Local student-athletes take advantage of early signing

The early signing period opened in full force Tuesday on the Grand Strand with at least a dozen local athletes making their plans to play college athletics official.

Conway High pitcher Will Smith will have a short commute to campus to play baseball at Coastal Carolina University. The righthander had previously committed to Furman but turned heads in his junior season to attract attention from his hometown school.

Just down Highway 501, Carolina Forest High had five student-athletes sign, including three baseball players – Mike Foltz (Duke) Chase Hughes (Presbyterian) and Blake Cox (Erskine). Chris Fortenberry (Lander) inked a golf scholarship, while Abigail Gross (Coker College) signed for lacrosse.

Myrtle Beach High held its Fourth Annual Bring Light to the Myrtle Beach Community event Tuesday night to announce the signings of five student-athletes, including girls basketball standout Asia Smith (Charleston Southern), volleyball star Gracie Davis (Presbyterian), and boys lacrosse player Bishop Anderson (Newberry). Boys tennis players Josh Wallen and John Ed Cahill will remain teammates at the next level by attending The Citadel.

There are several other signings to come this week, including St. James High golfer Smith Knaffle’s commitment to play golf at the next level. The two-time individual state medalist and three-time team state champion has committed to the University of South Carolina. She will sign at 2:30 p.m. Friday in a school ceremony.

Another high-profile recruit on the South Strand, Socastee High wide receiver Kenney Solomon, continues to see his football stock rise. The speedster visited the University of Tennessee last week after earlier visits to N.C. State and Coastal Carolina.

He and other potential signees have until February to finalize their decisions on National Signing Day.

Photo by Chuck Silvey

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