Boyd will compete in track and field at Columbia College. She holds South Pointe records in the high jump and 4x100-meter relay and will compete in both events at this weekend’s 4A state championship meet. She’s the only senior on the relay unit.
“I have faith in us,” she said. “I try to motivate them to keep their heads up. They’re young and they have more time, but this is my last year so I’m gonna go for it.”
Boyd liked the size of her future school, Columbia College. The school’s mascot is the Fighting Koalas.
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“It’s really nice and it’s a small community. Not too big of a university, just the right class sizes to pay attention in class and get the right grades,” Boyd said.
Howze was a little surprised to land an opportunity to play softball at Claflin University so late in the school year.
“Not really losing hope, but it was nerve-wracking not knowing whether I was going to go to school to play the sport I love,” she said.
Howze batted .553 this season with three home runs and 12 RBI and is part of the school’s winningest class of softball players. She is majoring in elementary education. Like her co-signees, Howze was taken by the small size of Claflin, one of the state’s historically black colleges.
“All the people are just so nice,” she said.
Easily the most emotional moment of Wednesday’s gathering was when South Pointe boys’ basketball coach Melvin Watson talked about Ja’Micah Hemphill. Watson said Hemphill epitomized the school’s basketball program with his hard work, discipline and commitment. He’ll need all of that during his two years playing at Denmark Technical College, where he plans on majoring in biology.
Hemphill went down to Denmark Tech and tried out for the team, an experience he deemed “very intense.” A two-time varsity letterman, Hemphill was South Pointe basketball’s defensive player of the year.
“You’ve got to stay defensively sound and stay locked in,” he said, describing his defensive philosophy. “Just got to stay locked in.”
Howle was planning on going to Winthrop and applied to Lander University as a backup plan. But when he visited Lander, he loved the school and will run cross country there, beginning this fall.
“It really caters to the individual’s needs,” said Howle, a three-year varsity runner at South Pointe.
Howle plans on majoring in math and minoring in music and wants to be a teacher. He returned to South Pointe for his senior year after spending his 11th grade year at Governor’s School.
“It has the most amazing people I’ve ever met, but it was definitely the most stressful experience I’ve ever had,” said Howle.