It's difficult for Hilton Head Christian Academy's football team to find a silver lining in taking home the silver medal, so to speak, from the SCISAA Class 2-A championship game Saturday in Columbia, but several Eagles players did reach personal milestones during the 31-27 loss to Thomas Sumter Academy.
Most notably, senior receiver Ryan Emery wrapped up his stellar season with five catches for 68 yards to finish the season with 53 receptions for 888 yards and 10 touchdowns, breaking Jonathan Gort's single-season school record of 50 catches in 2005.
Naturally, Emery was in the mood to celebrate his record-breaking season after the Eagles lost a fourth-quarter lead and were unable to regain it.
"Honestly, I don't know what happened," Emery said. "We had the momentum going, and we just lost it."
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TUCKER TOPS 1,000
With 16 carries for 100 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's title game, Hilton Head Christian senior JaBrook Tucker finished the season with 1,014 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
Tucker became the first Hilton Head Christian player to top 1,000 yards rushing since quarterback Gabe Gilmour rushed for 1,695 yards in 2006. He joins Gilmour and Jeremiah Spires (1,491 yards in 2004) as the only 1,000-yard rushers in the program's nine-year history.
Tucker lost two fumbles in the title game, accounting for two of Hilton Head Christian's five turnovers, but he also was the Eagles' most productive offensive player Saturday.
"JaBrook had a great game. JaBrook's a stud," Emery said. "He was there for us all year, and we wouldn't have been here without him."
UNHAPPY ENDING FOR SIRGO
It wasn't lost on Eagles quarterback Luke Sirgo that his career ended on a bad note -- an interception that essentially sealed Thomas Sumter's victory -- but Sirgo said he will use the memory of his last high school pass as motivation if he plays at the next level.
"I'll just learn from all my mistakes and try to be a better quarterback," Sirgo said.
Sirgo said he has received interest from several smaller colleges, but he has "no idea" at this point where he will be headed in the fall.
After three seasons as Hilton Head Christian's starting quarterback, Sirgo leaves with school records for career touchdowns passes (94), career passing yards (7,731), passing yards in a season (2,820 in 2008) and touchdown passes in a season (32 in 2008).