FORT MILL — Fort Mill High had nine student athletes, flanked by friends and family, commit to play college sports next year.
Five soccer players, two football players, a baseball player and a volleyball player were all part of a signing ceremony at the school Wednesday afternoon.
Soccer players signing were Calvin Blaschke, Jon Cutrone, Mason Strohl, Cassidy Parker and Amanda Mazzie.
Antonio Dawkins and Drew Moses both committed for football.
Baseball player Justin Tepper committed to Limestone College, and volleyball player Liza Walker committed to Charleston Southern University.
“I am excited to be playing at a Division I college,” Walker said. “It has been a dream of mine since I first started playing.”
Walker had several offers from places such as Winthrop, Elon University, Radford University, Wofford College and Butler University.
Tepper, who catches for the Yellow Jackets baseball team, said Limestone stood out to him over schools such as Newberry College and Lenoir-Rhyne College.
“I felt like I would be most successful at Limestone,” he said.
Tepper is hitting .356 with a home run and 12 RBI in 19 games for Fort Mill this year as he helps to lead the Jackets into the playoffs this season.
Both Moses and Dawkins will be playing together again at Bethany College in West Virginia. Moses will be playing defensive end and tight end, while Dawkins will be at defensive back.
“It was a close knit campus,” Moses said. “I liked it the most cause it was chill.”
Dawkins agreed the campus really helped in attracting the two players.
“I felt that the campus was the most comfortable I went too,” he said. “I felt like I can learn more there.”
With the success that the Fort Mill soccer program is having, both boys and girls, it isn’t a surprise the Jackets had a handful of signees. This year alone, the boys and girls squads have combined to go 36-4-2 and both are ranked in the top five in the state.
Girls soccer players Cassidy Parker will be going to Limestone and Amanda Mazzie will be going to USC-Aiken.
“I like the smaller schools,” Parker said. “I like that there are a lot of athletes there.”
Parker picked Limestone over Western Carolina University and Lenoir-Rhyne.
Mazzie picked USC-Aiken over Winthrop and Charleston Southern.
“I really liked the campus and the soccer coach,” Mazzie said.
The boys’ soccer team has three signees in Strohl, Cutrone and Blaschke.
Strohl will be going to Queens University in Charlotte to continue his soccer career. He picked it over Syracuse University, Emerson College and Jacksonville University.
“I feel like I can play my freshman year and they had my major,” he said.
Academic opportunities also helped to guide Blaschke to Coker College.
“They have the opportunity for me to do research in molecular biology,” he said.
Blaschke picked Coker College over Limestone and Newberry, both of which could have been full rides, he said.
Cutrone will be playing closer to home at Winthrop University. He said he was surprised just how nice the campus is, saying there isn’t much of it you can see from Cherry Road.
“I loved the campus and they are strong in my major (of exercise science),” he said.
Cutrone picked Winthrop over Furman University, Niagara University and Wofford.