Three high school athletes sign with universities

Three high school athletes sign with universities

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Two New Hanover High School student-athletes, Helen Duffy and Tyrek Speller, along with Coastal Christian Senior Brian Howell, signed with universities Thursday afternoon.

Duffy, a swimmer, signed with Davidson, a program that finished third in their conference last season.

"I like their small size - it helps me feel like I'm part of a community," said Duffy. "It was really just a good combination of academics and athletics."

Speller will head to Guliford College in Greensboro to play football, the same school his high school coached played at. Seldom used as a freshman, Speller went on to become a key cog of the New Hanover team that advanced to the state semifinals last season.

"My first year of football, it wasn't the best year. I didn't start, I didn't know anything, football was new to me," said Speller. "Then my second year I came, I was like this has got to change, and I just made the commitment to learn the offense."

At Coastal Christian, Brian Howell signed to play basketball at Lynchburg. Howell averaged 14 PPG and 9 rebounds per game his senior season, serving as the team leader on a program that finished 18-8.

"I was so used to being the guy that everyone wasn't used to looking up to," noted Howell of the scenario when he entered Coastal. "I was kind of more of a role player, and I just went along with what the other guys said. Probably the biggest challenge was coming here to Coastal, and knowing that I had to be the leader for the team, I had to try to speak words into the younger guys, try to influence them the most that I could."

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