PROSPERITY — Jonathan Bickley, Mid-Carolina High School senior, signed his letter of intent to play baseball at the University of South Carolina Sumter.
Bickley, a left handed pitcher, has been playing baseball since he was about six years old, but before sticking with baseball he first gave football a shot. He has been playing baseball with the Rebels for six years.
“I first tried playing football, but baseball has been my number one sport,” Bickley said.
Before making his final decision, Bickley had offers from Newberry College, The Citadel and Florence-Darlington Technical College.
He said taking on the pitching position requires conditioning and throwing a lot of strikes to help fill up the zone. His favorite baseball memory is winning the State Championship All-Stars in 2011.
While at USC Sumter, Bickley would like to major in Agriculture. He said he chose this major because of his love of wildlife.
Melissa Bickley, Jonathan Bickley’s mother, is savoring this exciting time in her son’s life.
“It’s very exciting and overwhelming. He realized when he got to middle school that this is what he wanted to do. His cousin, Justin Hawkins, played for USC Sumter and transferred to Clemson, so he’s been a role model to him,” Bickley said. “We loved it (USC Sumter) because his cousin Justin told us how great it was, we met the assistant and head coach and loved them and we just liked the program and the coaches.”
Bickley’s coach, Lindsay Stribble also played a role in helping him take the next step in his career, by always giving him advice, pushing him and always believing in him.
“He’s a competitive kid, left-handed pitcher, throws strikes, he’s very confident in himself and he has a good work ethic and that’s what’s brought him over the hump in the last two years, USC Sumter is getting a good player,” Stribble said.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.