MYRTLE BEACH – If it hadn’t been for injuries down the stretch, Myrtle Beach might be seeking its third consecutive state title. Instead, the Seahawks hope to bounce back from late-season disappointment.
Quarterback Drayton Arnold went down late in the year, which made things difficult in the playoffs. But the Seahawks made the third round anyway, and now Arnold is fully healthy for his senior season.
Arnold, who’s one of the top quarterbacks in the state, and 1,000-yard rusher Brandon Sinclair form one of the most dangerous duos in the Eastern Carolinas. Together they led Myrtle Beach to the Class 3A state title as sophomores and had their sights set on a repeat last year before falling to Marlboro County in the postseason.
“We were all disappointed last year,” coach Mickey Wilson said. “And I think that’s really driven us a lot this offseason and made us better.”
It also proved to be a learning experience.
“It showed us the way to face adversity and how to lead our team to a championship,” Sinclair said. “It’s not like one individual player. We all have to work together and be a team.”
The Seahawks have long been known for their high-powered passing attack, and Arnold, who’s entering his third year as the starter, is the ideal leader for that system. But he’ll have to find new targets this season with every starting receiver gone.
“I think right now, the biggest thing for us is being patient and knowing that each guy is going to get better each day,” Arnold said.
The Seahawks also have to replace most of their secondary.
LAST YEAR: 11-2, 4-1 Region 7-3A
PLAYOFFS: Lost to Marlboro County in 3rd round
RETURNING STARTERS: 6 offense, 6 defense
KEY PLAYERS: QB Drayton Arnold, RB Brandon Sinclair
OPENER: Aug. 29 vs. Charlotte Christian