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Bryce Sherman: Athlete to businessman

Bryce Sherman is one of the best athletes to come out of the city of Winston-Salem in recent history.

Bryce Sherman: Athlete to businessman
June 10
11:27 2021

In their song “Grindin,” the Clipse, a former rap group from Virginia, says, “legend in two games like I’m Pee Wee Kirkland.”  That’s an accurate way to describe Bryce Sherman. The Winston-Salem native is one of the best athletes to come out of the city and now he is looking to become one of the best businessmen as well.

Sherman was born into a sports household. His mother and father were athletes who put Sherman and his brother into sports at a young age. He started playing football, basketball, and baseball at a young age and excelled at all three sports.

“I kind of always succeeded in sports and even at a young age, I was really fast,” said Sherman. In baseball, not really about speed, but I did very well in baseball, and it was probably my second best sport at the time. I was okay in basketball, too.

“As I got older, around 9 or 10, I started excelling in everything I was doing at the time. I continued to get better and what kind of changed everything was when a guy came up to my dad and said I should run track. I had never run track before and really didn’t think about running, but I knew I was fast.”

Sherman says he put the thought of track out of his mind until a year later when he saw an article in the local newspaper about a young man doing well at a national track and field meet. Sherman felt confident in his ability to run and soon took his talents to the track.

“We started reading the article and I was like, ‘Dad, I don’t even know the kid, but I know I could probably beat that kid,’” he said.  

Shearman’s father reminded him of the gentleman at the football game, over a year ago, that suggested he run track. They reached out to the gentleman and Sherman decided to run for the team. Ironically, the young man he saw in the newspaper article ran for the same team.

“That’s what kind of changed everything,” Sherman said about running track. “After that first year of track, I never played baseball again. I went strictly to track, basketball, and football and that track thing is really what took me a lot of places. I traveled all the time, literally every weekend.

“Now, AAU track has meets in Charlotte and meets here and there, but I was going to different states, racing some of the top kids in the country and I was winning, and this was my first year in track.”

In his first year on the track as a 12 year old, Sherman finished eighth in the country in the 100- and 200-meter dash races for his age group. Sherman continued to progress on the track and once he entered high school, he focused solely on football and track.

“Even though I was faster than everybody, I learned little moves on the field and that separated me from everybody,” he said about playing football. “This was just off of God-given talent, because to be honest with you, like I tell everybody, I wish I could go back to my younger days and do things differently.

“I had the talent, but sometimes I didn’t always work and some of my younger coaches used to let me slack a lot just because I was so much better than everybody. My dad would always tell me that it would catch up to me, but I didn’t want to hear that back then.”

Sherman went to Clemmons Middle School, but chose to attend Carver High School. Carver had a rich sports tradition, especially in football, and Sherman wanted to be a part of that.

“Back in the days, that was the school, and no one could beat them,” Sherman said about Carver. “They were winning state championships around that time nearly every two or three years.”

As a ninth grader, Sherman won the JV MVP award for the football team, but on the track, he had somewhat of a tough year due to him running against upperclassmen. His father reassured him that he was going to have some difficulties running against athletes nearly four years older in some cases.

Sherman and his brother, Brandon, chose to transfer to Parkland High School for his sophomore season to give his brother more scholarship opportunities as a wide receiver. The Mustangs had a more receiver-friendly offense, versus the run-heavy offense the Yellowjackets ran at the time.  

“My dad was trying to get my brother into college, because he knew my brother would not get many looks at Carver with them being a running school,” Sherman said about his transfer.  

It was big news around the county that the Sherman brothers transferred over to Parkland.  The transfer worked out well for Brandon, but not so much for Bryce. According to Sherman, the staff preferred a bigger type running back in their offense, which caused him to spend a lot of time on the sidelines.

“The coach was not high on me at all, because I was small and he liked to run these big back formations and stuff like that,” he said. “So, when we went over there, my brother excelled, he balled out. I think he had the offensive MVP and was second in the city in receiving and started to get a lot of looks, which was super good, because that was my brother.

“Me on the other hand, the dude never gave me the ball. My sophomore year at Parkland was the first time I have never reached over 20 touchdowns in a season. Literally every season that I have played, I scored 20 to 25 touchdowns every year. It was a huge shock and super disappointing on my end. We bumped heads a lot and he even suspended me for a game, but I was frustrated.”

