Hartsville ends Post 114’s quest for American Legion title

  • Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Eileen Lee/For South Strand News A loss to Hartsville on July 24 denied Post 114 a trip to the state American Legion tournament.

Post 114’s senior American Legion team’s season ended July 24 with a 10-2 loss to Hartsville.

Georgetown was one win away from a spot in the state tournament.

“They fought hard. They never quit,” said first-year head coach Jason West.

Due to other commitments, West only had 11 players available for the game. The only reserve player, Tucker Perry, came in to pitch for starter Cody Thompson in the sixth inning.

“There were kids that were on the field [July 24] that I would be in a foxhole with at any time,” said West, a Marine before becoming a teacher at Georgetown High School.

Georgetown only managed four hits against Hartsville, and was hurt by five errors.

“We played pretty good ball,” West said. “We just had some costly errors. They played as hard as they could.”

This summer was West’s first experience as head coach. He is an assistant coach on the Bulldogs’ varsity squad.

“I learned a whole lot this year,” he said. “I made a lot of mistakes but I learned from the mistakes.”

One of the most important things he learned was managing the psyche and personality of each of his players, especially early in the season when there were a lot of players and some weren’t getting into the lineup.

West said the team won some games they shouldn’t have, and lost some game they should have won.

“The boys played hard all season. I was proud of them,” West said. “I’m very proud of the kids that [were] there all the time. They wanted to be there.”

He was also very thankful for the help and support from his assistant coaches, Tyler Vick from Waccamaw High School and Art Strong from Andrews High School.

“A tremendous help,” West said. “I couldn’t have done it without [them].”

It helped to have coaches from three of Georgetown County’s four high schools who had already coached the players on the team when they were in school, West added.

Waccamaw High baseball coach Jeff Gregory reestablished American Legion baseball in Georgetown County in 2000.

Since that time, only two senior Legion teams have made the state tournament.

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