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Loris Recreation 12U football players are prepared to travel through town on their way to the championship game in Columbia. Photo by Annie Rigby

Loris Recreation All Stars Team plays for state championship in Columbia

By Annie Rigby

The Loris Recreation All Stars 11 and 12 year olds team met at the center on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 10 a.m. to rev up for the State Championship game in Columbia. At 10:30 a.m. the team, coaches, parents and the recreation staff were led up Main Street by Loris Police Officer Bobby Brush.

The streets were lined with cheering friends and families of the players as they cruised through town. The loud whoops of the police cruiser were heard and horns blaring as the team rolled out of town to play against Abbeville.

Grandparents Dwayne and Janice Graham and great-grandparents Jimmy and Gloria Livingston whose grandson, Ethan Whitlock, is playing in the game cheered on the team as they passed by the railroad tracks on Main Street. Two young boys who will play on the 11-12 year-old team next year, Keagen Livingston and Kaleb Gore, stood to wave on their friends. Livingston wore his jersey in support of the team.

Grandparents and great-grandparents wait patiently for the parade for the 12U football team to roll down Main Street as they head to Columbia for the state championship game. Pictured, left to right, are Dwayne and Janice Graham and Jimmy and Gloria Livingston. Photo by Annie Rigby

Sadly the team returned defeated 28 to 0, but the coaches said they played well; they just couldn’t get the rhythm of the game and move ahead to the goal posts. “They gave their all, they gave their best and we are very proud of the team and each player,” said Baron McCray. He said he teaches the team to put God first, play their best giving their all and mostly to be respectful in and outside the game.

Each team member spoke before the game and said their favorite part of the game is hitting the opposing team, blocking them and making a touchdown. The energy the young boys presented at the park before leaving on their journey was contagious; the excitement of heading to Columbia to represent Loris Recreation Center was important to them.

The players are Kayden Alford, Jayden Dobyns, William Edmund, Zamire Gerald, Tyler Gore, Preston Hayes, Aiden Heckathorn, Tedvion Holmes, Owen Lewis, Dirk Martin, Zy’Mir McBride, La’Monta McCray, Samariane McCray, Nigel Miller, Logan Mishoe, Khalil Morgan, Rylan Norris, Roderick Purcha, Khalid Sherman, Makel Stephens, Louis Vereen and Ethan Whitlock. Head coach is Jeff Bellamy and assistant coaches are Baron McCray, John Mishoe and Scott Lewis.

Ford Slator traveled with the team. He said he is proud of the boys and the coaches because they truly gave their best.

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