Led by three softball players, Fort Mill High had seven athletes recently commit to play at the next level.
Softball players Bella Roy, Lauren Collie and Marissa McDermott will all be going their separate ways after their upcoming senior season, but were together recently to sign letters of intent. Also signing was volleyball player Brooke Farley, swimmer Ben Fenwick, golfer Tyler Patterson and rower Samantha Palmer.
Roy, 17, will be staying nearby to play softball at Winthrop University. She plans on double majoring in business marketing and medical technology.
“I chose it because I love the campus, the small classes and the softball program,” she said.
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She has led the state the past three season in strikeouts and is on pace to notch over 1,300 career strikeouts by the time she graduates. Roy is a two-time All-State player and the 2016 Region III player of the year.
Her battery mate, Collie, 18, will be catching at Mercer University and plans on majoring in nursing.
“It was a pretty campus and it had everything I wanted in a school,” she said.
Collie is a three-time All-State player and had batted .448 with 10 home runs and 68 RBI in 82 games for Fort Mill since her seventh grade year.
McDermott, 18, said she knew she wanted to go to Florida for college somewhere along the coast. She will be playing for Pensacola State College and major in math education.
“My dream college was somewhere on a beach,” she said. “I felt like I was at home when I was there.”
McDermott is a two-time All-Region player and an All-State player. She has played with several travel softball organization up and down the east coast and has been playing at Fort Mill High since she moved here in the fall of 2015.
Farley, 17, elected to go to Queens University in Charlotte and will be majoring in biology. Farley is a two-time All-State player and finished her career at Fort Mill with 2,463 assists, 264 aces, 476 kills and 756 digs.
“I liked the family environment,” she said. “I liked the strong academics and being in the middle of the city.”
Fenwick, 17, will be heading to the University of South Carolina to swim for the Gamecocks.
“I chose USC because of the wonderful athletic program and it is close to home,” he said.
Fenwick will be swimming the 400 individual medley and 500 free. He plans on majoring in biology. He has been a part of seven state championships, including five as an individual, and holds five school records for Fort Mill. He also broke the state record in the 200-yard freestyle in winning the state championship in the event in October.
Patterson, 17, will be golfing at the University of Charleston in West Virginia and plans on majoring in business.
“I like the campus and the coaches,” he said. “They have a great golf program.”
Patterson first broke 80 in a tournament as a freshman and recorded three second place finishes in 2017. He also broke par in two competitive rounds and finished in the top 25 in the SCGA Junior Championship over the summer.
Palmer, 17, will be heading to Clemson University to row and major in genetics. She is a four-year varsity rower for the Charlotte Youth Rowing team and is the top female open water rower on her team.
“I am going to Clemson because I love the campus and the coaches,” she said.
Palmer placed fifth in the 2015 and 2016 Southeast Regionals and finished fourth in the 2017 regionals. She also guided the women’s eight person boat to a gold medal at the North Carolina state championships.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM