Young Saints look to build on record-setting season

The 2017 season was one for the record books for the Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach football program. First-ever winning season? Check. First-ever playoff berth? Check. The start of a winning tradition? Not so fast.

The record-setting season came at a big expense to the young program, which lost 10 seniors (more than half the SCISA Class A team’s roster) who were seventh-graders when the Saints first launched their program in eight-man football in 2013. What’s left behind is a small, youthful squad hoping to build on last year’s momentum.

“That was a special group of guys and they left their mark on the program,” Christian Academy coach Matt Adams said. “We will truly miss them and their leadership. We will, however, be bringing back some good athletes this year and we are looking forward to seeing who will step up to lead.”

The Saints return a vital cog to last season’s success in senior quarterback Braden McCauley, who completed 87 of 181 passes 18 touchdowns to only seven interceptions in 2017. He knows his role as a team leader will be key to keeping the program on an upward trajectory.

“Last year was a lot of fun and we accomplished a lot of firsts, but we have to put that behind us and work hard if we are going to keep winning,” McCauley said. “I’ve been playing quarterback since the eighth grade and it has taught me a lot. I know I have to be a good leader and help the younger guys.”

McCauley has one primary weapon in his arsenel in fellow senior and wide receiver Jalen Matthews. The 6-foot-4 basketball standout can go up and get the ball for McCauley, which could come in handy with a revamped backfield and offensive line.

The departure of running back Christian Gaskins, the school’s first SCISA North-South Game selection, and the bulk of the offensive line could literally leave the ground game up in the air.

“We lost a lot of key players who will be hard to replace, but we have some young players coming up that can really help us,” said junior offensive and defensive lineman Nicco Coriell. “We don’t have the numbers we had last year so a lot of us are going to have to play both ways. We’ve got to work hard and get in good shape because the only time we will leave the field is halftime.”

Corriel and sophomore Vinny Pellegrino will be the leaders up front on both sides of the ball, and senior Rawley Merchant is versatile enough to contribute everywhere from defensive end or the secondary, along with Matthews and McCauley.

“We’ve set our goals pretty high because of what we did last year,” McCauley said. “Having a winning season and making the playoffs was such an awesome feeling and you want to keep doing it and keep getting better.”

More importantly, the Saints want to establish a winning program for years to come.

“We want to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke,” Corriel said.

Christian Academy opens the 2018 season on Friday at Williamsburg Academy, which the Saints won in a 34-33 shootout last season, opening with a stretch of four road games in a five-game span.

“It’s going to be tough but we just have to play through it,” Adams said.

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff Classic

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff ClassicConway National Bank will sponsor the 30th annual CNB Kickoff [more]

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFL

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFLThe past six months have been hectic ones for Hunter [more]

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior Olympics

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sand

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sandWhat was once a leisurely pick-up game on the beach [more]

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haul

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haulNorth Myrtle Beach believes Ryan Walker is the person to [more]

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut Former Coastal Carolina standout and Los Angeles Angels second baseman [more]

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures Game

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures GameMyrtle Beach Pelicans’ catcher Miguel Amaya has been selected to [more]

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth Clinic

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth ClinicEight former big leaguers - and about 60 aspiring ones [more]

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior Olympics

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program New Myrtle Beach High volleyball coach Alyssa Hunter knows she [more]

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 years

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 yearsA child steps up to the counter to purchase his [more]

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meet

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meetThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club combined boys and [more]

Rivers named honorable mention All-American

Rivers named honorable mention All-AmericanCoastal Carolina senior outfielder Kieton Rivers was recognized as a [more]

Trio of Pelicans pitchers are midseason All-Stars

Trio of Pelicans pitchers are midseason All-StarsMyrtle Beach right-handed pitchers Javier Assad, Jesus Camargo and Paul [more]

Grand Strand rec athletes find passion for pickleball

Grand Strand rec athletes find passion for pickleballNearly 100 local recreational athletes put themselves in a real [more]

CCU football loses legend with retirement of Glenn

CCU football loses legend with retirement of GlennCoastal Carolina football chief of staff and director of football [more]

Chants' season ends with stinging defeat to Jackets

Chants' season ends with stinging defeat to JacketsCoastal Carolina baseball had its season come to an end [more]

Coastal wrangles Rattlers to stay alive in Regional

Coastal wrangles Rattlers to stay alive in RegionalThe Chanticleers took an early 3-0 lead and did not [more]

MB Track & Field Club shines at Club Challenge

MB Track & Field Club shines at Club ChallengeThe Myrtle Beach Track and Field Club welcomed 22 clubs [more]

Chants battered by Tigers, drop into losers bracket

Chants battered by Tigers,  drop into losers bracketCoastal Carolina baseball saw a 2-2 tie disappear in the [more]

Chiefs seeking sixth boys hoops coach in nine years

Chiefs seeking sixth boys hoops coach in nine yearsNorth Myrtle Beach is looking for a new boys basketball [more]

Grand Strand dominates state golf course rankings

Grand Strand dominates state golf course rankings Golfweek has unveiled its annual list of the “Best Courses [more]

Hemingway narrows his college wish list to five

Hemingway narrows his college wish list to fiveTonka Hemingway has played enough games with opposing offensive linemen. He’s [more]

Chants headed to Atlanta, face Auburn in first round

Chants headed to Atlanta, face Auburn in first roundCoastal Carolina baseball received the No. 3 seed in the [more]

Chants dig deep, defend Sun Belt championship

Chants dig deep, defend Sun Belt championshipCoastal Carolina outscored the Georgia Southern Eagles 9-1 over the [more]

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff Classic

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff ClassicConway National Bank will sponsor the 30th annual CNB Kickoff [more]

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFL

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFLThe past six months have been hectic ones for Hunter [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach