Hen­dricks head­ing to South Carolina Up­state’s track team

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL SPORTS - By Lorene Parker loren­[email protected]

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.

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