2023 Top 10 Local Sports Stories of the Year


  • Coaching changes throughout the area were such big news almost on a monthly basis at all levels. So, I decided that all of my Honorable Mentions this year would be coaching moves in or out or both. None are any more significant than the other, so they are in no particular order, but there were three moves that I thought warranted Top 10 status, so we’ll get to them in a bit… Plus, I would love to mention all of the players who were recognized and signed scholarships throughout the year, but they are far too numerous to list and I wouldn’t want to leave anyone out. Just suffice it to say The PressBox congratulates all of our young people for their accomplishments… Now, I know I will forget a few, but I’ll try to list all of the major coaching moves that I found interesting this year.


HM:   Jamie Johnson leaves FB / AD gigs at H-P to move to Darlington, and won 1st games in 4yrs!

HM:   Conway Tiger Sawyer Jordan was hired by Tim Beck at CCU as QB Coach & Analyst.

HM:   Latta names former Viking Chris Page FB Coach and goes 9-1 in first season.

HM:   Coker hires MBB Michael Lamberti in May after hiring Brett Rector in April, who went home

HM:   Florence baseball great Jimmy Weatherford comes out of retirement at CAMB.

HM:   G’Cock WBB great & MB Seahawk Kadijah Sessions was added to Dawn Staley’s staff.

HM:   Bradley Adams returns to Georgetown FB after 5 years at Woodruff, he was there 6yrs before.

HM:   Tyler Boyd (JR’s son), took over his first FB program at Williamsburg Academy.

HM:   Terrell’s Bay & CCU great Tony Dunkin (Only D1 MVP 4yrs), took over BB job at Kingstree.

HM:   Al Calcutt also returned to the sidelines after a few years off at Carolina Academy.

HM:   Yusef English abruptly & surprisingly stepped down as BB Coach at Hartsville.

My Favorite Non-sports story of the year from our area: The alleged Chinese Spy Balloon that was shot down just off the coast of Myrtle Beach!?! So, it was supposed to have floated from Alaska, over Canada, across 2/3rds of the US, Biden and the Military knew all about it and just let it float on gathering intel along the way, right? and yeah, everybody saw it… at least everybody you talk to in SC, especially Myrtle Beach. Some good ol’ boys took some shots at it and everybody saw it, but me that is, and everybody knew it was a Russian or Chinese Spy balloon, ‘cause we see them everyday, right? Please… You didn’t see it and Biden didn’t know a damn thing about it until some Military flunky woke him up from his nap as they were going out to try to retrieve the damn thing.

HHM: Atlantic Collegiate is first denied membership to SCHSL, but are approved upon appeal.

HHM: We lost an outstanding source for news AND Sports with the demise of the News Journals.

HHM: FMU Softball wins 1st ever Conference Championship since joining DII.

HHM: Pee Dee Academy won both the Baseball & Softball State Championships in ’23.

HHM: South Flo’s Jayden Sellers tears ACL, misses much of season, still commits to G’Cocks ‘25

HHM: Florence’s Jon Weiss Jr. repeats as SC Mid-Amateur Golf Champion.

HHM: Dillon’s Josiah Thompson wins SC Mr. Football Award, hopefully he’ll stay a G’Cock…

HHM: Dale Earnhardt Jr. returned for his second SC 400 at FMS, finished 8th, but raved about fun.

HHM: They named the floor at Pearl Moore Gymnasium “Jolette Law Championship Court”

HHM: Atlantic Collegiate opens in MB under private management, HCS ignore them completely.

10:   Grayson McCall returns to CCU after W/D from Portal, but gets hurt again, re-enters portal and comes out smelling like a rose, because he’ll be the starting QB of a CFP team and possible ACC Champion at NC State, baby!

 9:     South Florence & Johnsonville both go to second straight State Championship games, but Westside stops Bruins 29 game winning streak and Flashes get yet another title stolen by a private Christ Church.

 8:     Jody Jenerette was offered the Conway Head FB job, which everyone thought was his destiny, but he turned it down to stay at WF (Good Job FS1!)… Conway did get a Pee Dee guy though hiring Lamar’s Josh Pierce.

 7:     Kerry Tharp announces his retirement as President of the Darlington Raceway at year’s end. He went out with a bang, getting yet another sell-out of the Southern 500… He’ll be replaced by Marketing Director Josh Harris.

 6:     American Legion Baseball State Tournament was moved to Sparrow Stadium  in Florence, Post 1 won it (#13 League title in a row), won the SE Regional and damn near won the ALWS in Shelby, NC.

 5:     SCHSL announces that ALL Upper / Lower & State Championship Boys & Girls Basketball games will be played at the Florence Center in 2024.

 4:     The heart-breaking death of beloved Socastee BB Coach Derrick Hilton. He played for the Braves under Dan D’Antoni and later for Coker under Dan Schmotzer. He was a great friend and a joy to coach.

 3:     PGA Tour announces first ever Tour event for Myrtle Beach, to be played on Mother’s day weekend in 2024 at the Dunes Club.

 2:     75 Greatest drivers in the History of NASCAR are honored during the Throw back Weekend at Darlington during the 75th Anniversary Celebration.

1:     Cliff Ellis, the winningest active D1 Coach in America announces his retirement effective immediately after 49 years on the sideline and over 900 victories, a day after his 78th birthday. Assistant Benny Moss has taken over.


Comments are closed.