When you talk to Anthony Bynum, there's a quiet confidence in his demeanor. That confidence has been well earned by the junior track star, as he has become one of the best runners to ever attend Hopewell High.
Bynum started running track in eighth grade at Bradley Middle School. It was quickly apparent that there might be something special about Bynum.
"He's got natural speed, and he definitely works at it," said Hopewell head coach Michelle Lapointe. "When he was a freshman I had a lot of seniors, and he had a better work ethic than any of them."
A big part of Bynum's confidence comes from knowing that he is blessed with natural ability.
"I want to go to college and prosper in track," said Bynum. "I think the sky's the limit for me as long as I work hard and am committed to what I am doing."
Bynum's coach says that programs such as Notre Dame, Wake Forest and UNC Chapel Hill have already reached out to him.
In his next year and a half left as a Titan, Lapointe sees a ceiling higher than any runner she has seen come through Hopewell.
"I expect that he's probably going to have a state championship, rank somewhere nationally and probably have a full ride to the next level," said Lapointe. "This year or next he'll probably be one of the best in the nation."
Bynum, who won the 200-meter dash at the conference meet as a sophomore, has already brought home some hardware during the indoor winter season. He picked up a silver medal at the state competition in the 300-meter dash and a bronze in the 55-meter dash.
"[Lapointe] pushes me to get through workouts everyday," said Bynum. "Her expectations mean a lot to me, and I want to try and fulfill my potential."
Though Bynum's main love is track, he also excels on the football field. He has started at cornerback for the Titans the last two seasons and hopes to continue, if just in a small way, his love for the game when he gets to college.
"I think I could play a small role," said Bynum. "Maybe just use my speed and help out on special teams."
When asked what Bynum's strongest asset on the track was, Lapointe raved about how he always finishes a race.
"A lot of the time everybody starts slowing after the first 100-meters, and he would come around that last turn and just explode," Lapointe said. "That's where he won a lot of his races."
Bynum already holds the school's 200-meter dash record and it's only natural to think he's going to get better. Bynum set his goals high. One day he hopes we'll all catch a glimpse of him at the Olympic games.