J.B. Fa­vorite has made a big im­pres­sion on team, town

The Sun News - - Sports - BY T.J. LUNDEEN

J.B. Fa­vorite may be suit­ing up for his fi­nal foot­ball game on Fri­day, so he’s mak­ing sure to sa­vor the mo­ments of this week.

The se­nior de­fen­sive end has poured his heart and soul into the Myr­tle Beach pro­gram, play­ing foot­ball for coach Mickey Wil­son for four years while main­tain­ing ex­cel­lent grades as a Na­tional Honor So­ci­ety mem­ber and be­ing ac­tive in the com­mu­nity.

“First, he’s a great leader. He’s a kid that does a lot of things well; he’s a great stu­dent, he’s great in our com­mu­nity by work­ing at the Boys and Girls Club (of the Grand Strand) and does a great job over there,” Wil­son said of his stand­out de­fen­sive player. “He’s a great young man to have in your pro­gram and re­ally does ev­ery­thing right. He’s a plea­sure to coach.”

Fa­vorite doesn’t have the pro­to­typ­i­cal build of a de­fen­sive end, which is lim­it­ing his re­cruit­ment at the next level. Wil­son is per­plexed by the lack of col­lege of­fers, as his pro­duc­tion on the field and in the class­room is off the charts. That pro­duc­tion is one rea­son he’s been named to the North-South All-Star Foot­ball Game to be played at Coastal Carolina on Dec. 15.

“He’s a guy that, if you’re look­ing at some­body that you

want to be a great ex­am­ple for young men – not just on the field but in the hall­ways, class­room and com­mu­nity – he’s that guy,” Wil­son said. “He does what he’s sup­posed to do and goes above that to be a great rep­re­sen­ta­tive of his fam­ily, Myr­tle Beach High School and this pro­gram.”

Listed by Myr­tle Beach at 6-feet and 245 pounds, Fa­vorite pro­jects as more of a line­backer at the next level, some­thing he’s will­ing to take on if the need arises.

“I would love to be able to play foot­ball at the next level, I love play­ing the game,” he said at prac­tice on Wed­nes­day. “It’s some­thing that’s still in the works; I’ve been in con­tact with a few schools and have been to some camps. I’ve been able to get out to some games this sea­son to see some schools.”

As a fresh­man on the JV team, Fa­vorite played on both the of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive lines, but coaches saw his bud­ding po­ten­tial as a de­fen­sive end four years ago. Since then, he’s worked to re­fine his tech­nique, re­ly­ing on pro play­ers like Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears and Ryan Ker­ri­gan of his fa­vorite team, the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins, to give him an ad­van­tage in his matchups.

Dur­ing Myr­tle Beach’s play­off run, he’s had a game with six sacks against North Myr­tle Beach and numer­ous tack­les for losses against Marl­boro County. He also an­chored the de­fen­sive strat­egy against Hartsville, where the de­fen­sive ends were crit­i­cal to keep­ing quar­ter Tiyon Evans in the pocket.

“All I can re­mem­ber as a kid is be­ing short and fat. Once I got to high school, I hit a growth spurt but I didn’t re­ally lose any weight, I just got a lit­tle faster,” Fa­vorite said. “I try to make sure my re­spon­si­bil­ity is done on ev­ery play, if that’s rush­ing the passer or read­ing keys for a run. Be­ing in the right place at the right time is key on de­fense.”

As he hit the prac­tice field on Wed­nes­day, Fa­vorite had a bit of a somber mo­ment, as it was his last time suit­ing up for a prac­tice at home.

“I’ve been think­ing about that, but it didn’t hit me un­til this week,” he said. “This is my last game in a Myr­tle Beach uni­form; [Wed­nes­day] is my last prac­tice at Doug Shaw [Me­mo­rial Sta­dium]. This pro­gram has done a lot for me since I was in ju­nior high.”

Al­though he’s been around Fa­vorite for four years, Wil­son saw some­thing change in his de­fen­sive cap­tain fol­low­ing his team’s 70-34 loss at Hartsville in Week 11.

“After we got beat by Hartsville, we came back with a dif­fer­ent fo­cus and mind­set, that’s been some­thing that J.B. has been a leader of for our team,” Wil­son said. “All of the se­niors have stepped up to keep this sea­son go­ing and have had a great im­pact on the field.”

After Fri­day, Fa­vorite is a free agent and the next pro­gram to get him will be get­ting a gem.

JOSH BELL [email protected]­sun­news.com

Myr­tle Beach Sea­hawks se­nior de­fen­sive line­man J.B. Fa­vorite, cen­ter, leads his team­mates onto the field be­fore the start of prac­tice on Wed­nes­day.

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