Trio from Ashley announce college commitments in soccer, softball and track

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Three student-athletes from Ashley High School gathered in front of family and friends on Friday to announce their desire to compete within the college ranks following graduation later this month.

Zack Smith, Hannah Boring and Robert Gritzer each look to continue their passion as a collegiate athlete come this fall.

Zack Smith, left, Hannah Boring, center and Robert Gritzer. Photo by Joe Catenacci
Zack Smith, left, Hannah Boring, center and Robert Gritzer. Photo by Joe Catenacci

Smith will play soccer not too far away from his hometown at University of Mount Olive. Boring is headed to the Palmetto State to compete for the Converse College softball team, while Gritzer will move north to run at Eastern University in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Zack Smith, soccer, University of Mount Olive

 Smith was a standout defender for Ashley and helped guide the Screaming Eagles to an impressive 20-2-1 overall record during his senior campaign. His presence on the back line helped Ashley garner a 10-1-1 mark as Mideastern Conference Champions. The Screaming Eagles allowed just 15 goals during league play, with an 18-match winning streak to start the season.

“I’m happy for Zack and think Mt. Olive is a great fit,” said Ashley Coach Greg Marinich. “The Trojans are getting a solid player with great potential.”

In addition to his contributions at school, Smith spent the last seven years competing for his Wilmington Hammerheads 97 White club team. He has also spent time on the Grand Strand as part of Myrtle Beach Mutiny of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).

Mount Olive College is an NCAA Division II member school competing in Conference Carolinas. The Trojans recently named Sean Brennan as head men’s soccer coach, who previously served as an assistant coach at Mount Olive before spending the past five seasons at UNC-Pembroke. .

Mount Olive posted an 8-9-1 overall record this past fall and finished fourth in the Conference Carolinas standings, with a 6-4-0 mark. It was the Trojans’ best regular season conference finish since 2005.

Hannah Boring, softball, Converse College

 Boring just wrapped up her final season for the Screaming Eagles’ softball team. The senior pitcher heads to Spartanburg, South Carolina as a Division II ball player for Converse College. The Valkyries also play in Conference Carolinas.

“Hannah has put the work in and is now reaping the benefits of that hard work,” said Ashley Coach Chip Adams. “We’re really proud to have another Ashley softball player continue on the path of so many others to live their dream of playing at the next level.”

 Robert Gritzer, track , Eastern University

Gritzer turned an extracurricular activity as a sophomore into a desire to compete as a college athlete. He currently runs in the 200 meter, 400 meter and 800 meter events.

“Robert has been a consistent part of our program,” said Ashley Coach Ryan Hauck. “[He’s] always willing to do what we need him to do.  He has been an all in athlete ever since he has laced up his spikes for us.  It is exciting that he gets a chance to run at the next level.”

The NCAA Division III member school competes in the MAC Freedom Conference. Eastern University is located about 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia.