National Signing Day

Some of the best athletes from our school officially signed with their respective colleges last Wednesday.

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National Signing Day

The Magnet students in the District Headquarters Building downtown on Signing Day. (Not pictured: Colin Baker)

The Magnet students in the District Headquarters Building downtown on Signing Day. (Not pictured: Colin Baker)

The Magnet students in the District Headquarters Building downtown on Signing Day. (Not pictured: Colin Baker)

The Magnet students in the District Headquarters Building downtown on Signing Day. (Not pictured: Colin Baker)

On February 6, 2019, 48 athletes from across Charleston County participated in National Signing Day, including 8 of our own students. The event took place downtown at the district headquarters and celebrated the student-athletes and their achievements as well as shining light on their commitments to play their sport in college.

Our students, their sports, and the colleges they committed to are as follows:

Skyler Ayers, Swimming, University of Vermont

Colin Baker, Track and Field, Harvard University

Malia Borg, Swimming, Macalester College

Riane Coman, Soccer, University of South Carolina

Ethan Fewell, Baseball, Winthrop University

Jourdan Gruber, Soccer, USC-Aiken

Annie Riesberg, Softball, Aurora College

Ryan Troy, Swimming, Colby College

I decided to sit down with a few of the athletes and find out more about them, their commitment, and their future.

What made you want to start playing and how long have you played (insert sport)?

Ethan: “I’ve played for 14 years. My dad was the one who got me into it. He was always had me throwing or hitting something, and I just started to love it.”

Jourdan: “I started playing when I was 9 because I was on this awful gymnastics team, and I needed to find a reason to quit.”

Ryan: “I’ve been swimming since 12 and since the beginning it was just something I was really comfortable doing. It all came naturally.”

Skyler: “I started swimming at 4 and had my first meet at 5. My mom was the one who got me into it because I had already tried everything else and swimming just stuck.”

What inspired you to continue playing?

Ethan: “Well, I realized I was pretty good at it, and I just really loved batting.”

Jourdan: “My parents really liked it because I was actually pretty good, and they saw my potential. I also really enjoyed it from the start.”

Ryan: “I’m pretty internally motivated and swimming is all about trying to have better times. I think that aspect kept me going because I loved pushing myself to get faster.”

Skyler: “My mom encouraged me to keep swimming.”

Fondest memory playing?

Ethan: “Definitely my first home run when I was 11. It was a walk off, 2 run home run to win some championship.”

Jourdan: “Sophomore year we were playing the number 3 team in the nation, and we were in overtime. I scored the winning goal and literally started crying.”

Ryan: “Probably when I got my first sectional level cut at 14. I was the first one of all my friends to get it, and it served as a big moment for me. I realized that swimming was something I could keep going with and move on to higher levels.”

Skyler: “My 8 and under relay won state one time. It was my two friends, this crazy Russian girl, and me. It was awesome since it was the first time I had won something that important.”

Worst injury?

Ethan: “Somewhat recently I had a swollen spinal disk that was pinching a nerve in my back. I was about 6 months without being able to do any high volume weight lifting.”

Jourdan: “Last year some girl ran into me and my head bounced off of an asphalt track. I was out for months with a concussion.”

Ryan: “I had a shoulder injury back in 8th grade, but it wasn’t anything too severe. I just had to go to physical therapy for a couple of months and I was all better.”

Skyler: “I was diagnosed with chronic tendonitis in both my ankles and wrists. So that’s fun.”

Do you have any pre-game traditions?

Ethan: “I never have fast food and usually drink some kind of energy drink.”

Jourdan: “I ALWAYS have to listen to my Beyonce, ‘Partition’ to be exact. Also, I always make sure to eat an entire baguette from Panera.”

Ryan: “I mainly listen to some music to hype me up and work to hype up my teammates too.”

Skyler: “Lots and lots of Cheez-Its. They’re my go-to swim snack.”

When did colleges start reaching out to you and how did you feel?

Ethan: “It made me feel good to see people were interested in me. I realized freshmen year I was probably going to play in college. Schools started to reach out and get me to come to camps, but summer of sophomore year is when I got my first offer.”

Jourdan: “I started emailing people towards the end of sophomore year, and they emailed me back with offers. It felt awesome to get all the attention, almost like I was a celebrity.”

Ryan: “Around the start of junior year was when I started having colleges reach out to me. It felt good because it was like the hard work I’d done had paid off.”

Skyler: “I started looking at the colleges sophomore year and started reaching out and getting responses back. It felt pretty cool to know colleges wanted me to swim for their teams.”

Why did you decide to commit to where you did?

Ethan: “Love the coaches, love the school, love the stadium. I spent about 3 month looking around at other schools, but I realized I already had an offer that was really good.”

Jourdan: “The coaching staff and the girls on the team were so welcoming, like a family. They also gave me a good amount of money, so I went with what pays the bills.”

Ryan: “When I visited, I really felt comfortable there since it was up in the northeast. I also really liked the coach and the team atmosphere.”

Skyler: “I decided to commit to University of Vermont because it’s far away from home and a completely different experience and something totally new.”

Describe your time playing at magnet

Ethan: “ Laidback and fun. Everybody just loves to be out there as a team.”

Jourdan: “It’s amazing! Everyone literally calls us a cult because we’re all so close and love each other so much.”

Ryan: “It’s been a ride of emotions. I’m sad it’s over but excited because I’m moving on to do bigger and better things. Overall, I feel really proud to have been on the varsity team since freshman year, and I’m glad to have met people I wouldn’t have otherwise.”

Skyler: “Magnet swimming has definitely been intriguing. It really showed me a fun side to swimming.”

How was actual signing day?

Ethan: “It was really cool. There was a lot people. I wasn’t really expecting to be nervous, but I had to walk up in front of everyone as they read off my accomplishments and get my picture taken which was a little nerve wracking.”

Jourdan: “It was awesome since we got to see all the other kids from around the county signing too.”

Ryan: “It was a lot of fun and a big sigh of relief for everyone since we all knew where we were going finally.”

Skyler: “Well, they gave me my certificate with my name and sport on it, but instead of putting swimming, they put tennis. They did end up fixing it though, and it was still a pretty fun time.”

What are you most looking forward to most when playing in college?

Ethan: “The college baseball experience as a whole. Gear day, traveling around with the team, living with the team. It’s what I’ve worked for for a long time.”

Jourdan: “I’m excited to move up and be able to play at a different level of soccer. I also just love the girls and it’s always so much fun when we’re together.”

Ryan: “I’m mainly really looking forward to being a part of a team again.”

Skyler: “I’m excited to only swim the events that I like and am best at.”

Skyler might be a mermaid. I’m not sure yet.”

— Hannah O

Best of luck to all the signed athletes in their college careers!

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