Oceanside Academy

South Carolina State Rep. Richard Yow (R) and State Rep. Patricia Moore Henegan (D) have shared their concerns about a need for training and potential changes following an announcer’s remarks during a high school baseball game last week.

Wednesday, the Oceanside Collegiate Academy Landsharks, a charter school in Mt. Pleasant, SC, took on the Andrew Jackson High School Volunteers, a public school from Kershaw, SC, in a playoff game that ended with a 2-1 Oceanside victory. At the end of the contest, things appeared to get a little chippy between the two sides after the handshake line.

“The little guys from…the Volunteers are getting mad. Wanting to fight after the game. Here we go again. Boys will be boys. That doesn’t surprise me. When we see the parents coming, that these kids are coming from,” said Oceanside announcer Torre Tyson in an online stream.

The last part of that call, which some viewers and social media users deemed “totally uncalled for,” soon went viral and elicited some very strong reactions, given the social dynamic at play between a private school and a public school.

The complaints got loud enough that they caught the attention of some local political leaders, who condemned the comments online and in an interview with WPDE’s Tonya Brown.

“We live in a rural area. We have rural kids. We know our kids. We know the kids in the schools. We know the parents. We have kids playing cousins in different schools. Playing church members in different schools. This is more than just sports. This is family, and when you sit there and make a derogatory comment about a small, rural school,” said Yow. “Where these kids that not only play the sports, they keep up their grades. They actually work on the fields. They actually volunteer. They actually do their own fundraising. These kids are making the extra effort. And these families are supporting them. Everything that we stand for is families together. Helping one another. And then you were going to sit there and make a derogatory comment that you’ve heard. And you have about our families and friends. I take that personal.”

“I was extremely upset. So upset, that I cried tears,” said Henegan. “Because knowing these parents. And knowing that they’re spending their last money. Some of them are trying to get the funds to be able to go to different places. And to participate. And joy, the children get. The fact is these kids fight hard to even have A’s and B’s to remain on the teams that they are on. And yet, they hire someone to degrade kids? It’s just terrible and I can tell you this. I am glad that the parents kept their cool. But, it was extremely hard for some of us when we heard it. To keep our cool, but we are trying our best to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

Both Yow and Henegan said that they want the South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) to hold Tyson and Oceanside Collegiate Academy accountable for the impact of his words. Henegan added that she believes anyone who calls or announces high school games should receive sensitivity training.

ABC 15 spoke with Tyson, a former Minor League player whose son Tagger plays for Oceanside and hit the game-winning home run that night. He says that the whole thing is being blown out of proportion and lacking proper context.

“Literally, what I meant was, a little guy. Like one of their small players was trying to fight our player,” said Tyson. “And when I said, not surprising. Their parents tried to start fights in the stands. With our parents. That’s all it means. It’s not a degrading comment or anything, like that. It literally meant they’re acting just like their parents did. That’s it.”

Tyson added that while he edited the offending comments out of the official online broadcast video, the comment was recorded and posted on social media.

“That’s not even online. It’s like something they copied before we even got home to edit. The stuff, you know, out. It’s not even online. It’s something they screen-recorded. You know, in the moment,” said Tyson. “And that’s fine. It’s out there, but, my point is, there was no disparaging comment. It was just a fact. A little guy was trying to find a big guy. That’s it he’s received very rude and some threatening messages over social media.”

ABC 15 received a statement from Oceanside Collegiate Academy’s Athletic Director Mark Meyer regarding the incident as well.

“On behalf of Oceanside Collegiate Academy, the principal and I have expressed our apologies to the school’s administration and taken the necessary action in response to the inappropriate comments made by a member of the OCA Community,” read the statement. “We hold ourselves to a higher standard than what this incident displayed.”

[Tonya Brown, ABC 15]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.