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Athletes Make It Official

Four student-athletes recently signed athletic scholarships during a signing ceremony in the Panther Room in front of family and friends. Colby Barnette signed a baseball scholarship with UNC Chapel Hill, Parker VonEgidy signed a wrestling scholarship with the University of Missouri, John Elwood signed a baseball scholarship with Pfeiffer, and Micaela Hayes signed a softball scholarship with Queens University.

For Barnette, the signing represents a dream come true for him.  "Now I can just relax and play my senior year with my friends."  Barnette described the signing as "a big relief" as it has been more than a year since committing to the TarHeels.  He helped the Panthers baseball team reach the second round of the playoffs last year, and with only three players lost to graduation, expectations have grown for this year's season.  According to Barnette, "We're going to give it everything we have to try to win a state championship, but our first goal is to win the conference championship.  It all starts with that."

Parker Von Egidy fell in love with wrestling in the sixth grade, and six years later, Von Egidy is quite possibly the best wrestler in the state, and is easily the most decorated wrestler in the history of Union County.  After being pursued by 35 colleges, Von Egidy went with his first choice, the University of Missouri in Columbia.  When asked why he chose Missouri, Von Egidy stated, "I really like Coach Henson a lot.  He's go a lot of connections.  When I went up there for my visit, he ran practice.  The intensity, and the way he worked with the kids, I feel like that's what I need."  Von Egidy is the first Piedmont wrestler in the program's 30-year history to sign a wrestling scholarship.  His achievements at Piedmont include being a two-time state champion and helping the Panthers win its first team state title in 25 years.  

John Elwood is a middle infielder for the Panthers who chose Pfeiffer over an offer from Lenoir-Rhyne College.  According to Elwood, "It's pretty surreal deciding where you're going to school, knowing it will affect the rest of your life."  When asked why he chose Pfeiffer, Elwood stated, "Pfeiffer has a good program and I will have a chance to go in and earn playing time right away."  His older brother, Brad, is a rising sophomore on scholarship at UNC Charlotte.  Elwood and his brother have done a lot of work together during the past two years at Piedmont and he attributes these experiences to allowing him to see what it takes to play baseball at the next level.

Micaela Hayes is the only senior on the Piedmont softball team, so she knows what it takes to be a leader. Hayes has been playing softball since she was six, and at the age of 10, she announced that she wanted to earn a scholarship in the sport. Eight years later, she reached that goal. As the shortstop, she signed with Queens University in Charlotte. "I didn't want to go far away.  It's downtown Charlotte, I like the location, and I like the team a lot," stated Hayes.  As for the 2013 season at Piedmont, Hayes believes this could be a banner year with eight starters returning from last year's team, which reached the third round of the state playoffs.  Knowing she has reached her goal of earning a scholarship, Hayes' senior season will be even more special.  "I'm so honored to be a college athlete," she said.  "I thank God and my family, friends, and coaches for helping me get there." 

Written by: Donna Helms, Web Editor (Portions courtesy of the Enquirer Journal)
Posted: Nov 20, 2012 by Donna Helms

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