Some players sign a letter of intent and then go away to college. Brycen Seymore feels more like he’s going home.
The McDowell Titans senior shortstop signed to play at Virginia Wesleyan University last week. Seymore is originally from Virginia Beach and has plenty of family in the area.
“Virginia Wesleyan is in Virginia Beach, which is right near where I grew up for the first 12 years,” said Seymore. “So it’s nice to go back home and be around family.
“It feels great. That’s all I’ve wanted to do since I was 5 years old is to play baseball.”
Titans head coach Alex Smith agreed VWU is a superb fit for the versatile senior, who has the physical tools to play any position on the field.
“I think Brycen has found a perfect fit for him,” said Smith. “He has family up there and it’s a beautiful park they play in.
“He could probably play any position on the field for us and be the best player at that position. He’s that versatile. He was our every day shortstop last year and he will be again this year when he isn’t on the mound. We expect a lot out of him and I think he’s going to give us that. He’s a great leader.”
Seymore, a rugged, 6-foot-2, 202-pounder, started every game at shortstop for the Titans last season. He batted .134 with six RBIs, a double and a triple, and posted a fielding percentage of .889. On the mound, he went 2-1 with a save and a 3.09 ERA. He struck out 16 hitters in 11 1/3 innings of work.
Over the summer, he broke out of his hitting slump and had a solid season as part of the Burke County Post 21 American Legion program in Morganton.
A multifaceted athlete, Seymore decided to give football a try last fall and was an instant starter at safety for the Titans. He also saw time at inside linebacker late in the year and ended up third on the team with 70 tackles, including five for losses. He shared the team lead with two interceptions.
“Brycen is such an athletic player,” said Smith. “He’s very skilled. He has great hands and great feet, he’s fast and strong-armed. He’s very athletic and I think you saw that on the football field this year.”
Smith added Seymore also possesses an intangible that should give him a chance to earn copious playing time in college.
“One thing I love about him – it’s something you can’t teach – every game matters,” said Smith. “Every practice matters. Every drill matters. He’s intense and hard-nosed. He’s one of those kids for whom winning matters. He’s not out there for the wrong reasons. He’s out there to beat you, and that’s the kind of kid you want on your team.”
Seymore will be joining a Marlins squad coming off a superb season. Virginia Wesleyan went 31-16 last year and won a school-record three games in the NCAA Div. III national championships. The Marlins are part of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and are piloted by fifth-year head coach Chris Francis.