Myrtle Beach senior to play in Clash of the Carolinas All-Star Soccer game

For The Sun NewsApril 10, 2013 

— Myrtle Beach senior forward Mason Lewis has been named to the Clash of the Carolinas All-Star Soccer game in July.

Lewis, who has led the Seahawks to a 11-2 record, a No. 1 ranking the Class AAA state coaches poll and a top-50 national ranking from Elite Soccer Report, was the lone area player named to the South Carolina vs. North Carolina event. The game will be played July 6 at Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island in Charleston.

“I think Mason deserves it,” Myrtle Beach coach Jason Himmelsbach said. “There have been years where I felt someone had a shot. But his body of work the last three years has been amazing. He’s been all-region the last three years and our leading scorer. He had a really good shot of making the team.”

Lewis has already scored 16 goals and added nine assists this year for the Seahawks. Both figures lead the team. He also led the team in scoring as a junior – when he tallied 18 goals – and was second as a sophomore behind only former Seahawk Ryan Arambula when he scored 14 times.

Arambula, now playing at the University of South Carolina, was the lone area player selected for the Clash of the Carolinas a year ago.

As for Lewis, however, he’s continued to improve throughout his time playing for Myrtle Beach. After garnering all-region honors as a sophomore, he then added Class AAA All-State honors to his resume following his junior season.

This year, Lewis is likely to be an All-State selection again. That team will be decided in May. By that point, Lewis may have a decision in place for college soccer. Himmelsbach said Lewis was visiting Presbyterian Wednesday, and that other schools have shown interest as well.

The Clash recognition won’t hurt his chances.

Many believed Lewis was a lock for the game, which pits the best 18 seniors from South Carolina against their counterparts from North Carolina. After all, he’s the best player on one of the state’s best teams.

“I don’t think it’s ever a shoo-in,” Himmelsbach said. “Playing good competition and traveling a little bit. Our kids spent their spring break in hotels in Columbia. It helps build recognition for your program.

“His play and his stats on the field – even if we were an unranked team at the bottom of our region, he’d make the team.”

Myrtle Beach remained undefeated in Region VII-AAA Tuesday night with a 2-1 victory over St. James. The Seahawks will be off until Tuesday, at which point they’ll play Georgetown, St. James and Wilson in consecutive days.

Lewis and his teammates will have their highly anticipated rematch with Socastee (ranked No. 4 in the state) on April 23. Myrtle Beach and other Class AAA teams from around the state will begin the first round of the South Carolina playoffs on May 7.

Contact IAN GUERIN at ian@ianguerin.com.

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