After four years, Gearhart steps down as Falcons’ baseball coach

By Drake Horton
Contributing Writer

At the start of next baseball season, the Darlington High School Falcons will have a new leader guiding the varsity baseball program.

Dennis Gearhart

After leading the Falcons for the past four years, Dennis Gearhart has decided to step down to pursue other opportunities, according to a press release from the Darlington County School District.

The district did not allow Gearhart to be available for comment, but over the past 12 years, he has devoted a majority of his time to the Falcons’ baseball program. Darlington High School principal Cortney Gehrke thanked Gearhart for all that he has done for the Darlington baseball program.

“Mr. Gearhart has been an important part of our Falcon family,” she said, according to a press release.

“He has done much to grow our baseball program and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Starting in 2008, Gearhart began his baseball coaching career at Darlington by being named the head coach of the junior varsity baseball program. From there he spent the next four years developing the young and upcoming talent that would eventually become starters on the varsity level.

After the resignation of Billy Sylvester, Gearhart got his chance to lead the Falcons varsity team, being named head coach in June 2015.

In his time as head coach of Darlington, Gearhart has worked tirelessly in helping improve the baseball facilities with small details such as paint to the big detail like the creation new bullpens for the pitchers to warm up on before the game.

While working on the aesthetics of the facilities to give the Darlington community something to be proud of when it came to a baseball stadium, Gearhart also did everything in his power to field a team that would make the community proud as well.

The Falcons made the playoffs every year under Gearhart and have had numerous players sign on to play college baseball in programs all over the state and that is not even including players he coached at the junior varsity level, like Kennard McDowell, who is currently playing professional baseball.

Apart from coaching the high school baseball team, Gearhart was also responsible over the past few years for coaching the Darlington Junior Legion baseball team, a summer baseball team used for the development of players heading on to play varsity baseball.

Despite stepping down as head coach of the baseball team, Gearhart will continue to work for the Darlington County School District, staying on as the Coordinating Teacher at St. John’s Elementary School.

The school district said that a search for a new coach will begin immediately.

Author: Rachel Howell

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