Bengals ink college plans

Donny Purcell, Kaleb Kelly, Zion Harvey, Marshalene Gill, Christian Foster

BLYTHEWOOD – Five Blythewood High School seniors announced their plans to continue their athletic careers on the collegiate level on National Signing Day, joining five Bengals who had previously announced their decisions.

Christian Foster, son of Greg Foster, Tara Tutt, and Derrick Tutt, announced his intentions to continue his soccer career at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia. Foster, a winger for head coach Robby Setzler, is preparing to play his senior season for the Bengals. Foster has earned All-Region and All-State honors as a Bengal and holds the school records for most goals in a season.

Marshalene Gill, daughter of David and Stephanie Gill, announced her intention to continue her lacrosse career at Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania. Gill is a midfielder for head coach Margaret Woodruff at Blythewood. Preparing to compete in her senior season as a Bengal, Gill is a two-year captain for Blythewood and was named the Middle of the Year in 2023.

Zion Harvey, daughter of Xavier and Shashonda Harvey, announced her decision to continue her track career at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Harvey is a sprinter and jumper for head coach Aleshia Taylor at Blythewood. Harvey is a five-time All American and has also earned All-State and All-Region honors in her career. She was a vital part of the 2023 5A State Championship Track team at Blythewood.

Kaleb Kelly, son of Kevin Kelly and Sonja Sutton, announced his decision to continue his football career at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. Kelly was a wide receiver for head coach James Martin at Blythewood. In addition to football, Kelly has excelled on the track at Blythewood, earning both All-Region and All-State honors.

Donny Purcell, son of Don and Kerri Purcell, announced his decision to continue his soccer career at Lime- stone University in Gaffney, South Carolina. Purcell is a defender for head coach Robby Setzler at Blythe- wood. Purcell earned All-Region honors as a junior and was also named to the Palmetto Cup All-Tournament Team.

These five Bengals joined five other Bengals who had previously announced their college decisions.

Lydia Daniels, Evelyn Wright and Landon Penfield

Lydia Daniels, daughter of Phillip and Tracy Daniels, previously announced her intention to continue her soccer career at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. Daniels will be a center back for head coach Alyssa Farris heading into her senior season at Blythewood. Daniels has played a critical role in the Blythe- wood defense; during her freshman year, she helped lead the Bengals to the state quarter-finals for the first time since 2015 and again the following two years. The Bengals were also crowned region champion each of the last three years with Daniels at center back. In addition, Daniels has competed internationally for the USA Youth Futsal National team and plays center-back for South Carolina United ECNL.

Landon Penfield, son of Les and Amy Penfield, previously announced his signing with College of Charleston to continue his baseball career. Penfield will be a pitcher and infielder for head coach Travis Poole this up- coming season at Blythewood. Penfield has earned All-Region honors each of the last two seasons at Blythewood and was named to the All-State team in 2022. He was one of the key components of the Blythewood’s run to the State Championship Series in 2023.

Evelyn Wright, daughter of Bill and Anna Wright, previously announced her signing with Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina to continue her soccer career. Wright will play midfield and forward for head coach Alyssa Farris at Blythewood. Wright has earned numerous accolades in her three years with Blythewood. She has earned All-Region honors in each season, earning Region Player of the Year in 2021. Wright has also earned All-State honors in each of the last two seasons and has been named a most valuable player on the team each year.

Taaj Rockman

Taaj Rockman, daughter of LaSean Rockman, Aaron Rockman, and Stephen Goins, previously announced her intention to continue her volleyball career at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster. Rockman, a middle blocker for head coach Mary Hall, helped lead the Bengals to the playoffs her senior year. Rockman is an active member of the HOSA – Future Health Professionals and the National Honors Society.

Josie Smythe

Josie Smythe, daughter of Jason and Shonna Smythe, previously announced her signing with Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina to continue her softball career. Smythe is an infielder for head coach Jordan Atkinson at Blythewood where she is set to begin her fifth varsity season. Smythe enters her senior year with a .410 batting average. She has twice earned All-Region and All-State honors. Smythe also served as Student Athletic Trainer for the school’s football team.

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