A friend’s uncle helped Davis Hooten get an invite to a Michigan State men’s soccer prospect camp.
The Northwestern Trojan goalie took it from there.
“I really didn’t think a lot of it at the time,” he said. “But afterward I contacted the coach and they responded and it was just an awesome feeling.”
Hooten did enough to earn a full scholarship from the Big Ten powerhouse. An athletic shot-stopper, Hooten has started every game the last three years for Dom Wren’s Trojans. He called the situation “a dream come true.”
Hooten plans on majoring in chemistry. He was a junior marshal last year and is taking IB classes his senior year at Northwestern.
Chance Miller, Newberry
Miller made 70 tackles as a senior, with nine for a loss and 2.5 sacks. The defensive lineman played in the North-South all-star game and was named All-Region 4-5A. He’ll play college football at Newberry.
“It felt great” signing Wednesday, said Miller, who will major in biology. “It’s almost like I’m never leaving home. The coaches treat me like family and the academic program there is excellent. So I’m really glad I’m going there. It’ll be just like home.”
Christian Steele, Guilford College
Steele will play football at Division III Guilford College, in Greensboro, N.C. He’ll play linebacker and plans on majoring in criminal justice so he can become an FBI agent.
“I appreciate every coach I’ve ever had,” Steele said. “Since Gray Y to high school now. They always told me if I worked hard I’d get whatever I want.”
Mikayla Pless, Coker College
A three-year varsity starter for Northwestern’s girls’ soccer team, Pless will play in college at Coker.
“It’s a beautiful campus and the minute I stepped on it it felt just like home,” Pless said.
She plays all over the field and plans on majoring in early childhood education to become a teacher. Trojans girls’ soccer coach Jason Mouzon gushed about Pless, saying “Coker was getting a great human being.”
De’Quez Harris, Virginia Coast Academy
The Northwestern running back will play post-high school football at Virginia Coast Academy. Harris, who battled injuries during his senior season last fall, effusively thanked his parents.
When asked if he had any advice for younger teammates, the well-muscled Harris said, “If you need to get bigger, see Coach West,” a nod to Trojans strength and conditioning coach James West that drew plenty of chuckles from the crowd gathered in Northwestern’s auditorium.
Ethan Martinez, USC Lancaster
This spring will be Martinez’s sixth year in the Northwestern Trojans baseball program. He does it all, pitching, catching and playing outfield, versatility that made him appealing to USC Lancaster coaches.
Martinez said USC Lancaster gives him “the best chance to focus on academics and a good chance to play at the Division I level.”