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Post 1 coaching tree on full display at Diamond Challenge
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AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL

Post 1 coaching tree on full display at Diamond Challenge

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FLORENCE, S.C. — It was around Day 2 of the Founders FCU Diamond Challenge tournament that Derick Urquhart really started to notice all of the familiar names.

In fact, the Florence Post 1 coach could have held an alumni meeting as 11 former players were among the coaching staffs of the teams involved.

“I was looking around Tuesday and said … man, we’ve got some pretty good representation here,” Urquhart said. “It made me proud to be a part of that program.

“…I didn’t get to coach all 11, but it was still neat to look out there and see all of the former Post 1 players who were coaching.”

Five different teams had a former Post 1 player on the bench in some capacity, including the entire South Florence coaching staff as well as three at Trinity Collegiate, including Urquhart.

Trinity’s Keshaun Samuel and Zach McKay were former players under Urquhart along with Wilson’s Chipper Smith, McBee’s Connor Kirkley and South’s Rhodes Dickerson and Brandon Hyman.

The Bruins’ Kenny Gray and Trae Allison are also Post 1 alumni along with Wilson’s Micah Young and West Florence’s Tripp Kelly.

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The Post 1 coaching tree extends beyond just five teams, however.

“I started thinking about not only the guys that were there, but also the ones at other places,” Urquhart said. “Tyler Boyd is the head coach at Williamsburg Academy and Brian Davis is the head coach at Pee Dee Academy.”

Phillip Herring at Dillon High School, Austin Morrell at Latta and Carnell Montgomery at Lake City are just a few of the others currently working as assistant coaches in the area. .

“We’ve got guys all over the place that are heavily involved in high school coaching and I’m sure I’m missing more names,” Urquhart said. “I don’t know that I’ve ever sat down and counted them all.”

Regardless, it’s an enduring legacy that Urquhart hopes continues with each new generation of players.

“We hope that we not only improve them on the field and make them better baseball players, but we want to make them better people as well,” he said. “Part of that is having an influence on the young kids and being able to teach the game that hopefully our coaching staffs were able to teach these guys when they were coming through.

“We hope that we were able to teach them to play the game the right way and that our influence is being passed on to the next generation.”

Part of that legacy is also found in every new crop of Post 1 players — many of whom have been recommended by former players themselves, Urquhart said.

“I can pick up the phone, which I do quite a bit, and ask what they thought about this player or that player,” he said. “Whether they’re on that team or somebody they’ve played against, I trust these coaches and I value their opinions.”

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