06/12/10 — Beasley will play two sports at NCWC

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Beasley will play two sports at NCWC

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 12, 2010 11:32 PM

You only get one chance to make a first impression.

Will Beasley might be the exception to the rule.

Fully intending to seek a football scholarship, Beasley will attempt a "double dip" when he heads to North Carolina Wesleyan in the fall. The Rosewood senior accepted an academic package to play football and baseball for the Battling Bishops, members of the Division III USA South Conference.

"I visited for football in May and the coach (Mark Henninger) talked with the baseball coach (Charlie Long), asking him if he had seen me play," said Beasley.

Long slipped in unnoticed for the Eagles' opening-round game against Pinetown Northside in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A playoffs. Beasley pitched a couple of innings and crushed two home runs in a 13-1, mercy rule-shortened victory.

Beasley and Long spoke after the game.

"He talked with me and said I have a spot on the team," said Beasley, a senior utility player. "He likes to leave a couple of spots open for someone from the football team so they can join the workouts after the season is over."

Beasley joins a highly-competitive athletics program.

NCWC captured the USA South regular-season championship in football and advanced to the NCAA Division III playoffs. The Battling Bishops collected their 17th regular-season crown in baseball, but did reach the postseason.

"I really like coach Long and he definitely knows baseball," said Beasley. "Wesleyan does a good job of recruiting players. I'm ready to see what it's going to be like, honestly. I think I can contribute and am anxious to see what I can do."

Beasley helped lead Rosewood to its most-successful baseball season since the late 1970s. The Eagles repeated as the Carolina Conference champions and fell to Dixon in the eastern regional title series.

Rosewood won back-to-back league crowns for the first time since 2000 and 2001, and third time overall in program history. The Eagles have claimed nine conference titles since 1981.

"This season was a lot of fun," said Beasley. "The coaches (Jason King, Greg Neal) made the practices fun and kept you relaxed during the games. The coaches have done a good job preparing me for college, I believe."

But, there is hard work ahead.

Beasley is undecided on a major and understands the strain of playing two sports puts on the academics side of the coin. He's convinced he can adjust to the rigors, and earn quality time in each season as a tight end/defensive end in football and catcher in baseball.

"In football, I just need to go out there and either catch the ball or block," said Beasley. "In baseball, I want to come through in big situations and do my job on the field. I just want to do what I can to help either team."