans, nab top seed, Sun Belt East title

Chants sweep Trojans, nab top seed, Sun Belt East titleFor the second time this weekend, Coastal Carolina shutout Little [more]

Former Chant Henderson 'truly blessed' after crash

Former Chant Henderson 'truly blessed' after crashFormer Coastal Carolina All-American and Denver Broncos running back De'Angelo [more]

Track & Field: Strand trio strikes silver at state meet

Track & Field: Strand trio strikes silver at state meetNo gold medals made their way from Saturday's SCHSL Class [more]

CA loses double-overtime heartbreaker in state final

CA loses double-overtime heartbreaker in state finalThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach girls soccer team suffered [more]

CCU celebrates Senior Day by making magic number 1

CCU celebrates Senior Day by making magic number 1On Coastal Carolina’s Senior Day, CCU senior Kevin Woodall accounted [more]

Boys Golf: Seahawks take aim at state title as a team

Boys Golf: Seahawks take aim at state title as a teamAfter Myrtle Beach High golfer Holden Grigg's record-setting 2017 Class [more]

Coastal opens final home series with shutout of ULR

Coastal opens final home series with shutout of ULRJason Bilous posted a career-high 11 strikeouts over seven scoreless [more]

CAC swimmers race rivals, storms at Palmetto Invite

CAC swimmers race rivals, storms at Palmetto InviteWhile most of South Carolina was under rain showers this [more]

CCU takes series from ASU in de facto tripleheader day

CCU takes series from ASU in de facto tripleheader day Coastal Carolina played 22 innings on Saturday (completing game 1 [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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