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Senior athletes choose their college homes

Photo: Source Abbigayle Roberts

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NOAH POPE began his football career in seventh grade. In February, he committed to Yale where he will continue his football journey. “Yale has always been my dream school, academically, but when I went to visit, I felt like I was going to St. George’s all over again. The opportunity of going to Yale opens many doors for me.”

JOHN CARTER HAWKINS has been playing lacrosse since third grade, almost a whole decade. He committed to playing at a division-three level at Rhodes College here in Memphis in early 2017. “I am very excited for this great opportunity to continue my lacrosse career at the next level,” Hawkins said. Hawkin’s signing in January marked the first time a boys’ lacrosse player from St. George’s signed to play at a collegiate level.

WILL MCDANIEL began playing lacrosse alongside varsity football the summer of his freshman year and became interested in the excitement of the sport. McDaniel plays midfield and faces off at the beginning of each game. McDaniel will attend Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC next year. “It’s a really nice campus. They have a good lacrosse team, and I really like the coach,” McDaniel said. “The coach told me that he really liked my game, and he showed a lot of interest in me. I felt like he really cared.”

ESSENCE DAVIS began running track in the sixth grade. “I was fascinated about getting in shape, and I loved the camaraderie of a team sport that also had individual components,” Davis said. Davis will attend Millsaps College. “I liked that the school wanted me just as much as I wanted the school,” Davis said. “So often in the college process it can seem like you are chasing after a school to want you, but I felt like at Millsaps, it was an equal partnership.”

LARRY HUBBARD first began playing baseball at the age of four when he was introduced to it through church. He committed to Christian Brothers University in April in part to stay close to family. “I wanted to stay nearby so my family could see me play,” Hubbard said. “I also wanted to stay home to be close to my brother and watch him grow up.”

AVERY WHITEHEAD plays midfield on the St. George’s lacrosse team and in the summer on the Skywalkers, a Baltimore-based team. Whitehead has committed to playing lacrosse at Furman University in South Carolina. “I love sports, and I love teams,” Whitehead said. “I can’t wait to have a whole new team and a whole new group of people.”

ABBIGAYLE ROBERTS committed to play lacrosse at Fresno State in November. In addition to running cross country her senior year, Roberts has played lacrosse since seventh grade. “I’m excited to go to a new state, especially California. I’ve always wanted to live there,” Roberts said. “I’m excited to play with my new teammates, my new friends and get to learn about everyone and how they play.”

BEN GLASS began playing football as a child, and and signed to the Naval Academy this spring. His passion for the game is obvious as Glass holds the record at St. George’s for most passing yards and passing touchdowns in both a game and a season.

CHASE HAYDEN, taking after his father, began playing football at age five. This past February, he committed to University of Arkansas as a running back.“I chose this school because when I went up there and visited twice, everything was perfect,” Hayden said. “I felt at home. I had a really good bond with the players and the coaches.”

SARAH THOMPSON, both a volleyball standout and swimmer, committed the University of Missouri in the fall. Thompson holds the St. George’s records for the 100 backstroke, 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle. “I’m very excited to go to school next year,” Thompson said. “It was really exciting to be done at the beginning of the school year to know where I was going, so I didn’t have to worry about it the whole year.”

MARSHALL SHANKS began running track in the eighth grade when Mr. Andre Miller persuaded him to run. He was encouraged by his mom to choose Fisk University, a historically black school in Nashville. “The coach at Fisk made me feel at home,” Shanks said.

ELIZABETH EVANS was co-captain of the cheer team her senior year. “I was intimidated going into the [TCU] tryout,” Evans said, “but when I got there I realized that St. George’s cheer team had taught me a lot of skills I needed besides the physical aspect, like being personable, knowing how to talk to judges and how to get a crowd excited .”

KYLAN MITCHELL has been playing baseball for six years now and will continue his career at Louisiana Tech University next year. “I feel that I have worked really hard to get where I need to be in order to succeed,” Mitchell said. “But I must continue to work harder if I want to be successful at a D1 level. There is still much work to be done.”

COREY JONES began playing football in the sixth grade. “I thought it was fun, and my friends were playing it,” Corey said. He played wide receiver, which he continued to play when he came to St. George’s. He will continue his football journey at Murray State University, to which he committed to this past February. “I felt wanted the most there,” Jones said. “I liked the coaches and the people there the best.”

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