Hendricks heading to South Carolina Upstate’s track team
Rockmart’s Zoryan Hendricks reached several major accomplishments during his high school career, including recently winning the GHSA AA 300 meter hurdles state championship on May 11 at Valhalla Stadium in Rome, GA.
He has now made plans to further his track career on the collegiate level by signing with The University of South Carolina (USC) Upstate, a NCAA Division 1 college.
The Class of 2019 senior officially signed his letter of intent to join the Spartans track and field team on June 7 while surrounded by his parents, his extended family, his track and field and wrestling coaches, and many of his friends during a small celebration at Rockmart High School.
Although Hendricks received offers from other schools, including Middle Tennessee State University, Southern Utah University, Colorado State University, and Minnesota State University, he felt USC Upstate was the best option for him.
“Of all of the opportunities that were given to me, USC Upstate was the best one,” he said.
“When I visited, it felt like a new home for me,” Hendricks added. “The coaches and athletes were nice and welcoming, they had great track facilities, and they offered me enough money to where I would not have to pay anything out of pocket.”
Hendricks is looking forward to his track career, especially the competition and the energy from running against people in all divisions. “I really need people to push me,” he said.
“To get to this point, I worked hard everyday at practice, even when it was hot, cold, or rainy,” Hendricks said.
During his high school athletic career, Hendricks was also a two-time state runnerup in wrestling and a member of the Jackets football team, who finished as state runnerup this past season.
“I feel like football really helped me in track because it made me a stronger person,” he said. “Because I worked out harder during football, it made me better to go over the hurdles this past track season.”
“I have to thank my parents, all of my coaches that I have ever had, and God, of course, for giving me the ability to run,” Hendricks said.
Hendricks will be joining the Spartans in Spartanburg, SC this fall and plans to study biochemistry, but isn’t positive of his plans after college.
Three years after his talent was first validated by his selection in the Major League Baseball draft, Dylan Beasley was rewarded with another slot in the annual event, only this time he’s going to follow it through.
The former Rome High standout and current Berry College player was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 32nd round of the MLB draft on Wednesday. He is the first Berry player to be drafted since the school joined NCAA Division III.
“It’s very exciting,” Beasley said in a release from the school. “This is what you work for. There’s nothing but excitement right now because I know there are so many more things to come. I knew there were several teams interested but the Nationals were one of the teams I would love to go to so I’m glad they are the ones that called.”
Beasley was selected in the 40th round of the 2016 MLB draft by the Atlanta Braves just after graduating high school but decided to attend Berry, where he played for his father — Vikings head coach David Beasley — for the last three years.
“I’m just super happy for Dylan,” David Beasley said in a release. “I’m really proud of all the work he put in and for the Nationals’ scouts for giving him an opportunity to be drafted. I’m happy for our program and for him especially getting to fulfill something he’s wanted since he was a kid.”
Dylan Beasley just completed his junior season at Berry, earning his second all-conference honor as a right-handed pitcher and shortstop. He ranked top-10 in the Southern Athletic Association with two triples, 34 RBIs, a 5-0 record on the mound and a career-best 48 strikeouts.
On the year, he hit a career-high .313 with a .435 slugging percentage. He was also selected to this year’s SAA All-Tournament team and the American Baseball Coaches Association All-Region team.
Beasley is the 33rd Berry baseball player to have a chance to compete at the professional level and the first since Stephen Gaylor, another former Rome High player, inked an undrafted deal with the Atlanta Braves in 2014.
Beasley is one of just nine NCAA Division III baseball players selected in this year’s draft.
Another Rome-area athlete also got drafted by the Nationals on Wednesday as former Chattooga standout Amos Willingham was selected in the 17th round.
Willingham transferred to Georgia Tech after two years at Snead State Community College in Alabama. The pitcher just completed his junior season with the Yellow Jackets with an 8-2 record and a 5.19 ERA and 42 strikeouts.
He had a stellar performance in Georgia Tech’s NCAA Tournament opener last week, drawing the start and throwing six innings of two-run ball with four strikeouts as the Jackets beat Florida A&M.
Family and friends joined Zoryan Hendricks for a signing day celebration on Friday, June 7.
Berry College’s Dylan Beasley got the call baseball players dream about Wednesday when he was drafted by the Washington Nationals.