South Johnston High hosted five senior student-athletes and their families for a special signing day ceremony at the school this week.
FOUR OAKS — South Johnston High hosted five senior student-athletes and their families for a special signing day ceremony Wednesday.
Paul Olive, Brayden Fair, Cole Howard, Kennedy Byrd and Victoria James each gave unique remarks about their respective decisions.
Q: Why did you choose Methodist?
A: I liked the campus. They were offering me (scholarships) both sports, so that was a big factor. And they had my major (physical therapy).
Q: What moment stood out to you in your prep career?
A: This year I hit a walk-off (home run) to beat C.B. Aycock (April 27). That was the one right there.
Q: How do you feel about joining former South, and now MU, two-sport athlete Chase Carroll?
A: At least I’ll have somebody there. He’s done it, so if I need help with something I’m sure he can answer it.
Q: A lot of athletes chose to stay local, why did you pick a university in Virginia?
A: They really pursued me. They showed me that they had an interest in me. A lot of the other schools that scouted me didn’t show the same interest.
Q: What was the most important skill you developed playing in high school?
A: One of the biggest things was perseverance, especially with all of my medical issues (Type 1 Diabetes). So, just persevering through a lot of those challenges ... just to fight back, get back in there.
Q: What was it like to end your career at South with a signing ceremony?
A: Definitely emotional. I don’t know that I’m ready to go forward with this next level, but I’m excited to see what it brings. And I’m excited to take the challenges and overachieve.
Q: Why did you decide to continue your student-athlete journey at SCC?
A: We had a lot of Division III and other schools that offered (scholarships). But Sandhills is located in Pinehurst, which is one of the best golf capitals in the world, and I think it was the best opportunity to go there.
Q: How would describe your senior year at SJ?
A: It was probably the best team we’ve had. It was really fun, all the guys were great to play with. Competition was good, too. It was a good experience, especially for high school.
Q: What is this moment like for you, signing in front of your family, friends and coaches?
A: It feels really good. Feels like I’m moving on and achieving stuff. And it feels really great to do that.
Q: Why do you feel like LC was your best fit?
A: It felt like home. You don’t wanna go somewhere where you don’t feel comfortable ... The coach loved me and I loved the players and I love the facility and I love the school.
Q: What was special about this year and this (SJ) team?
A: Definitely making the playoffs. We had the state championship in mind, but some things just don’t work out. I feel like we all did great this season. It was not about just one person, it was about the whole team.
Q: What is something you are looking forward to the most, playing at the next level?
A: Having a different role. Not having to feel like I’m being relied on a lot of the time. All the girls there are equal, everybody’s the same.
Q: Why did you decide to go to Wake Tech?
A: I knew I wanted to go to a community college, just to go ahead and get everything like my easier classes out the way and still be able to play at the same time. I chose Wake Tech because it’s close to home and I know people that go there already.
Q: Was there a favorite moment you had during high school?
A: It was nice to be undefeated conference champs senior year ... And beating Cleveland, that was a good win, too.
Q: What are you looking to achieve now that you’re playing at the next level?
A: Honestly, I’m just gonna go out there and keep working hard and doing what I’ve been. And just keep going as long as I can.
Donnell Coley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-230-2040