Naquez Pringle has a college home.
The highly touted Carvers Bay defensive lineman has formally signed a letter of intent to continue his playing career at Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Miss. Pringle will spend at least one season there and then will be able to re-open his recruitment.
He had offers from South Carolina, Clemson, Central Florida and North Carolina State, among others. However, he said he fell short on the test scores needed to qualify to play immediately.
Itawamba has a strong tradition of sending its players to four-year schools. Last year’s team alone had 19 players sign with bigger programs. In the last five years, former Itawamba players have landed in the SEC, ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12.
North Myrtle Beach is sending another football player to the next level.
Lineman MacKenzie Angel signed with Gray Military Academy on Thursday. He joins Limestone signees Delonzo Williams and Cameron Gore, Tyrique Robinson (Tusculum) and Pikeville commit Jordan Perry.
Angel, a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder, graded out at 82 percent as a senior for the Chiefs. He piled up 24 knock-down blocks and allowed just two sacks while playing primarily left tackle. At Gray, he is expected to either remain at the tackle position or switch to the defensive line.
Angel was a contributing factor for a North Myrtle Beach team that went from failing to win a game in 2010 and 2011 to finishing third in Region VII-AAA and winning a playoff game in 2013.
North Myrtle Beach volleyball player Ellen Johnson has signed with Bluefield College, an NAIA program in Virginia.
Johnson, a two-time Toast of the Coast selection from The Sun News, helped the Chiefs to the Class AAA state finals each of the last two seasons, including a state title in 2012. She averaged 12 kills per match and was named a North-South All Star as a senior after piling up 196 kills, 47 aces, 291 digs and 13 blocks her junior year.
Basketball playoffs schedule change
Myrtle Beach’s boys and girls basketball teams will play their third-round playoff games on separate nights after all.
After attempting to package them as a Wednesday doubleheader, the girls will play Orangeburg-Wilkinson at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The Myrtle Beach boys will play Midland Valley at home at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
The winners of those two games will move on to Saturday’s Class AAA Lower State finals at the Florence Civic Center.
All-State basketball honors
Myrtle Beach’s Soloman Cooper and Keocia Walker and North Myrtle Beach guard Matt Lindsey were named to the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association All-State teams, released Monday.
Cooper has averaged 13 points and six rebounds for the Seahawks. Walker, who was also named the Region VII-AAA Player of the Year, averaged eight points, 3.8 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game.
Lindsey averaged 17.1 points, six rebounds and 3.5 assists for the Chiefs this season.
All-region basketball honors
Cooper was named the Region VII-AAA Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Cooper helped the Seahawks to the region title and a No. 1 seed in the Class AAA playoffs. Myrtle Beach’s Craig Martin was also named the region’s Coach of the Year.
Wilson’s Blake Walker was honored as the region’s Newcomer of the Year.
Joining Cooper on the All-Region VII-AAA First Team were Josh Lindsey and Matt Lindsey (North Myrtle Beach), Socastee’s Koel Cutler and Myrtle Beach’s Brooks Swanson. All five are seniors.
In Region VIII-AA girls, Dillon’s undefeated season was highly rewarded. Tyshanna Lester earned Player of the Year honors while Shawn Johnson was named the region’s Coach of the Year.
The all-region teams were selected by coaches, and teams were awarded a specific number of slots according to how they finished in the region standings.
Area players included were Alexis Grove, Sydney Derrick and LeAnn Thompson from Waccamaw, Loris’ Jasmine Farris and Demisha Phillips and Ayawan Deas and Caprisha Nash of Aynor.
On the boys side in Region VIII-AA, three players from Waccamaw and two each from Loris and Aynor were each named to the all-region squad.
Waccamaw’s Adonis Williams, Jack Dwyer and Rob Ferraro were joined by Loris’ Tyree Floyd and Shawn Simmons, as well as Brandon Young and Zack Jenerette from Aynor. Additionally, the Warriors’ Mike Quinn and Loris’ Adrain Grady split the region’s Coach of the Year honors.
Alex Brown from Mullins was named the Region VIII-AA Player of the Year.
The region assigns a specific number of player honors for each team depending on its finish in the region standings.
Conway guard Christian Jeffords and Carolina Forest forward Ryan Yurachek were each named to the All-Region VI-AAAA boys team.
Yurachek, who will be playing football at Marshall next year, averaged 13.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for the Panthers this season. Carolina Forest qualified for the playoffs, where it lost in the first round to Dutch Fork. Jeffords, a junior, averaged 14 points, 3.5 assists and 2.8 steals for Conway, which finished in fourth place in the region and just missed a trip to the playoffs.
Sumter’s Erick White and JoJo English were named the region’s Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.
Full all-region teams that have been released can be found on the Prep Talk blog at MyrtleBeachOnline.com.
SCBCA preseason polls
With the high school baseball season just around the corner, four area teams will enter the year with increased expectations.
Socastee, Loris, Aynor and Waccamaw were all included in the South Carolina Baseball Coaches Association polls, released late last week. The Braves were No. 6 in Class AAA, while the three area Class AA teams were Nos. 5, 6 and 9, respectively.
Preseason tournaments begin next week, with the regular season opening on March 10.
The Sun News is asking all area athletic directors to send their spring schedules to firstname.lastname@example.org at the earliest convenience.