ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Last week, a trio of William Fleming student-athletes signed letters of intent to play at Averett University. Each one had a special journey during their high school careers and they’re in the spotlight of this edition of WFXR Sports’ Senior Sunday.
Lanie Bethel (Basketball)
“It’s just knowing all the hard work paid off and I know it’s going to be hard,” senior point guard Lanie Bethel said. “But I have a great support system behind me.”
Bethel’s path to a college basketball career at Averett wasn’t easy and included moments of self doubt.
“It’s not being confident, knowing that I could play but just afraid of the spotlight,” Bethel said. “But when it was my time and I had to step up, I had no choice.”
Head coach Richard Wilson empowered Bethel to be a leader.
“He brought back the confidence that I needed. That I had lost,” Bethel said. “And he put it back in me and he just pushed me to be great. And he never stopped.”
Nickolas Andrews (football)
Football head coach Jamar Lovelace also played a major role in shaping the success of his two wide receivers that are about to become Cougars, including Nickolas Andrews.
“Just so proud of these guys with what they’ve done academically with the place that they’ve put themselves in and kinda been able to choose their destination and that’s what we want,” Andrews said. “We want our athletes to be able to one day choose their destination.”
Andrews felt like he’s matured significantly in the two years that Lovelace has served as head coach.
“As a player, I just felt like more like a role model to my teammates,” Andrews said. “Showed them how to do what’s right on the field at all times no matter how good or bad the game is going.”
Sae’quann Bannister (football)
Andrews will be able to share his future journey on the gridiron with his best friend, Sae’quann Bannister, who has come a long way from originally wanting to play basketball to finding a passion for football.
“It means a lot to be honest ‘cuz back then when I was younger, I used to get into a lot of trouble,” Bannister said. “Me just coming with a new family, changing my life around, something that I didn’t even think I’d be doing like in fourth grade, fifth grade sixth grade. I couldn’t even see myself doing this. Or even graduating high school.”
“It’s just a lot right now.”