The Loris Recreation Department has two football teams that have battled their way to the play-offs. On Saturday, Nov. 23, both the 7 & 8U team and the 9 & 10U team won the semi-final district tournament.
Tom Cocke, director of the recreation department, said, “History has been made for the Loris Recreation Department.” He stated that this is the first time ever that a Loris Recreation football 7 & 8 team has made it to the District Championship and the first time to have two teams playing.
Kevin Gause is the lead coach for the 7 and 8 year olds. The assistant coaches are Michael Marksberry, Brandon Harrelson, Jeremy Graham, Al McCullough and Wes Strickland. Gause said, “We hope to play well enough to win the district championship and make our town proud.” He stated the team and coaches are thankful for the support the team has received from the city of Loris, the Loris Recreation Department, Cocke, Mayor Todd Harrelson and council members Lewis Hardee and Jan Vescovi. He said, “This would not be happening if our great city was not behind us like they are.”
Both teams played Tuesday, Nov. 26, in Florence at 6 p.m. Cocke said, “Round up the family, grab your grandparents and neighbors, let’s make it happen, come to the game and bring your Blue and Gold.” He continued, “This is the future of Loris recreation football, these are our kids, this is our city, they have earned this.” He stated that the children deserve to look at the sidelines and see a wave of Loris residents showing them the love and support. Cocke said, “I am so proud of our kids and am so thankful for our supportive parents;” he continued, “and I am grateful for our Loris coaches for everything they do.”
Sherry Whiznant wrote on her Facebook page, “Congratulations to our Loris recreation football teams on their wins.” She continued, “Great job guys, prayers for safe, fun and competitive play in the next stage.” She wrote, “A little belief, a little support, a little ‘being there’ pays huge dividends, and this goes for all areas in our kids’ lives.”
Vescovi said, “I am pleased to see our recreation department flourishing under the leadership of Tom Cocke” She said one of the main goals when elected to the city council four years ago was to work toward making the Loris Recreation Department one of the best in the state. She said, “We are well on our way. The success that our 8U and 10U All Star football teams are experiencing is due to the boys’ and coaches’ dedication and the support from the parents and community.” She continued, “There is a new-found excitement in the air, and I’m excited to see what the future holds!”
“I am very proud of the athletes for their outstanding effort;” said Hardee, “I thank the coaches for their many hours of work and dedication.”
Harrelson said, “I am proud to be a part of a fantastic recreation program.” He continued, “I am proud of the support from the parents and coaches.” He has attended the games and will be traveling to Florence on Tuesday to support the teams. He stated he is happy to have Cocke at the recreation department leading the sports in a direction that will benefit the children and the city of Loris for a future in Sportourism. He is looking forward to what spring 2020 will bring with the baseball and softball games and possible tournaments to be held in Loris.
With a win on Tuesday night the football program will progress to the state level championship games and Loris will have made history for our city. We wish the teams, coaches and families safe travels and a big win.