Three more Panther athletes are college bound

  • Friday, November 15, 2013

Provided John McMicking will play baseball for Anderson University.


Three Pinewood students signed their National Letter of Intent on Wednesday to play their sport at the next level.

Senior Reona Hirai signed to play golf at Furman University. Hirai recently shot a 66 at the SCISA state tournament setting a SCISA Tournament record and was named SCISA Player of the Year. She led the girls’ golf team to their fourth consecutive state title and she has also been a member of four Pinewood boys’ golf teams that won state championships.

This season Hirai won the Panther Invitational and was the medalist in 10 of Pinewood’s matches. Hirai was the SC junior golf association player of the year in 2012.

“Reona has been an outstanding player for Pinewood over the past six years,” Pinewood golf coach Greg Baechtle said. “She is the consummate team player. I am sure she will continue to have the same success at the college level that she has had here at Pinewood. I hate to see her leave but I wish her much success in the future.”

John McMicking signed to play baseball at Anderson University. In the spring of 2013 he was awarded Pinewood Pitcher of the Year, selected to the All-region and All-State teams, selected for the Palmetto Games and received the Palmetto Games Golden Arm Award.

“John has been a tremendous asset and leader of our baseball program,” Pinewood baseball Coach Phil Tobin said, “On top of being a top notch baseball player, he is an outstanding young man from a wonderful family. Without a doubt, he will continue to represent Pinewood proudly at Anderson University. I couldn’t be any prouder of John and it is a true privilege to coach him. This is well deserved recognition of his tireless efforts”.

Kaleb Davis, the pitching coach at Anderson said: “John is a player that has been on our radar for sometime now. He made a big jump over the spring and summer of his junior year and we knew then, that he would be a good sign for us. John is the 11th rated RHP in the state of South Carolina, and we expect big things out of him as early as his freshman season.”

The third Pinewood athlete to sign was Aurie Engel Schmieding who signed for the equestrian team at the University of South Carolina.

Schmieding has been riding horses since she was 5-years-old and has been competing in horse shows since the age of 7. She is a multidiscipline blue ribbon rider in English and Western.

This is her fourth year on Pinewood’s Interscholastic Equestrian Team known as the IEA coached by Chad Crosby. She also trains with Kevin Jewell of Conyers, Ga.

While riding for Pinewood, she has been named the All-state Rider of the Year and is the 2012 Varsity Intermediate Reining National Champion. She currently holds the National Reining Horse Association’s Sliding Summer Classic Rookie Non-Pro Level II Championship.

Schmieding’s equestrian accomplishments have been featured in the Reiner magazine, a publication of the National Reining Horse Association, Taking The Reins magazine, a publication of the IEA, and Azalea Magazine published here in Summerville where she was the Southern Spotlight feature story as a local teen riding her way to a national title. She has been recruited by The University of South Carolina to ride for their SEC Champion Equestrian Team and will represent the Gamecocks as a Reiner.

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