South Aiken sends 7 on National Signing Day | Sports

South Aiken High School celebrated National Signing Day in a crowded library on Wednesday, as seven student-athletes signed on to continue their academic and athletic careers.

Ally Bollig (Vanderbilt soccer), Jacob Butler (USC Aiken baseball), De’Maurion Ginn (Newberry soccer), Lindsey Greene (Spartanburg Methodist golf), Brylee Harriell (Newberry cheerleading), Leo Myers (Wofford soccer) and Rasheem Neloms, Jr (Shaw soccer) were honored in front of coaches, family, friends and more.

“It’s a relief, but that’s where the next journey begins,” Bollig said. “The competition is still there. The driving is still there. . It’s awesome.”

Bollig is back on the T-Breds roster after missing his junior season with a torn ACL. She said coming back from injuries was tough, but her love for the game and having a great support system around her helped.

She is currently undecided about a major, but she will choose a path that will lead her to her goal of becoming a doctor. At Vanderbilt, she found the perfect person for the future.

“Everything. What it’s like, the people, the coaches. Personally, I felt like no other place suited me,” she said. “When I set foot on this campus, I felt like home. I felt like I could see myself there for the next four years and the future and so on. This will be my home, It’s certain.”

Bollig said the competitive spirit and push of the South Aiken coaches combined with her own desire and hard work prepared her for the next level. An all-round talent, she is not yet sure what position she will play in, but said she had no complaints as long as she was on the pitch.

Butler, on the other hand, is set in his future pitching job at USCA. The T-Breds ace also has a big bat in the lineup, but he’ll stick to the mound for the Pacers.

He called Wednesday’s signing bittersweet, but there’s also the excitement of his senior season about to begin. Then he left a few minutes later to play for his hometown team.

“I’ve always seen them grow,” he said. “I grew up here and always loved going to see them. I always wanted to play for them.”

Butler intends to study business management at USCA, and he said he was excited to play for new Pacers head coach Michael Holder and assistants Tyler Miller and Jason Richman.

He faced a lot of stiff competition during his time at South Aiken, and he feels his time with the program has been a great step up to take on college hitters.

“Coaching. Coach (Michael) Baker prepares me and taught me a lot,” he said. “He puts us up against some good competition. That’s what I’m going to face there too, so that prepares me.”

Ginn has also played in many big games at South Aiken – and at Barnwell before that – and reigning Standard Defensive Player of the Year Aiken said it’s been a long journey, but Wednesday was amazing.

A runner-up to defend his title, Ginn teams up with a host of talented players from across the state — his North-South buddies, as he put it — to try to take a playoff-caliber program to the next level.

“I love an underdog story. There’s nothing better than an underdog story,” said Ginn, who plans to study business management. “I love competition. It’s just my nature. I would love to go and play at a school like that rather than another school where I can’t be myself.”

Ginn reaffirmed his status as one of the best defensive players in the state last season, earning 5-AAAA Region Defensive Player of the Year and All-State Class AAAA honors. He said moving to South Aiken in the middle of his high school career helped him reach this stage.

“It was amazing,” he said. “It was the boost I needed to take it to the next level. It was exactly what I needed.”

Greene spent her entire high school career as one of the top golfers in the state, and she’s a finalist for her fourth straight Aiken Standard Girls Golfer of the Year award after winning another 5-AAAA region championship. .

“I think it really prepared me in that I had a lot of experience on and off the course with The First Tee and lots of experiences that strengthened my head and my golf game” , she said. “I think that prepared me a lot for this time.”

Family ties to Spartanburg Methodist – she sat at the table as her brother Drew signed with the Pioneers in 2019 – certainly influenced her decision, but on top of that she said she already felt at home and that she clicked with her trainer when she visited there. She plans to study political science once she arrives on campus.

A mainstay of the golf program since his college days, Greene has pondered not only signing up for college, but doing so alongside so many of his fellow student-athletes.

“It’s crazy. We all grew up together,” she said. “It’s crazy that it’s happening so fast, because it feels like we were just little kids yesterday. Now we’re all grown up and going to college. It’s crazy .”

Harriell had similar feelings after signing on to continue cheering on Newberry to cap off a busy Wednesday.

“It’s crazy. I never thought this would happen, and all of a sudden it happened and it happened so fast,” she said. “I’m so excited. Today I got to observe what I wanted to do and then I finally got to sign. It was a great day overall. I’m so excited to move on.”

Harriell said Newberry stood out from other schools because it was close to home but also far enough away that she could feel lonely. She also said she loves the campus and had the opportunity to meet her coach at a camp she attended.

She had intended to study pre-law, but that may change to physiotherapy after her job shadowing experience earlier today.

If that wasn’t exciting enough, South Aiken athletic director Bob Polewski said during the student-athlete introductions that he thinks Harriell was the school’s first cheerleader to sign with a program. university.

“It’s pretty amazing,” she said. “I would have thought someone else would have done it, but being the first is really cool. I’m so excited to be able to sign for something that I love doing so much.”

Wednesday wasn’t the first time Myers sat at the signing table – he was there in 2016 when his older brother Owen signed to play football at the College of Charleston, and now it’s his turn to cross this step itself.

“It’s crazy. I can’t even believe I’m still that old, because I watched my brother grow up and sign and I was part of his journey,” he said. “It’s crazy to finally see me sign and be part of this journey. It’s awesome.”

He plans to study health sciences and play left wing at Wofford, which has emerged as his next destination.

“I love the coaching staff. It’s a family environment there,” he said. “It’s good level football, it’s D1. I went there to visit and I felt at home.”

Myers has worked hard both at the club level at Columbia and with his teammates and coaches at South Aiken to become the player he leads into his senior season.

One of those teammates is Neloms, a newcomer to South Aiken as a transfer but a longtime player in the sport. All those years of hard work paid off with the opportunity to play collegiate Shaw.

“It’s still surreal. I still think about it,” he said. “Like, I was looking at my name on the table and it’s always kind of crazy. I’ve dreamed of doing this since I was 3, so being able to do it is amazing.”

Shaw ticked several boxes – his desire to attend an HBCU and play football, plus he’s located in Raleigh, NC, his favorite city down south – so it was the perfect choice. He plans to study mass communications.

He said he would play back at Shaw, completing a transition from his boyhood years from forward to wing to midfield and now back in defence. He said coming to South Aiken in the middle of his high school career helped prepare him for the transition he’s about to make to college.

“It was good. It was an adjustment. You have to know how to adapt to new things, situations and environments,” he said. “My team at Birmingham was made up of a lot of older guys with more experience. Here I’m one of the older guys and I help some of the younger guys in the team. I still have the same experience with older people, so it’s a bit the same thing but with younger people.”

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