Five Northwestern Trojans student-athletes – Ashley Rinehart, Brianna Lewis, Sarah Davis, Kole Koterba and Desmond Leak – signed college sports agreements Tuesday morning.
Ashley Rinehart: Senior pole-vaulter said the atmosphere at Anderson University was “so pure and welcoming. It just felt like even more than a second home.
Rinehart was already headed to Anderson on an arts/academic scholarship to study graphic design when the track and field coach contacted her about pole vaulting for the school as well.
“They contacted me and said ‘hey, we’d love for you to be on the team,” said Rinehart, who has straight A’s. “So I thought about it and I decided to do it.”
Brianna Lewis: Defending 400-meter hurdles state champion was charmed by the College of Charleston’s downtown setting amid the hustle and bustle of the city’s shopping and historic district. She was further convinced by Julisa Tindall, the three-time state high jumping champion from Northwestern who is excelling in Charleston now.
“I’ve always liked Charleston when we went for visits,” Lewis said. “There’s a lot going on.”
Lewis, who will major in nursing, also had interest or offers from Coastal Carolina, Norfolk State, Tennessee Tech and North Greenville.
Sarah Davis: Senior distance runner first heard from Spartanburg Methodist last fall, but didn’t reciprocate the interest until around February when the school got back in touch with her. Once she decided to give college running a shot, Spartanburg Methodist proved to be the perfect fit.
“I set up a visit in April over my spring break and it went really well,” said Davis, who runs the 3200 meters, the 4x800 relay and also cross country.
Davis, a yearbook editor at Northwestern, will major in fine arts and wants to focus on photography.
Kole Koterba: Like Davis, Koterba wasn’t completely sure he wanted to run in college, but with a little help from his uncle Jim Koterba, a track and cross country coach at South Pointe, he landed at Spartanburg Methodist once he did decide to pursue college opportunities.
“Spartanburg Methodist contacted me and they said they were interested in me, so I took a visit there and talked to the coach, got everything set up and that’s where I ended up,” said Koterba, a distance runner for the Trojans.
Koterba has A’s and B’s in advanced placement classes and plans to major in English at Spartanburg Methodist.
Desmond Leak: Senior defensive back will play football at Union College, a Div. II school in Kentucky. Leak got a roughly 50 percent scholarship to play at the school where he hopes to major in business. He gets A’s and B’s at Northwestern, the school he helped lead to the 2013 4A Div. II football state championship.
Leak visited the school based in the mountains of Kentucky a couple of weeks ago.
“It felt like somewhere I could actually call home,” he said. “The weight training is what I needed. I just recently got my workout program so I’m gonna start it soon.”
Bret McCormick • 803-329-4032; Twitter: @BretJust1T