Six Bengals to Play at College Level

Andrew Beckwith, Thomas Bessinger, Gabriela Martinez, Abreia Epps, Meredith Jones and Bryce Howell.

Six Blythewood High School athletes announced their commitment to continue their athletic careers on the collegiate level last week at a ceremony held at the high school.

Andrew Beckwith, son of William and Elizabeth Beckwith, signed his national letter of intent to play baseball for Coastal Carolina University. The future Chanticleer will compete in his third varsity baseball season for head coach Barry Mizzell this spring. Beckwith, the 2012 Region IV-4A Player of the Year, won nine games for the Bengals as a junior. In addition to his All-Region selection, Beckwith was named to the S.C. Baseball Coaches Association’s 2012 All-State team.

Thomas Bessinger, son of Tina and Thomas Bessinger Jr., has committed to playing baseball for the College of Charleston Cougars next season. Bessinger will become a four-year starter for head coach Barry Mizzell this spring. Ranked as the fourth best shortstop prospect by S.C. Diamond Prospects, Bessinger has been named to the All-Tournament team twice at the Red Bank Invitational and at the 2011 International Paper Classic.

Gabriela Martinez, daughter of Major Luis and Raquel Martinez, has signed to play volleyball next year for Belmont Abbey College. The senior setter played for head coach Mary Hall at Blythewood, helping lead the team to the Region IV 4A championship. Martinez was selected to the 2012 CAWS All-State team and the CAWS North-South All-Star game. She was the Tournament MVP at the 2012 Carolina Forest Invitational and was named a WLTX Player of the Week.

Abreia Epps, daughter of Ameache Grady, has signed her national letter of intent to play volleyball for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The future 49er played at Blythewood for head coach Mary Hall. Epps helped lead the Lady Bengals to the Region IV 4A Championship in 2012. While at Blythewood she has received numerous awards, including Rookie of the Year and Best Offensive Player.

Meredith Jones, daughter of Max and Tammy Jones, has committed to play volleyball for Queens University of Charlotte. Jones was a key member of head coach Mary Hall’s 2012 Region IV 4A championship squad. Jones was named to the All-Tournament team at the Carolina Forest Tournament. She has also won team awards for Team Camp MVP and Best Offensive Player. On the club level, Jones has been selected to the All-Tournament team for the Palmetto Region in three of the past four years.

Bryce Howell, son of Chuck and Karen Howell, has committed to play golf for the Furman Paladins next year.  Coached by Allen Hancock, Howell is currently ranked as the seventh-best junior golfer in the state. He was named to the 2012 4A All-State team and was a key member of Bengal golf teams that finished second and third at the 4A State Championship tournaments in 2011 and 2012. Howell was the champion of the 2012 Beth Daniel Azalea tournament, as well as the Ford Picard champion.

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