Carolina Forest getting ready to take a swing at lacrosse

While most of us are focused on eggnog and gingerbread, Carolina Forest lacrosse coach Zachary McQuigg is already looking forward to warmer weather.

This spring, the Panthers will be fielding its very own lacrosse team- a first for the school, and only the second in Horry County, after Socastee, whose roster was made up of many Carolina Forest players last season.

“I appreciate (Principal Gaye) Driggers and (athletic director Boe) Rainbow for helping make it happen,” McQuigg said. “I’ve been trying to get a lacrosse team here ever since I started working here five years ago.”

The success of several local youth lacrosse programs has prompted the schools to add a lacrosse club to the campus in the hopes of becoming a varsity sport within the next few years.

“We get Carolina Forest’s name on our jersey and a practice field. That’s it,” McQuigg said. “All our money comes from fund raisers we put on.”

McQuigg cites numerous fund raisers such as fun runs and bowling nights that have helped the club purchase the necessary gear. Most of the money goes toward travel and gas.

Since Socastee is the only other school in the Grand Strand area with a lacrosse team, most games require travel to Columbia and Charleston. This season, the Panthers will only host two matches.

Even with all the adversity, McQuigg is optimistic about his first season.

“We have a good core of guys – guys who played for Socastee, guys from up north who have played before and also guys who are new to the sport,” McQuigg said. “We have two freshman, and mostly juniors and seniors. I’m counting on the older guys to build it up.”

Senior Leeor Grinberg, who previously played for Socastee, is looking forward to being able to practice at home but acknowledges playing against his former teammates will be tough.

“I don’t like the thought of competing against guys I was playing with last year,” Grinberg says, “but I know that I am helping to establish a program here that will be competitive for years to come.”

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