Published on April 6th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
Rex Epps Sets South Carolina United Battery Academy Soccer Club Scoring Record
Pictured on right, Rex Epps
Rex Epps, senior at Dutch Fork High School, has set a South Carolina United Battery Academy club scoring record by hitting his 53rd goal. He currently has 54 with additional games remaining. Rex, son of Tammie and Reggie Epps of Irmo, SC, began playing for the South Carolina United Battery Academy as a developmental player in eighth grade. Recruited nationally to play in college, he has signed to play soccer at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Rex has garnered a long list of soccer accolades including being invited to the United States Men’s National Team Camp several times, being ranked #98 of the top 150 soccer players in the nation for 2015 by Top Drawer Soccer and being one of the leading scorers in the nation in the Developmental Academy. Allowed to play Dutch Fork Men’s Varsity Soccer only as a freshman due to a Developmental Academy regulation change, Rex earned the Golden Boot, Most Assists and was named to All-Region Team during that season. He also plays the violin and has been in the Dutch Fork High School Orchestra since he was a freshman. He holds state-wide titles and competed in the Jr. Olympics as a sprinter and is active in church, Brookland Baptist Church, where he is a Jr. Usher and participates in the Homeless and Teen ministries.
Rex has had to sacrifice to play in Development Academy, considered by most as the highest level of soccer for high school players. He had to give up the opportunity to play with his friends in high school for three years but feels that it has been the best for his development. He said, “It’s been difficult but my goal has always been to be the best soccer player I can be. I’ve had to miss a lot to do that but I’m proud of all that I’ve learned. I look forward to continuing to develop my game at West Point.”
Tammie and Reggie know the sacrifices that Rex has made. They recall all the times when others could go to high school football games, hang out with friends or go a party that he had practice or an out of town game. Reggie said, “We have traveled across this country with Rex watching him play soccer and we can’t be more proud of all that he has accomplished. However, it has taken a strong commitment from him and from us as a family because lots of sacrifices had to be made to get him where he wanted to go.” Rex’s parents believe that his exposure through the Development Academy is the reason he will be at West Point since his coach, Russell Payne, noticed him in a Development Academy showcase as an eighth grader.
Tammie adds, “I’ve always told people that when he hit the YMCA field as a three-year old that we knew that this was his game. Rex has a God-given gift to play the game of soccer and we just want him to use it to better himself and glorify God through using his gift.”
Rex has played at the same soccer club his entire soccer career. He started on the fields of the YMCA of Columbia but transferred over to Columbia United which became South Carolina United, one of South Carolina’s largest soccer clubs. South Carolina United Battery Academy is a partnership between South Carolina United and Charleston Battery, a professional soccer club based in Charleston, South Carolina. As part of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, the South Carolina United Battery Academy features teams from the top youth clubs from around the country and is designed for long-term development. Players who play in this league are prohibited from playing high school soccer.