They crossed their T’s and dotted their I’s on Nov. 11, a day when Bishop England High School celebrated early National Signing Day.
Just like that, with a stroke of a pen and years of work in the athletic arena and classroom, herculean efforts paid dividends.
The matriculation process became official as nine Bishop England student-athletes signed national letters of intent to attend the college of their choice.
That included senior baseball player Daniel Brooks, who signed to play for the College of Charleston. But that’s one scholarship that’s not etched in stone. There is, perhaps, no other baseball player who has upped their stock in the last six months more than Brooks did.
He’s had such an impressive summer and fall and is now talked about being a potential first-round pick when Major League Baseball holds its draft in June.
Perfect Game ranks Brooks as the No. 2 player overall in the Palmetto State, and No. 1 pitcher overall in South Carolina. Nationally, he checks in as the No. 35 pitcher overall in the U.S. and No. 80 player overall.
Not all athletes were as high-profile as Brooks, but many are indeed well known by local fans.
One of the local leaders in last week’s signing ceremony was Lily Woods. She’s the top tennis player in the state, and in the last month she recorded a state team tennis championship and an individual title to give her nine during her fabulous career. Woods could push that number to 10 if she can lead the BE girls’ basketball team to a state championship.
The Bishops had athletes sign in five different sports, and baseball led the way with three signings. In addition to Brooks, Chase Loggins inked with The Citadel while Sean Hollister signed with Presbyterian.
The three players will try to help the Bishops to their fourth straight title, albeit in five years. BE won titles in 2017, ’18 and ’19, but the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out last season.
Two Bishop swimmers will take their talents to the next level. Catherine Soper is headed to Randolph-Macon College, while Ethan Griffith will attend Virginia Military Institute.
Soper had a big role in the girls’ successful bid for a state title. She was a member of the 200 medley relay that captured a silver medal. She also placed 11th on the 100 backstroke.
Griffith was third in the 200 IM and finished second in the 100 breaststroke. He also was a member of the silver-medal 400 freestyle team.
Track and field standout Grace Hotchkiss will attend the University of North Carolina. She is the defending state champ in the pole vault, winning the state title in 2018 with an effort of 12-8.
Golfer Austin Scott is Clemson-bound while Megan Cherichello will sail for Rutgers.
Philip Simmons had one student-athlete commit to a school, although more athletes from PSHS and BE could still sign in February.
Iron Horse track and field and cross country runner Noah Ward will study and compete at the next level at Harvard University.
[Read more about Ward’s decision online at thedanielislandnews.com/sports/noah-ward-race-ivy-league-harvard]