Monday, November 17, 2008

A Zone Insider remembers Coach Skip

This season, we started a new section of's sports page with individual pages for all 34 teams we cover in our area. We asked each coach to give us a player who can be our Zone Insider who gives us weekly blog updates on how the team's season is going. I'm optimistic that over time, we'll have every page loaded with information on your favorite school. This season we have had about 10 guys who have done an outstanding job of posting blog entries each week. Steven Cobb is the Myrtle Beach Seahawks starting linebacker and plays tight end as well. This is his latest blog entry talking about the loss of Myrtle Beach assistant coach Greg Skipper, who was killed in a car accident the night before the Seahawks 31-7 playoff victory over Airport.

As you have probably heard Coach Greg Skipper passed away Thursday night in a car accident. If you don’t know Coach Skip he spent the better part of his 51 years coaching football and basketball. I’m not going to give an obituary or anything like that, but I do want to talk about my most lasting memory of Coach Skip.

First off, Skip was my b-team basketball coach my seventh and eighth grade years and when I reached high school he moved up too and coached the JV team. Unfortunately, I tore my ACL the end of eighth grade and missed the entire football season and the beginning of basketball. It takes 6 months for an ACL to heal and when I finally got cleared the season was well under way.

The day I got cleared we happened to be on the road against West Brunswick. Earlier that week Skip had told me I would sit that game out and practice the next week and hopefully then get some playing time. I reluctantly agreed and rode on the bus to West Brunswick in street clothes.

In the locker room before the game Coach Skip pulled me aside. He reached in the bulky equipment bag and pulled out my number 33 jersey and pants. He said he knew I had been waiting a long time to play and he was going to let me. I looked at him and told him I hadn’t brought my basketball shoes. He asked me what size I wear and I told him 12. Without thinking he pulled his New Balances off and handed them to me…

This selfless act may not seem like a huge deal, but it stands out to me. Those people who were close to Coach Skipper probably have hundreds of these “Skip” stories; most of them probably aren’t quite as serious (Skip was a jokester). I know the Seahawk family can come together and pull through this tough time. I just want anyone who reads this to pray for Coach Skip’s family and remember what a great man he was. From lending his shoes to a scrawny ninth grader, to his impact on the lives of thousands of young athletes—Coach Skip will not be forgotten.

A lot of times blogs can be filled with a lot of useless information - rambling thoughts and opinions masked as fact. This is a shining example of what great things can com from a blog. Stephen Cobb has made some great plays on both sides of the ball for the Seahawks this season and I've bragged on him in the End Zone on more than one occasion, but this is his best performance of 2008. Thanks Stephen for giving our viewers and readers some true insight on what a great loss the Seahawk family is feeling.