William Fleming trio headed to Averett to continue athletic careers

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ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — There’s reason to celebrate in Roanoke this week as virtual graduation ceremonies take place for city schools.

And for three William Fleming athletes, there was a special signing ceremony Monday to celebrate what’s ahead for the Colonels trio.

Two football players, Sae’quann Bannister and Nickolas Andrews, and girls’ basketball player Lanie Bethel signed letters of intent to play at Averett University. The players and their families gathered at the Countryside Sportsplex to mark the occasion.

“Knowing that all the hard work paid off and I know it’s going to be hard but I have a great support system behind me and I’m just ready to start,” Bethel said. “It’s a perfect fit because it’s not too far from home. I have a lot of family down in Danville.”

Bannister says it was the connection with the football team’s coaches that made the choice easy.

“When I went down there for like a day, the players, the coaches, everybody treated me like family so that’s why I wanted to go,” Bannister said.

And Bannister’s best friend, Andrews, will join him on the Cougars roster.

“It means a lot,” Andrews said. “We’ve been best friends since middle school so going to the same college is a big step for us. This day means a lot. It shows you how far hard work can take you and it’s just a good feeling to have everybody celebrate you.”

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