The East Cooper coverage area produced 21 more college signees this spring.
Academic Magnet, Ashley Hall, Bishop England, First Baptist, Oceanside, Palmetto Christian, Porter-Gaud and Wando have combined to send 89 student-athletes to college to play 15 different sports from the 2019 graduating class.
Wando added eight this spring to lift its total to 34 this year. Oceanside celebrated six spring signees as part of a group of 26 total. Porter-Gaud saw three athletes sign and now has eight this year, as does Bishop England. Palmetto Christian celebrated two this spring and First Baptist had its first basketball signee of the year.
“They are all part of an outstanding senior class,” Wando athletics director Bob Hayes said at the Warriors’ signing ceremony. “This is a proud day for us. I know it’s a proud day for these young men and I know it’s a really proud day for the friends and family here today. It should be. This is a great example of team work.”
Three members of Wando’s state champion rugby club team signed with Arkansas State. Four-year letterman Connor Hogan, three-year letterman Baylor Williams and two-year letterman Luke McCaleb all signed to the Red Wolves, regarded as one of the top rugby programs in the nation.
The Wando rugby team was undefeated in-state this season on way to its fourth state title in the past six years. The Warriors placed sixth at Boys High School Rugby Nationals in Salt Lake City, Utah, an invitation-only event that includes just 24 teams nationwide.
“For senior football players who don’t know what to do afterwards, there are some really good opportunities in rugby,” McCaleb said. All three of the rugby signees started for the Warriors football team. “It’s really good to be going with (Hogan and Williams) because there’s a lot to rugby. You have to be close and know how everyone plays so that’s going to be a big help for us having all already played together.
“Rugby gave me an opportunity to play in college, and I took it.”
Owen Hamilton signed with Lander men’s soccer. Hamilton has been a part of the Warriors’ past two state title teams and the 2018 national championship team. He scored seven goals with four assists this season and was one of 18 all-stars selected statewide for the North-South Soccer Classic.
Jared Aden signed with USC Lancaster, while Carter Gennarrelli is headed to USC Salkehatchie from the Warriors baseball team. Aden, a right-handed pitcher, has led the Warriors in ERA the past two seasons. He went 4-0 in eight appearances this season with a 1.94 ERA, and 55 strikeouts through 43 1/3 innings this season. Gennarrelli roamed the outfield with one of the best fielding percentages on the team. He was also second on the team with four doubles.
Braxton Smith signed with Lander, and Jack Shipman signed with Hampden Sydney from the Warriors lacrosse team. Both are two-time state champions and helped Wando to a state runner-up finish this spring. Smith was named All-Lower State as a goalkeeper. He set a new school record with 17 saves in the Lower State championship game. Shipman was an all-state selection, named Lower State Midfielder of the Year, after scoring 45 goals with 25 assists and 29 ground balls.
“I’ve been working for this ever since I was kid, just looking forward to playing college lacrosse even in elementary school,” Shipman said. “The sport has come a long way in this state. Now kids all across the state are signing to colleges. I think it’s great and it’s only going to develop further. I’m excited to see what the future holds for South Carolina lacrosse.”
Porter-Gaud’s Kevin Marshall will be joining Shipman at Hampden Sydney. Marshall is the reigning SCISA lacrosse Player of the Year. He was named Most Valuable Player of the Cyclones state championship team after scoring 43 goals with 31 assists this season. He finished as the school's all-time leader with 81 assists and 198 total points and second in career goals with 117.
Cyclones track and field standout Nelle Alexander is headed to Washington and Lee. Alexander has won state championships in competitive cheerleading, lacrosse and track and field at Porter-Gaud. She ran sprints, hurdles and excelled in relays as part of two school records in the 100 and 400 relays.
Becky Van Kirk will play lacrosse at the University of Chicago. Van Kirk is a two-time all-state selection and two-time state champion in lacrosse and has twice been named all-state in basketball as well. She was named Most Valuable Player of both of the Cyclones' title teams, including this year’s champions climbed to ninth in the state rankings throughout all levels and classifications.
Grace Ann Carlson signed with MIT from Bishop England’s four-time defending state championship girls lacrosse team. Carlson is a three-time all-state selection, two-time state Attack of the Year, and two-time U.S. Lacrosse National Tournament all-star. Carlson was second in the state in both assists and total points this season. She closed her high school career with a team-best six goals in the state championship game. She was also named the 2019 Best of Prep Sports Scholar Athlete of the Year as a two-time Academic All-American and Salutatorian of Bishop England’s 2019 class.
Oceanside soccer standout Philip Siegwald signed with Anderson. Siegwald led Oceanside with 21 goals and 13 assists. He sealed the state championship with a late goal in the AA title match and is also a North-South all-star selection.
Also from the Landsharks’ state champion boys soccer team, Kyle Turner signed with USC Sumter. Landsharks swimming standout Emma Grace Spach is headed to Lynchburg after helping Oceanside to a state runner-up finish this fall. Emma Smith signed with Sewanee from the Landsharks' state runner-up girls tennis team. Olivia Quartermous signed with Life University women’s lacrosse and Sierra Wolter will play volleyball at Erskine. Quartermous posted 85 saves with a .512 save percentage in goal for the Landsharks this season. Wolter led the Landsharks volleyball team with 230 digs and added 30 aces.
Two-time Best of Prep Sports award winner Lauren Pernell will join teammate Cole Silvester as freshman on the Anderson track and field team next season. Pernell holds Palmetto Christian school records in the 100 hurdles, 400 hurdles, long jump, as well as the 100 and 400 relays. She was the leading scorer at the state championship meet each of the past four years. She won state titles the 100 and 400 hurdles as well as the triple and long jumps this season. Silvester holds school records in the long jump, triple jump, 100 and 800, along with the 100 and 400 relay all-time marks. He’s expected to run mid-distance and compete in the long jump at Anderson.
Joe Powell, of First Baptist boys basketball, signed with Erskine, as featured in the Moultrie News in April.