Thursday, February 6, 2014
Nick Shiver's decisions are purposeful, meticulous, calculated.
The hole has to be right to run through, the answer to the test question has to be the best choice, and the hat of his college choice has to bear the proper logo.
So when the Bishops football star pulled a black cap over his head Wednesday afternoon in the Bishop England library, he made sure it donned the Army Black Knights logo of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, his home for the next four years.
“I'm extremely excited,” Shiver said. “Honestly, it hasn't set in quite yet but I'm sure in a couple days it will and I'm excited to get started.”
Shiver was one of nearly 15 student-athletes from around the East Cooper area who participated in National Signing Day Wednesday.
The all-state back rushed for 28 touchdowns and more than 1,500 yards, while maintaining better than a 4.0 grade point average this season. The offer from West Point didn't arrive until Monday, but Shiver jumped on the opportunity continue his football career and study at one of the country's top institutions, while serving his country.
“I'm not too nervous. I'm really confident in myself and I feel it'll just be something that'll help me in the future,” Shiver said. “The biggest reason I'm really interested in West Point is because you have the direct second lieutenant commission right after Army and that's the biggest thing for me.”
Wando kicked off the morning with its own ceremony, celebrating four signees from its class of 12 who are moving on to college athletics next year. Logan Nelson signed with USC Upstate women's soccer, Allie Winglosky signed with Limestone women's soccer, Darby Martens signed with College of Charleston men's soccer and Alexander Bourland signed with Millsaps College men's soccer. All-American lineman Nolan Kelleher enrolled early at the University of Florida and is already working out with the football team. He was represented Wednesday with a Gators helmet in his place.
Hours later, the four were joined by Natalie Tucker, Savannah Hallman and Morgan Howard at the Charleston County School District's annual National Signing Day press conference downtown. Tucker is the Class 4A volleyball player of the year and will join Limestone next year. Hallman will play women's golf for Charleston Southern, and Howard will play softball for Spartanburg Methodist. "It feels good to have it over with and to know where I'm going so I can start preparing for next year, mentally and physically," Martens said. "I've been thinking a lot about this day. Now, I'm just excited to get there (CofC) and get to know everybody there."
Wando swimmers Megan Kingsley, Dirk Bell, Ben Hillebrand, Travis Morrin and soccer's Summer Edwards couldn't attend the conference but were recognized in the presentation. Kinglsey will swim for Georgia, Bell for Yale, Hillbrand for College of Charleston and Morrin for South Carolina, while Edwards will join College of Charleston. Forty-six student-athletes representing 10 different schools were recognized at the CCSD conference. In the six years since beginning the CCSD signing day conference, the event has seen a steady increase in the number of eligible athletes every year.
“There's no doubt about it, there's a total commitment to the student-athlete in Charleston County from top to bottom,” Wando athletic director Bob Hayes said. “We are not in the business of preparing kids to get scholarships but it ends up being a byproduct because of the great job our kids, our coaches, and our teachers do. To me, it's a day you can look at the big picture and really appreciate the end result. It's a huge credit to the job that the school district is doing in terms of supporting its student athletes.”