Seven seniors from Laney High School joined the list of local student-athletes to make their college announcements this week. A signing day ceremony was held in Buctown on Friday as soccer, lacrosse, baseball and volleyball coaches took time to reminisce about each of their players heading to the next level.
After making a verbal commitment as a sophomore, Baley Edwards inked her National Letter of Intent to continue her athletic career for hometown UNC-Wilmington.
“I can’t realize express in words the support I’ve received from my parents, teachers, coaches and teammates,” said Edwards. “They’ve all helped me throughout this process to help make my dream come true and can’t wait to experience the sport I love for the next four years.”
As a junior, the two-sport athlete tallied 14 goals and six assists on the pitch, helping guide Laney to a 17-2-1 overall record and 10-1-1 mark in conference. Over the past two years, Edwards amassed 29 goals at the varsity level. She’s also been a huge asset on the hardwood for the Bucs this season, averaging 11.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Edwards is a three-time all-conference selection, who earned all-state recognition as a junior. She’s been named team MVP twice and a two-time team captain. Edwards was also a member of 2015 State Cup championship team for her club team, Triangle Futbol Club Association (TFCA).
“Ever since I was little I wanted to go to UNCW,” Edwards added. “I’m definitely going to have to work hard to earn a spot and playing time, but Coach [Cairney] is a great coach and I’ve looked up to a lot of his players over the last few years.”
UNCW is coming off a school-record 15-win campaign and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament after earning a 2-0 victory at South Carolina. Eleven of 31 players on the Seahawks’ roster were seniors this fall.
Laney soccer expects to be one of the favorites in conference heading into the spring sports season, with practice scheduled to get underway in just a few weeks. Three other soccer players from Buctown also made college intentions known on Friday, including Alex Butorovich, Anna Rae Porcelli and Sydney Young.
Young transitioned into the goal keeper position early in her high school career and will attend NCAA Division II member University of Montevallo in Alabama. Porcelli is a three-sport athlete at Laney. She will play soccer and tennis at NCAA Division III Greensboro College. Butorovich is headed to Belmont Abbey College in western North Carolina, an NCAA Division II school.
On the diamond, Stephen Hagewood announced his intentions to play Division III baseball at Methodist University. Hagewood is a three-year varsity member and also played a intricate role for the Laney soccer team during their run to the 4A State Championship match this fall.
Jackson West will continue his lacrosse career at Mars Hill University and Abby Passwaters will play volleyball at Wake Tech.