Fort Mill Times

Nation Ford sends 6 to compete in college

Six Nation Ford seniors announced they will be continuing their athletic careers in college.

Lucas Hawes, Cody Johnson, Anna Kimbrell, Justen Lane, Kent Peterson and

Jackie Roesler are part of Nation Ford's first senior class.

Hawes has signed with Western Kentucky and will swim for the Hilltoppers. He was a big part of Nation Ford's state championship swim team last fall. He was part of two winning relay teams and owns two individual state records.

His best events are the breaststroke and middle-distance freestyle. Hawes is the third Falcons swimmer to sign with a Division I school.

Western Kentucky is a member of the Sun Belt Conference. They finished the

2008-09 season ranked sixth in the final mid-major poll.

Johnson signed to play baseball at Charleston Southern. A middle infielder, he was named to the North-South All-Star Game and the All-Region 3-AAAA team this season. He also considered Francis Marion and Coastal Carolina.

Charleston Southern, a member of the Big South Conference, will give Johnson the best opportunity to play right away. The Buccaneers' starting second baseman and shortstop both played out their eligibility this season.

"They were looking for a middle infielder. Cody was very high on their list," Falcons baseball coach Dell Corley said.

Kimbrell made a name for herself in baseball and swimming. She has signed with Samford to play softball. She has never played the game.

Kimbrell was selected to play on the women's national baseball team and traveled to Japan in August 2008 to represent the United States. The team came away with a bronze medal. As a junior she became the first known female to play in a varsity baseball game in the state of South Carolina.

She had one college, Division III Springfield College in Massachusetts, express interest in her playing baseball. She considered softball at Guilford College and Elon.

Samford was a good fit. Kimbrell already knows Samford coach Beanie Ketcham.

Ketcham was a coach on the Kimbrell's national team. Before coming to Samford, Ketcham played four years with the Colorado Silver Bullets, a women's professional baseball team. As a pitcher, she recorded the organization's first win.

"A lot of coaches saw me, but (Ketcham) was my pitching coach," Kimbrell said. "I know her well. You have to go to a place that feels right."

"[Ketcham] made the transition from baseball to softball. I have no doubt Anna will do the same," Corley said.

Kimbrell said she will redshirt her freshman year and play catcher for the Bulldogs.

Lane has committed to play lacrosse at Queens University in Charlotte for coach Jim Fritz. Queens plays in the D-II Conference Carolinas and lost in the conference championship game this season.

Lane played for the Fort Mill Lacrosse Club. Nation Ford does not yet have a team. Lane, a defender, was named to the South Carolina All-Star team this season. He was also selected South Carolina Defensive Player of the Year and was named a High School All-American.

Peterson committed to play baseball at Guilford, a D-III school in Greensboro, N.C. He was Nation Ford's No. 1 starter this season and played the outfield. At Guilford, he will likely play a middle infield spot.

"Kent is able to play several positions and can play at any DII school. He's just starting to peak," Corley said.

Roesler will attend Charleston Southern in the fall, where she has already made the cheerleading squad. Tryouts were held April 24 and 25. She was a four-year varsity cheerleader and made the All-Region team.

Charleston Southern took first place in its first-ever competition, in 2008, at the Cheer Ltd. National Cheerleading Competition held in Myrtle Beach.

Roesler considered USC Upstate and Winthrop before choosing Charleston Southern.