Will Hastings didn’t wear triangles of menacing black eye paint that intimidated the opposition’s shooters during games.
Corey Gwin didn’t have his pads and helmet he wore like armor, giving him the ability to dodge past defenders a rip a electrifying shot into the back of the net.
Instead, the Bayside South Defensive and Offensive Players of the Year sat in the Stephen Decatur Field House remembering their senior season and recalling the sense of pride and surprise of taking home the All-Bayside awards.
“It’s an honor because there’s so many kids that are as good or better that could have been chosen,” Gwin said.
Hastings felt the same way. They both said there were players just as deserving on their team as well as the rest of the Bayside.
Gwin scored 140 goals in his career as a midfielder at Stephen Decatur, including 38 goals and 10 assists in his final season.
Hastings made 120 saves.
Stephen Decatur head coach Scott Lathroum, who was named coach of the year, said he’s known both players since they were 6 or 7 years old.
They’re the type of players he’s always wanted on his team.
“Corey just doesn’t quit. Corey is — to that last second, even if you’re down six goals — he is going to give you 180 percent. He’s just going to go.
“Will is the same way. Will gets frustrated with himself when he lets a goal in. It isn’t his fault. He takes it personally. He does not want to get scored on. Every goalie is, but you have to be unique kind of person to play goalie. A different kind of person to step in there and take the shots that you do.”
The two helped Decatur to a 10-2 regular season and Bayside South title. The Seahawks regular season losses were to Kent Island, the 3A/2A state champion, and Cape Henlopen, the Delaware state runner-up.
In postseason play, Decatur lost to Kent Island in the Bayside Championship game and Kent Island again in the 3A east region semifinal.
Gwin and Hastings had plenty of help as seven other Seahawks joined the players of the year on the first team. James M. Bennett had two, Parkside and Wicomico one each and Cambridge-South Dorchester two.
While Decatur has dominated the Bayside South the past few seasons, its strength as a whole has grown.
Lathroum thinks it will even out next year and be a battle.
He always reminds Parkside head coach Jeremy Michalski that he was giving out lumps for awhile to during Parkside’s dominant stretch.
“It’s about to teeter totter again,” Lathroum said. “It’s going to be a tight race, a fun Bayside South.”
Always remembering their final season
For Hastings and Gwin, remembering what the senior group was able to accomplish will resonate more than the awards.
“We definitely were a strong group of seniors and close friends,” Gwin said. “We didn’t given up until the end. Our last game against Kent Island, we worked hard, gave it all we got and everybody was pretty dead after that game.”
“We definitely gave it all we had,” Hastings said. “We were so close to each other.”
The loss against Kent Island, Decatur’s sixth in the past two seasons, hit the two in different ways.
It was clear that Decatur’s goal all season was to upset the two-time state champs.
“It was definitely a bummer losing to Kent Island again, but I think it weighed more on me that it was my last game,” Hastings said. “No matter who it would have been against, it was tough.”
But for Gwin it was different.
“It was a little bit of both,” Gwin said. “The whole season, our mindset was to beat them. Our first game we only lost by one so we figured we could compete against them, but then afterward, the bus ride home realizing we’re done all and that it was our last game all together, it hit a lot.”
The Seahawks were close too in the third matchup.
“Yeah, 5-5 at halftime in a playoff game up there, we were there,” Lathroum said. “We were there.”
But now Lathroum can only sit at his desk looking at the picture of the seniors when he first started coaching them about 10 years ago.
Lathroum isn’t too sad though. Right next to that old picture is a new one.
“I’ve had them since they were little,” Lathroum said. “You watch grow and you look at them now, my goodness, we had pictures all season. I still have a picture of them in middle school. It’s on my desk at work and you have to laugh, you look at that picture and then now and they’re all big and strong.”
On Twitter/Instagram: @DTimes_Marshall
All-Bayside First Team
Shane Moore, Decatur
Jake Lathroum, Decatur
Kevin Davis, Bennett
Micah Brooks, Cambridge-South Dorchester
Corey Gwin, Decatur
Jackson Mumford, Decatur
Oakley Wise, Bennett
Emory Wongus, Cambridge-South Dorchester
Dryden Brous, Decatur
Long stick midfielder
R.J. Hayman, Decatur
Dalton Warren, Decatur
Craig Snyder, Decatur
Max Curry, Parkside
Woodley Joseph, Wicomico
Will Hastings, Decatur
Offensive Player of the Year: Corey Gwin
Defensive Player of the Year: Will Hastings
Coach of the Year: Scott Lathroum
Second team All-Bayside South
Danny Gregory, Bennett
Evan Heim, Decatur
Ryan Deberardinis, Parkside
Tyler Wright, Cambridge-South Dorchester
Jacob Keidell, Parkside
Joey Monfort, Wicomico
Devin Phillips, Wicomico
Dayne Nelson, Cambridge-South Dorchester
Joseph Sayers, Bennett
Long stick midfielder
Kersey Walters, Bennett
Jacob Tieder, Cambridge-South Dorchester
Matt Seidel, Bennett
Tre Lake, Cambridge-South Dorchester
Connor May, Decatur
Tyler Keen, Bennett
Justin Ball, Parkside
Jake Lanza, Bennett
Carter Malkus, Cambridge-South Dorchester
Drew Mengason, attack, Bennett
Steve Alther, attack, Decatur
Trevor Johnson, attack, Parkside
Matt LeCompte, midfield, Decatur
Chris Bragg, midfield, Parkside
Chad Farro, midfield, Bennett
Grant Day, defense, Bennett
Cole Gismondi, defense, Wicomico
Miles Deppe, defense, Parkside
Jarrett Bromwell, attack, Cambridge-South Dorchester
Trevor North, midfield, Cambridge-South Dorchester