Seventeen Horry County athletes including eighth grader Janecia “Neci” Hemingway were recognized this past weekend in Columbia for their performance on either the basketball court or wrestling mat this past winter.
Hemingway was recognized at the High School Sports Report’s Winter Banquet for making the 25-member All-Rookie team for 2013-14.
There is little doubt Hemingway has a bright future in basketball. She has all the tools to be a very successful player, not only in high school but also in college.
As bright as the future looks in basketball, Hemingway’s best sport may be softball. She has received the pitching assignment in most of Conway’s toughest games this spring, and is also one of the team’s top power hitters at the plate. Hemingway is a threat to blast a home run every time she comes to the plate.
Conway softball coach Mike Skipper isn’t sure which is Hemingway’s better sport, but he’s very glad she’s a member of his team.
“Neci is such a great player as an eighth grader and we are very lucky to share her with the basketball team,” Skipper said. “She is a great person, as well as athlete, and comes from a super family who instills great values, dedication and hard work in her. She puts in a lot of time and effort in both sports and it shows. I think she can excel in either sport and will continue to do so if she so chooses.
“Her greatest assets as a softball player are her strength and quickness. She really fields her position well and makes great plays in the circle. She is strong enough to hit the long ball and is rarely overmatched at the plate. I don't know which sport is her best at this time, but I believe she has a bright future at CHS either way. We’re just glad to have her.”
Hemingway’s basketball coach is her older sister Shamae. Her brother Jr. starred in football at Michigan and now plays for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Like Skipper, Hemingway believes her sister will continue to excel in both sports.
“She works hard, is competitive, coachable and has a good attitude,” Hemingway said. “One of the things I want for my younger siblings is for them to be successful at whatever they chose to do, but with that being said, it must come with hard work. That is the same thing that I want for my students as well as all the athletes I coach.”
Hemingway said most people think of Janecia and Jr.’s and her little sister.
“I always tell her to make her own name and to not compare herself to me,” Hemingway said. “Don't strive to be me, but to be better than me.”
Hemingway said she, Neci, Junior and their younger brother Tonka are friendly competitors and always exchange banter about who’s the best when they’re together.
“I just want her to continue to work hard to become a better student-athlete and be given an opportunity to play on the next level,” Hemingway said.
Horry County’s other HSSR all-state honorees were Aynor wrestlers, Landon Lawson, Jacob Stacy, Daquan Smith, D.Q. Nash and Wyatt McCrackin; Loris wrestlers, Taquan Long and Steven Welch; Socastee wrestlers, Jordan Hodge, Joe Smolenski, Zach Mor and Justin Knipper; North Myrtle Beach wrestler, Alex Lewis; North Myrtle Beach basketball players, Matt Lindsey and Aquera Johnson; and Myrtle Beach basketball players, Solomon Cooper and Keocia Walker.