Local notebook: Northwestern swimmer Riley League signs with Davidson

bmccormick@heraldonline.comNovember 13, 2013 

Northwestern’s Riley League, left, and Josh Crump signed college scholarship papers on Wednesday. League will swim at Davidson College, and Crump will play baseball at Coastal Carolina.

BRET MCCORMICK — bmccormick@heraldonline.com

  • Local signings Wednesday

    Fort Mill

    Brett Netzer, Charlotte – baseball

    Jaden Savage, USC Upstate – baseball

    Michelle Case, Campbell – swimming

    Kirsten Terry, Limestone – lacrosse

    Clover

    Brooke Rhinehart, Erskine – softball

    Brittany Rhinehart, Erskine – softball

    Lancaster

    Phoebe Johnson, UNC Wilmington – women’s basketball

    Kyia Hough, Western Carolina – women’s basketball

    Northwestern

    Josh Crump, Coastal Carolina – baseball

    Riley League, Davidson – swimming

Riley League and Josh Crump share a number of things in common. They both are Northwestern Trojans, both have straight A’s on their report cards, and each one excels in his chosen sport.

On Wednesday they also both signed national letters of intent, sealing their college decisions in pen ink. League will swim at Davidson College, while Crump will play baseball at Coastal Carolina.

“It feels like it’s been forever,” said Crump, who verbally committed to Coastal over a year ago. “I’m glad it’s finally came, happy to be here, happy to have everybody here with me, and I’m just excited about going to Coastal Carolina and signing.”

League said “It’s a big sense of relief to know where I’m going, and it’s exciting to look forward to the opportunities ahead of me.”

League began swimming at the high school level as a seventh grader, and he left an indelible mark on the Northwestern swimming program in his six years. Coach Grace Magyar pointed out during a brief speech that League will graduate with 10 of the school’s 11 records, but it was the one state record he set in October that will be remembered most. League won the 100-meter breaststroke race, touching the wall in 57.82 seconds, a new state mark.

“That was a lot of fun,” he said. “You work hard in the pool all day, all year, and finally getting that little taste of success makes it all worth it.”

League’s excellence in the classroom was a more common occurrence.

“I’ve worked real hard in the classroom and have been blessed with a lot of success there,” League said. “Davidson of course is academically just a great school. I’m not sure what I’m going to study right now, I’m thinking economics, but I’m just real excited.”

Crump also excelled in both ends of the student-athlete gig. A 5-foot-9 speedster in the outfield and three-year starter, he drew interest from a number of power baseball schools, including North Carolina, Furman, Charlotte and Winthrop. A big advantage for the Coastal program was its proximity to Rock Hill.

“It was pretty important to me. I wanted to stay close to my family but also get far away enough to where they couldn’t make a quick drive to come see me,” Crump said, grinning.

Only two goals left for these outstanding student-athletes: Crump and his Northwestern teammates will chase state championship rings in the spring, while League will try and claim valedictorian honors for his class in late May.

Georgia Military College finishes regular season undefeated, to play for NJCAA title

Georgia Military’s football team finished the regular season 11-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation at the junior college level. The Bulldogs will face fellow undefeated and No. 2-ranked East Mississippi in the Mississippi Bowl on Dec. 8 in a game that will decide the junior college national championship.

The Rock Hill area has long supplied Bert Williams’ GMC program with student-athletes whose lives needed some military-style polish, or whose athletic careers needed a jump-start, and this season’s squad is no different. Former South Pointe Stallions Corey Neely and Buddy Byers have patrolled the Bulldogs’ secondary all season, with Neely even picking up a National Defensive Player of the Week award from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

Both freshmen, Neely has played in all 11 games, recording 28 tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and three interceptions. Byers has 15 tackles in eight appearances, an interception and four pass break-ups.

Ricky Garbanzo named Big South Attacker of the Week

Former Northwestern Trojan soccer standout Ricky Garbanzo was named the Big South’s Attacker of the Week for men’s soccer action last week, his second such award this season. Garbanzo scored four goals in a pair of Coastal Carolina wins, including a dipping free kick that he hammered in off the crossbar against Campbell. That goal drew worldwide Internet attention and earned his Goal of the Week honors from the web site TopDrawerSoccer.com.

Garbanzo, who finished the regular season tied for second in the conference in goals with 11, was also recently named to the All-Big South first team; he and the Chanticleers face Radford in the second round of the Big South Conference tournament on Friday in Greensboro.

Clover softball field wins award

Not only does Clover have a winning softball program, the Blue Eagles’ field is a winner to boot. The South Carolina Sports Turf Managers Association (SCSTMA) voted Clover’s patch as the 2013 Softball Field of the Year recently.

Lee Clinton, Will Rogers, T.C. McCarter, Frank Falls, Doug Collins, Allison Knapp and head coach Shea Hall are the crew that keep the Blue Eagle diamond in top condition. Representatives from the school will travel to the SCSTMA’s annual convention on Dec. 10 to receive the award.

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