Runners from the 'South of the Border' area of Georgia enjoyed a great season with some top finishes at the state meets. Many freshmen from this part of the state are actually first-time runners and face some tough obstacles to overcome to get on the radar of the running community. But one boy's frosh stood out amongst all others including upper-classmen.
Tyler Phillips of South Effingham is Freshman of the Year for 'South of the Border'
Not many freshman boys are strong enough to compete for a top-five overall finish in class 6A, let alone lead their squad to a second-place team finish at the GHSA state meet, but Tyler Phillips of South Effingham was. Phillips got on the XC radar back in 2019 when he placed 7th in the Large School race at Middle School State. For a large majority of freshmen boys, the transition from MS race distances from 3k to 2-mile up to a 5k is a hard row to hoe. Plus, the increase in mileage at practices, etc, etc... Not for Phillips, his 17:29 at Carrollton Ortho in brutal mid-September heat was the launch point for the remainder of the season. He was the individual region champ and followed that with a 4th place run of 16:51 leading the Mustangs' to second as a team at GHSA State. On a roll, he ended his season at RunningLane XC Nationals in Huntsville posting a PR of 16:05. the sky is the limit for Phillips and the Stangs' next season as they return their top 5.
South of the Border All-Freshmen Team
Tyler Phillips South Effingham HS (ROY)
Memphis Rich Richmond Hill
Noah Sybert Richmond Hill
Julian Howard South Effingham HS
Garrison Slaughter Deerfield-Windsor
Pierce Parlor Jeff Davis HS
Ahmed Ibrahim Veyerans HS
Tommy Marstin Brookstone
Peyton Chambliss Brantley County
Kevin Vega Jeff Davis HS
Axel Sierra Tattnall County
Zachariah Hickey Veterans HS