In Your Community: North Myrtle Beach athletics on the rise

In Your Community: North Myrtle Beach athletic uprising

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH - Hoisting some hardware is all a high school athlete thinks about, from the preseason to the playoff push. The North Myrtle Beach Chiefs have done more than their share of succeeding in the postseason, especially in this past fall.

"That was like the moment of my life, I just felt really good," explained Marci Chestnut, a junior outside hitter for the state championship volleyball team.

It was the first volleyball state crown in school history, and coach Estelle Barentine knew she had a talented group since the summer.

"We had great leaders, good players, and hard working girls overall," she said.

After suffering one loss in August, the Lady Chiefs began a new win streak that is still ongoing, as North Myrtle Beach won out the rest of the year.

"A lot of us had been working together for a long time, and we wanted to end our senior year with a bang," said senior outside hitter Taylor Allman.

Though that would be just the beginning of a great year of athletics in at the school.

The football team snapped a 21-game losing streak, while the swimming and golf squads each brought home region championship trophies.

"We win the swim region first, we win the golf region second, we win five football games, and then to top it off we win a state championship," said school athletic director Joe Quigley. "And it's my first time involved in a state title here. That was just a tremendous feeling. The thing I love about North Myrtle Beach is the community support."

Yet no just from the fans that go to the games. The support system within the hallways of the school has led to an overall positive student attitude.

"It's really rewarding when you're going down the hallway and the people are 'like good game last night, good game,'" said Chestnut. "I feel like I'm representing North Myrtle Beach really well, and making my fellow students proud."

"This school brought me a lot in my life," explained Jaylen Livingston, a senior football, basketball and track & field athlete. "They've built my character, and I can't tell them thank you enough. Everyone's like family to me, my brothers and sisters."

Livingston and others saw that success spill over into the winter sports season, with two basketball region titles also. With a rebirth of winning within the Chief culture now, the expectations have also raised for all student athletes in school.