While the seasons of the Fighting Scots’ baseball, softball and soccer teams ended in playoff disappointment, the 13 players that were named 4-A SEC all-conference for Scotland highlighted the overall successful seasons that each team put together.
For the varsity baseball team that finished a 4-A best 22-2 in the regular season before losing to Wilmington-Ashely in the third round of the playoffs, six players finished with all-conference honors: Kyle Riccard, Hayden Buffkin, Daniel Walters, Tim Chavis, Will Adams and Curt Britt. As a pitcher and first baseman for the Fighting Scots, Britt was also named the unanimous choice for Conference Player of the Year, as voted by the SEC coaches.
In his final year as the Fighting Scots’ baseball coach, Tommy Britt also earned Conference Coach of the Year, an honor that he credits his coaching staff and players for helping him to achieve.
“I would’ve loved to have finished my coaching career with a state championship, but as it stands, I couldn’t be more proud of the honors this team received,” said Britt, who announced his resignation as the Fighting Scots’ coach on Monday. “The coaching award is not about one individual, as I wouldn’t be in the position to win anything if I didn’t surround myself with a good coaching staff and players for the 20 years I’ve coached at Scotland High.”
The Fighting Scots softball squad finished their season clicking at just the right time, as they opened their playoff run with a 7-3 first round win over the third-seeded Millbrook Wildcats. Scotland would encounter a juggernaut in the second round, however, losing 5-2 to a Holly Springs team that went 19-2 in the regular season.
Three players were given all-conference distinctions this past week for the softball team: Kayla Dees, Shae Barnes and Courtney Williams, with Cori Newton, Sarah Cross and Avery Callahan each receiving honorable mention. And while it was an up and down season for his team, coach Pat Williams believes the six players who were honored by the SEC showcases a team that nobody wanted to play down the stretch.
“I don’t think people realize the talent that we had until these all-conference honors were given out,” Williams said. “We beat the teams that finished first (Purnell Swett) and second (Richmond) ahead of us in the conference, and with a little extra luck thrown in there who knows how the season could’ve played out.”
While the baseball and softball programs were both coming off strong 2011 regular season campaigns (the boys finished 15-9 and the girls were a perfect 23-0 that year) the Fighting Scots’ girls varsity soccer team has been in rebuilding mode for the past couple of seasons. In 2012, the girls finished 8-12-2, yet compiled a 5-4-1 conference record down the stretch to finish third place in the SEC. But in the first round of the postseason, the Fighting Scots were ousted by the Broughton Capitals by the score of 7-0, with five of those goals coming in the second half of regulation.
Nonetheless, four players were given all-conference honors for the girls soccer team this season: Greta Griswold, Jordan Lewis, Anna Lisa Ciarrocca and Chelsea Madden. Of those four, Griswold and Lewis were named all-region as well, marking the second time Griswold has received the award and the first time for Lewis.
Head soccer coach Colin McDavid takes a lot of positives away from the conferences’ recognition of his four players, as they are all underclassman heading into the next season. But he also admits that the competition which came from the upper echelon of the conference (mainly Pinecrest and Lumberton) and their first round playoff opponent were of another caliber, and he hopes that the all-conference honors will give his team the motivation to want to match their level of play.
“It’s another level of play out there, and this team right now can’t be satisfied with where they are now,” McDavid said. “With that said, these all-conference and region honors show that the overall play of the team helped the individuals shine, and with such a young core we can only go up from here.”