Eight Trojans headed to next level

bmccormick@heraldonline.comMay 22, 2014 

Northwestern’s eight student-athletes that signed on Thursday (left to right, back to front): Cameron Cunningham, Torrence Robinson, Adia Simpkins, Andie Enabenter; Garrett Rast, Brooke Foster, Chad Fennell and Alicia Sanchez.

BRET MCCORMICK — bmccormick@heraldonline.com

Eight Northwestern Trojans got an audition for graduation day photo sessions when they signed national letters of intent Thursday during a ceremony at the school.

Large portions of family trees were on hand to hug, kiss, pose and love on their student-athlete family members.

The eight Trojans were:

Cameron Cunningham: Cunningham signed with North Greenville to play lacrosse. He played club lacrosse this past spring for a team made up of players from Northwestern, South Pointe and Rock Hill high schools. His experience playing the year before at Riverside Military Academy in Greenville paid off.

“I had offers from VMI, Birmingham Southern, Piedmont College and Queens,” said Cunningham.

North Greenville’s scholarship offer was too good to turn down.

Garrett Rast: Looking at Winthrop, the school right down the street, up close, gave Rast a different view of the school where he will play college baseball.

“You never really notice how nice it is until you go around and tour it,” he said. “A lot of people knock it because it’s in Rock Hill, but if anything, it’s beneficial to me because I do have my family right down the road if I need anything.”

Rast wants to teach, and he’s excited to play the competition that Winthrop faces.

“A lot of people put Winthrop aside because they’re not the Clemson’s or Carolina’s. But we play the Clemson’s and Carolina’s, so that’s gonna be a great experience.”

Chad Fennell: Fennell, a lifelong Clemson fan, initially wanted to attend a military academy, but his decision was settled when he visited Clemson. Fennell, a track star who won the 800-meter state championship last weekend, was decked out in orange.

“I’m pretty excited,” said Fennell. “It was a good choice for me.”

Fennell signed his national letter of intent in February, but waited until Thursday to sign with a number of his Trojan track and field teammates.

“We’ve worked really hard, so to see it all pay off in the end is really fun,” he said.

Brooke Foster: Foster’s decision to play softball at Coker boiled down to the school being one of the two colleges in South Carolina that had pre-pharmacology as a course of study; Foster will double-major in biology and chemistry. She visited the bigger pharmacy school at South Carolina, but wasn’t taken with the big school environment.

“I loved Coker and the coaches,” said Foster. “I loved the school, and softball was just an added bonus.”

Torrence Robinson: Robinson, known by most as “T.J.,” will run sprints at Anderson. He also had interest from Charleston Southern and Liberty.

“When I talked to the coach, it just really felt like a home environment,” said Robinson.

Adia Simpkins: Simpkins will run hurdle events at USC Upstate, one of the few schools in the state that offers pre-occupational therapy as a major. The major and the school’s environment made Upstate the easy choice.

“When I went there, I felt like family,” Simpkins said. “We had a good time, everybody embraced me and the culture is very nice, and I just felt at home there.

Andie Enabenter: By signing with the University of Massachusetts-Bridgewater to run track, Enabenter is headed home. All of her family, except her and her mother and other immediate family members, live in Massachusetts.

“I’m excited, but after all the friends I made here, it’s going to bittersweet,” Enabenter said.

Enabenter said she’s unsure of what she’ll study in college.

“I’m going to wait ’til I get there to see where I feel like taking my knowledge.”

Alicia Sanchez: Sanchez will run cross country and track and field at Spartanburg Methodist, though she’s not sure which events yet.

“I can do from the 400 up, or whatever (coach) needs me to do,” she said.

Sanchez, who is undecided on a major, said she “kind of” wanted to run in college, but wasn’t sure she was good enough.

“I realized if I just put in a lot of effort, it would work out,” she said. “Surprisingly, I got offered this and I was excited. I’m thankful.”

Bret McCormick •  803-329-4032; Twitter: @BretJust1T

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