National Signing Day was highlight for area athletes

Susan EspirituOur Town Youth

National Signing Day was last Wednesday, February 7, with athletes from several Knoxville area schools forging their next plans for academic and athletic journeys.

Bearden had multiple students signing scholarships. Baseball and softball each provided two signees with Rhys Thomas going to Johnson University and Brooks Wright to University of Tennessee in baseball. Allie Serrit signed with Walter State and Lauren Spainhower signed with Gardner-Webb for softball. One basketball signee, Amanda Parker, chose Hopkins University. Preston Gould is the lone football signee, choosing Carson-Newman University. The golf team sent two signees to the table in Gray Lofton who signed with Cleveland State CC and Jaden Morrell with UT Martin.

Soccer had the most move to the next level in Nyal Blue and Alvia Storr signing with UT, Rylie Lucas with McKendree University, Bre Mendoza to University of Dayton, Anna Wyatt with Trevecca University and Jack Raulston to Berry College.

Campbell Ayres, Jonathan Van Ness and Alex Gaetz from CAK

Christian Academy of Knoxville cheered three students on signing day as they will move on to the next level. Jonathan Van Ness signed to play baseball at Belmont University. Campbell Ayres signed to play soccer at Covenant College and Alex Gaetz signed to play golf for Walters State.

Farragut celebrated several signees. Jack Alley signed to play football at the Air Force Academy. Two students are heading to University of the Cumberlands for football: Nathan Harville and Roger McNeer. Jackson Bennett signed with North Alabama for bass fishing. Alli Duenckel signed with Tennessee Wesleyan for lacrosse. Michael Delph signed with Army for baseball. Cross Country and track sent two to the next level: Matteo Tonnos to Furman and Harrison Cunningham to Xavier.

Halls High School heralded the signing of five football players with four moving on together to the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky: Braden Barham, Caleb Turner, Nic Goodwin and Jackson Alvey.

2023 Tennessee Kicker of the Year Owen Taylor, who we covered in December, signed with Middle Tennessee State, and plans to pursue a career as a pilot. See December story: Owen Taylor: 2023 Kicker of the Year.

Cooper Crook, Braylon Harmon, Elijah Lindsey, Hayden Oliver, Connor Ruth, Antori Hamilton

Knoxville Catholic High School announced six players who signed to play football at the collegiate level with one signing to play with Tennessee: Braylon Harmon. Cooper Crook signed with Boston College. Eli Lindsey signed with Union College. Conner Ruth signed with Tennessee State. Antori Hamilton signed with Austin Peay. Hayden Oliver signed with Maryville College.

West had five athletes to sign on Wednesday, including four with Division I programs. Cross-country star Kate Robinson signed with Georgia. Three football players stayed in Tennessee: Ryan Scott signed with UT, CJ Smith signed with Chattanooga, Marshaun Bowers with Tennessee Tech. Carlo Adams, is going to Illinois Wesleyan University to play lacrosse.

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