Colleton found much needed hero in Jermale Paige | Opinion | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | April 30, 2017 5:00 pm
Last Updated: April 26, 2017 at 4:07 pm
Colleton County needed a sport hero, and last Saturday it got what it needed in CCHS Baseball Coach Jermale Paige and his Cougars.
In his first year as the Cougars’ coach, the 2009 CCHS graduate faced a daunting task: rebuilding and reconstructing a program which over the past eight years struggled to a 17-101 record and made just one playoff appearance.
Last weekend, Paige and his Cougars brought home the Region 8-AAAA championship, quite a turn-around in only one year of coaching.
Paige began volunteering with the Cougars in February of 2015. A former Cougar baseball player, Paige played baseball at USC Salkehatchie in NJCAA Region X, before finishing his career in the South Atlantic Conference at Newberry College. Earning his bachelor’s degree in biology at Newberry, Paige was a long-term substitute last school year and taught reading at Colleton County Middle School before moving to CCHS during this school year.
Paige, primarily a centerfielder, garnered much recognition throughout this baseball career as a highly touted All-Conference, All-Region and MVP player. During his collegiate career, he received numerous recognitions including MVP, Academic All-American, Offensive Player of the Year for Salkehatchie and SAC All-Conference for Newberry.
And all that experience paid off, both for Paige and his team.
When accepting the job in August, Paige said, “Now, the real work begins for Cougar baseball as we look to develop our young athletes, grow our program and perform as a top contender in Region 8-AAAA. It is a process that is going to take a lot of hard work and discipline to get there, but get there, we will — one day at a time.”
And get there they did.
But one Facebook comment said it all: “Way to go Coach Paige. You love these kids and they love you as well. It shows!!!”