Senior athletes commit to Army, UNC-Wilmington, Appalachian State, Western Carolina

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WILMINGTON – As the academic year winds down with spring break in the rear-view mirror, many high school seniors are closing in on decisions that will help shape their lives over the next four years.

Some 30 student-athletes from Hoggard, Laney, New Hanover and North Brunswick High Schools have or will officially make commitments over the next week to continue their sports careers at the next level.

Many of the destinations include NCAA Division I institutions from as close as UNC-Wilmington to as far away as the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. Other landing spots include a range of classifications both in and out of state.

The complete list of spring signees is listed below. If your name is not on the list, contact Joe Catenacci at joe@localvoicemedia.com.

Related: App. State, N.C. Central, UNC-Wilmington among picks on National Signing Day

Related: List of college commits grows with a pair of Hoggard student-athletes

Hoggard

  • Collin Hairr – Football – Davidson College

Hairr has been selected to compete one last time for Hoggard after receiving an invite to play in the annual North Carolina East-West All-Star game. He will join former teammate Hunter Louthan this fall on the Davidson College football team.

Davidson competes at the NCAA Division I level in the Southern Conference.

  • Alex Halkais – Football – Randolph Macon 

    J.P Graham. (Port City Daily File file photo/JOE CATENACCI)
    J.P Graham. (Port City Daily file photo/JOE CATENACCI)

Randolph Macon won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Title last season. The Yellow Jackets feature two players from Wilmington on its current roster, including Hoggard alum Harrison Smith and New Hanover quarterback Burke Estes.

  • J.P. Graham – Baseball – North Carolina Wesleyan

Moving into next baseball season, N.C. Wesleyan will two players from Hoggard and one from New Hanover on its roster. Graham will join Brad Pennington and Trey Croom on Battling Bishops roster.

  • Gunner Philipp – Lacrosse – Army
  • Luke Frankeny – Lacrosse – Mount St. Mary’s
  • Abbey Brown – Lacrosse – Meredith
  • Kara Ferner – Tennis – Christopher Newport
  • Alani Fisher – Basketball – University of the Cumberlands

 

Laney

  • Cameron Smithwick – Cross-Country, Track & Field – UNCW
  • Haley Smithwick – Cross-Country, Track & Field – UNCW

The Smithwick twins will follow in the footsteps of Laney Track Coach Sam Bobbitt, who ran at UNCW during his college days.

Cameron and Haley Smithwick have been living a life of resiliency since birth. After coming into the world as premature babies at just 30 weeks to parents CeCe and Rudy Smithwick, the identical twins have grown into a well-rounded duo, excelling into a pair of dedicated student-athletes.

  • Princess Jenkins – Softball – William Peace
  • Elizabeth Peasley – Lacrosse – Averette University
  • Yaminah Lewis – Lacrosse – Virginia Wesleyan
  • Neil Ehinger – Lacrosse – Wingate
  • Finn McGrady – Lacrosse – William Peace
  • Brenner Woodcock – Lacrosse – Averette University
  • Deshawn Ballard – Track & Field – Appalachian State
  • RJ Hall – Baseball – Brunswick Community College
  • Sallie Riggan – Soccer – Brevard
  • Kevin Saravia – Wrestling – Iowa Lakes Jr. College
Taylor Perkins averaged over 20 points per game this season for North Brunswick. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy- Taylor Perkins)
Taylor Perkins averaged over 20 points per game this season for North Brunswick. (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY TAYLOR PERKINS)

Saravia was a two-time state champion for the Wrestling Bucs.

North Brunswick

  • Taylor Perkins – Basketball – Livingstone College

Perkins helped guide North Brunswick to an East Central Conference Title this year and 23-4 overall record. The Scorps advanced to the third round of the state playoffs. Perkins averaged 20.9 points per game.

  • Ian Hinson – Basketball – Methodist University

 

New Hanover

  • Caleb Bishop – Baseball – Western Carolina University

New Hanover is off to a 16-2 start and 7-1 conference record as one of the top ranked 4A teams in the state this season.

Bishop has a 5-0 record on the mound. In eight starts as a senior, the lefty has a 1.57 ERA. He’s thrown 44.2 innings so far this spring, with 60 strikeouts and just nine walks.

From top left: Malcolm Hill, Javeon Hall, Lamont Howard From bottom left: Jahann Simmons, Jyre Taylor
From top left: Malcolm Hill, Javeon Hall, Lamont Howard
From bottom left: Jahann Simmons, Jyree Taylor, Jomaious Williams (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY COACH EARL SMITH)
  • Javeon Hall – Football – Greensboro College 

New Hanover had five football players commit on Wednesday to various schools across the state. Hall served as a running back for the Wildcats. Hill and Howard were receivers on the team. Simmons played linebacker after transitioning to defense moving into his final season. Taylor played tight end.

  • Malcolm Hill – Football – Fayetteville State University
  • Lamont Howard – Football – Winston-Salem State
  • Autumn James – Track and Field – Western Carolina University
  • Aleta Jewell – Swimming – UNC-Asheville
  • Jahann Simmons – Football – Fayetteville State University
  • Jyree Taylor – Football – Fayetteville State University