Blacksburg High School has recognized four student athletes who are planning to further their sports careers at the collegiate level: McKenzie Cheynet, Morgan Cheynet, Mia Jones, and Bennett Shealor. The ceremony took place Sunday, Nov. 7, in the school’s library.
McKenzie Cheynet, a senior center midfielder, has signed her national letter of intent to play collegiate soccer and continue her academic career at Radford University. McKenzie is a four-year starter for the varsity girls’ soccer team. In the 2021 spring season she helped lead the team to the Virginia High School League 4D region championship and on to the Class 4 state semifinals.
McKenzie finished the season with seven goals and seven assists, including the game-winning goal in the Region 4 championship game. She has played travel soccer with New River United for the past seven years and traveled to New Jersey last summer to compete in the United States Youth Soccer Eastern Regionals. She was on the Olympic Development Program’s Virginia State team for two years and traveled with the squad to compete in Germany her freshman year. Alongside soccer, McKenzie has been a starter on the varsity basketball team for three years and will continue to play this winter.
Morgan Cheynet, a senior forward, has signed her national letter of intent to play collegiate soccer and will also continue her academic career at Radford University. She is a 4-year starter for the Bruins’ varsity soccer team.
Last spring, she played a significant role in helping her team go undefeated in the regular season and win the VHSL Region 4D Championship, earning her team a spot in the state tournament. She finished the season with 16 goals and 10 assists.
Morgan contributed to four game-winning goals over the course of 13 games in the 2021 season and has played with her club team, New River United, for eight years, making it to the USYS Regional Championships for the first time in NRU history this past summer. She also has played State Olympic Development Program soccer for two years and was named to the Region 1-ODP pool in 2018. In addition to soccer, Morgan has played varsity basketball for the Bruins all four years and played a role in helping the team make it to the Region 4D semifinals her sophomore year.
Mia Jones signed her national letter of intent to run cross country and track and continue her academic career at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. She is a four-year member of the Blacksburg cross-country and track teams. In the past three years, the Bruins have earned both first-place finishes at the VHSL 4A Region D Cross-Country Championships and runner-up finishes at the VHSL 4A state championships.
Jones achieved all-region honors in cross country and all-state honors in track while running for the Bruins. During her junior year, she placed third in the 3200m at the VHSL 4A Indoor Track State Championships and was part of the 4x800m relay that placed second. She was awarded the Blacksburg High School cross country Newcomer Award and the school’s Indoor Track Women’s Distance Runner of the Year award.
Bennett Shealor has signed his national letter of intent to play collegiate baseball and continue his academic career at George Mason University. Bennett is a four-year starter for the Bruins’ varsity baseball team and played basketball for the Bruins.
As a freshman, he received honorable mention notice at the catcher position in the River Ridge District. Bennett garnered national recognition with two different travel baseball teams. While playing for the Richmond Braves travel team, he was named a Preseason All American in 2020 and 2021. With his current travel team, U.S. Elite, he was named to six national all-tournament teams in 2021. Bennett has a 4.03 GPA at Blacksburg High and plans to study sports management.