Dorchester School District Two athletes continue to be a hot commodity for college programs looking for young talent.
Nearly two dozen athletes from the district’s three high schools signed with a college athletic program on Feb. 6, which was National Signing Day. The event lost a little of its luster since the NCAA implemented an early signing period for football, but for local athletes waiting until this year’s National Signing Day to officially announce which college program they have chosen it was still an exciting day.
“We are so excited about this day,” Fort Dorchester Principal Tripp Aldredge said. “This is a big deal for these six student athletes who are moving on to the next level. It took a lot of dedication and hard work for them to get to this point and we are happy we get to share this with them. I encourage all students to put similar dedication into the things that are important to you whether it is athletics or something else.”
Fort Dorchester linebacker Davon Gilmore is one of the local athletes who drew interest from multiple college programs. He signed with Wingate University.
“My Boy Raquan (Simmons) goes to Wingate and he has been telling me about it,” Gilmore said. “I took an official visit and just loved it. They have a great football program and it’s a great school so I’m happy to have a place to call home.”
While some athletes are staying in state for their college education, others are venturing out. Fort Dorchester’s AJ Allard signed with Kennesaw State University.
“My decision was based off my relationship with coaches and things like that,” Allard said. “It is a very genuine school and I love it. I wasn’t sure this would happen for me. Being from this area we don’t get much exposure so I’m excited about being here. I think playing AAU helped shine a light on my talent.”
Ashley Ridge had the most athletes sign with a college Feb. 6 as nine Swamp Foxes made their choice official. Eight Summerville athletes signed and six Fort Dorchester athletes signed. Signees included baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, softball, tennis and track and field athletes.
Dorchester School District Two Feb. 6 athletic signings
Chris Watkins, Coker, baseball
Jamal Edmondson, Francis Marion, basketball
Austin Little, USC Salkehatchie, baseball
Nick Cunningham, Limestone, football
Jackson Pell, Wofford, football
Nick Danielski, Anderson, cross country
Serena White, Converse, soccer
Derek Ennis, Limestone, baseball
Rhett Butcher, Newberry, football
Bricelin Balcer, Lander, softball
Taylor Smith, App State, track
Cecelia Knecht, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, golf
AJ Allard, Kennesaw State, basketball
Sean Gould, Erskine, baseball
Davon Gilmore, Wingate, football
Cole Collins, Coastal Carolina, football
Andre Banks, Newberry, football
Cole Phillips, Wingate, football
Lizzie Naval, Erskine, cross country/track
Colby Taylor, Newberry, football
Naveah Posey, Columbia International, track and field
Gwen Rast, Newberry, tennis
Ben Mitchum, Wofford, football