This article, written by Bubba Kapral, originally appeared in the Times Leader on Sunday March 31, 2019.
Apicella Gains A.D. Honors South Carolina
SHADYSIDE – Matt Apicella is making a positive difference.
The Shadyside High grad is cast in the role of athletic director at Lake City High School in South Carolina. It is a job he performs with great expertise.
So much so, for the second successive year, Apicella has been selected as the South Carolina Athletic Administrators Association’s 3A Athletic Director of the Year. The award was presented March 12 at the annual SCAAA conference in Charleston.
“To be recognized statewide by your peers is very humbling,” Apicella said. “This award enables everyone to realize what we are doing here.
“It is also a showcase of what our kids are doing on the field and in the community,” he added. “I am extremely proud to shine a positive light on the school and the community.”
Apicella has served as Lake City High’s athletic director for six years. He is also the head varsity baseball coach. Since being named athletic director, he has focused on student-athletes performing community service. He was selected from among the eight 3A Region Athletic Directors of the Year after being nominated by other athletic directors in Region 6-AAA.
“Over the past six years, our student-athletes have performed 10,000 hours of community service work,” Apicella said. “They make weekly visits to schools, mentor students and do community cleanups. They have really embraced this.
“Every year, I have the honor to work with the best kids around and they inspire me every day to keep grinding and looking for ways to make our vision work,? he said. ?I am thankful for Superintendent Laura Hickson-Evans? unwavering support and for always granting me the leeway to make things happen. This honor is a testament to a complete group effort from kids to coaches to administration.”
Apicella has been at Lake City for 20 years, the last 10 serving as the school’s head baseball coach. Two seasons ago, his Panthers went 23-8 pocketing the Class 3A region and district championships. As a result, Apicella was accorded several coach-of-the-year honors.
“We are in a full rebuilding mode this year. We start four sophomores and two freshmen. We also play in a shark tank of a region,” he added. “If teams are going to get us, they better get us this year.
“I am in a great spot and a great place here at Lake City,” he added. “We try and raise expectations every year so they become next year’s standards.”
Apicella was an all-state baseball player for Shadyside in 1994. He subsequently enjoyed a stellar baseball career at Muskingum University.
After finishing up his collegiate degree at Ohio State University, Apicella landed a teaching job at Lake City High, located just 45 minutes from Myrtle Beach, in 1999. The past two decades have seen him author an honors-filled career as head baseball coach and athletic director.
Apicella’s mother, Susan (Foster) Apicella still resides in Shadyside.