On the track, Sherman had a good season with the Mustangs. He finished seventh at the indoor national meet and was crowned the fastest tenth grader in the country. Although he had a good season on the track, Sherman wanted to play football as well, so he transferred back to Carver to finish out his high school career.

Sherman won a state championship in the 100-meter dash as a junior at Carver and began garnering attention from colleges at this point. He still wanted to play football as well, but he wasn’t growing in height, so he wasn’t getting the calls for football. He did not have that success during his senior year on the track, because he broke his ankle during his final football game of the season.

COLLEGE OFFERS POUR IN

“That’s when I really got on the map, especially through track,” he said. “My junior year, I had so many offers coming after I won the state championship. I had a ton of offers, a lot of DI offers, maybe 60 plus. That junior year time was super-fast, one of the tops in the country, but I still wanted to play football.

“Only a few DI schools would offer me and some DI AA schools offered me as well. I just wanted to play in the SEC (Southeastern Conference). I kind of had my mind made up. I wanted to play in the best league where everybody was playing. I wanted to compete against the best.”

There were no SEC schools that offered Sherman a full scholarship in football headed into his senior season. He was told that he would be a preferred walk on, but that wasn’t good enough for Sherman.  

After speaking with his parents, he decided that he would take a track scholarship with the SEC school that allowed him to also play football in the fall, to prove to everyone that he could play on that level. Sherman felt he proved what he could do on the field in high school and was surprised by the lack of offers to play on the collegiate level.

 “It was because of my size, because I was doing everything,” he said. “I was leading the city in rushing junior and senior year, I made all-county teams, I was the MVP my junior and senior year, but it was my size. I was only 130.  

“Nowadays, things have changed. Coaches love speed, but back then when I was coming out, it was still that big boy football. Now with all the spread offenses and speed, it wasn’t like that when I was coming out.”

Sherman had a few SEC schools that offered him a track scholarship that would allow him to play football as well.  

IT COMES DOWN TO THE GAMECOCKS

He chose South Carolina because of their strong track and field program, along with Steve Spurrier being the head football coach.

Once with the Gamecocks, Sherman concentrated on track as a freshman, but would routinely have conversations with football players about how good he was. He got his first opportunity on the field the spring of his freshman year. He began to turn heads and created quite the buzz during spring workouts and 7-on-7 drills.  

“The coaches came out there and I started doing things and they started to become interested,” Sherman said.  

Initially they had Sherman at the slot receiver position, but when he asked to switch to his natural position of running back is when he really began to shine. On the first day of padded practice, Sherman said people were worried if he could take a hit, but he showed everyone that he could. He performed so well during the offseason, coach Spurrier offered him a scholarship before the season began. That day marked the end of his track career also.

Following a productive freshman season, Sherman had dreams of possibly going on to the NFL after he was done with college. Unfortunately for him, the Gamecocks brought in the top high school running back in the country in Marcus Lattimore and that derailed Sherman’s plans. His playing time shrank and he knew he had to alter his plans for the future. 

Sherman stated he enjoyed his time spent at the University of South Carolina and learned a lot playing under coach Spurrier. After finishing his undergraduate degree, Sherman still had one more year of eligibility remaining on the football field, so he chose to finish up at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) while he worked on his master’s degree. 

MOVE TO WSSU CHANGES FOCUS

While at WSSU, Sherman met Tim Grant, former director of the Winston-Salem Recreation and Parks Department. Through meeting Grant, Sherman got his start in the Recreation and Parks Department.

“I played at Winston and Tim Grant was a big Winston-Salem State guy and he was actually my parents’ teacher at Winston-Salem State,” said Sherman. “When I came in, he knew my name from high school sports and my parents reached out to him and asked could I get a job and he said yeah.”

Sherman started working with a summer camp and has worked his way up the ladder over the last seven years. He is currently the youth and teen athletic supervisor over all recreation centers in the city. He oversees all of the sports throughout the recreation centers.

In the beginning, Sherman thought this would be a short-term position until he found something else. He enjoyed working with kids and soon realized this is something he could do long term.

HUSTLING and DREAMING

Sherman always had thoughts of starting his own business, but never put any of those thoughts into action. He credits his brother and father for inspiring him to follow his dream. He started off substitute teaching and refereeing after a suggestion from his brother as a means to earn more cash, but Sherman wanted more.

“My dad played a big influence in me starting my own stuff,” he said. “My dad started his own businesses and he became an entrepreneur. I was still working with the city and working 25 side hustles to get where I am at. I just saved all this money from all these jobs and I started thinking I wanted to do what my dad does and work for myself.”

Great ideas continued to come to Sherman;  however, he still was reluctant to pull the trigger on any of them, up to that point. The idea for childcare drop-off had been in his mind from talking with parents and them saying they didn’t have anywhere to take their kids if they wanted to run errands or anything of that sort.

DREAMS BECOME REALITY

“I was thinking after all these years I had to do a childcare center, because I had been talking about it for five years,” he said about starting Sherman’s Drop In. “I did it and the drop in came along. I could piggyback off of my city job because everyone knows what I do, and they know I work with the city now doing kids’ sports and they will trust me with their kids if I get it started.”

Sherman’s Drop In is going on its third year in June and now that the business is becoming successful, he felt it was time to move into another business venture. He started doing birthday rentals and before- and after-school care as well. He also connected with the city for the after-school program. He then decided to bring in a summer camp to the center to further increase revenue.

“When I started thinking of different ways to make money, that’s what got me into the entrepreneurial mindset,” he said. “That’s how it all happened and now I have a new place that’s adjacent to my location and that’s called ‘The Venue.’ 

“We are doing everything in there like photoshoots, birthday parties, weddings, things like that; anything high class, because now that I do party rentals, I am booked every weekend. If parents want to drop their kids off for an hourly drop off, I can’t, because I have private birthdays all the time. I am losing money, because I am pushing people away, so I thought I could acquire this spot beside me and I could do the birthday rentals in there and then I can have the drop-off kids on the weekends, because that’s when people really want some time.”

Sherman also has a consulting business called Bryce Sherman Consulting. He was inspired to start the business after speaking with an accountant friend when he was approached by a parent to lend his expertise in organizing another sports league.

FUTURE PLANS AND MENTORING

The next thing on Sherman’s list it to move into real estate. He has a goal of flipping houses after seeing the success his father has had with renovating properties. He doesn’t want to stop with real estate either, as another idea he has is to have a Polaris Slingshot rental business as well. This may seem like a lot of ideas to do all at once, but Sherman is confident he can find the time to make them all successful.

“I just want to make money, travel and take care of my family,” Sherman stated. “More and more when I come up with these ideas, I just need partners to go in with, because I’m starting to learn that I can’t do everything by myself, I am going to run myself crazy doing so.”

Another focus for Sherman is showing young kids that they can achieve anything they put their minds to, if they are willing to put in the work. He wants young people to understand that there are other ways to make it besides playing sports or rapping.

“I would tell kids that you can do it, and anyone can make this happen, but you have to want to make it happen,” he said. “You see what your parents put in front of you. My dad has been a huge inspiration and I have seen him make money. He has helped me with decisions and if I have a question, he gives me insight.

“A lot of people don’t have people they can fall back on, or mentors they can ask questions. I suggest everyone get a mentor; when it comes to money, I suggest everyone get an accountant. Get somebody you trust to make these decisions for you, or help you with these decisions, because it’s going to be hard and you can’t answer all these questions yourself.”

Sherman doesn’t consider himself a legend, he prefers to leave that up to others to make that decision. He is confident with the legacy he made on the track and football field and excited about what the next phase of his life has in store.

“Honestly, I am a super humble individual, so I would never say I am a legend,” he said. “When I talk to people, they will give me my flowers and I am so appreciative of it. No matter whether it’s business, or if it’s in what I’m doing giving back to the youth, or whether it was the things I did in high school or college.  

“People definitely give me my flowers and I see the love and people respect what I am doing. I feel like I’m doing good for myself, but all of this was set up through sports and what I’ve been doing. I treat people the way I want to be treated and love to share knowledge with my people. I feel the love and I am aware of what I am doing in my life and try to be a better person every day.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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