Five Wren High athletes signed to continue their athletic careers at the next level in a signing ceremony Wednesday at the school.
The signees were Aaron Gambrell, Ashley Rogers, Chandler Pearson, Adam Murphy and Jay Baker.
Gambrell headlines the class by signing with the Clemson men’s cross country and track programs. As a junior, Gambrell finished fourth in the state in the 1,600-meter and was selected all state. He started his senior year by finishing 10th at the state cross country meet, leading the Hurricanes to a seventh-place finish. He has also been selected an all-region runner as well as region champion.
“It’s a relief to know where I’m going and getting all of the pressure off early in the season. I like the atmosphere Clemson brings and that they’ve got an up-and-coming distance program,” Gambrell said. “I want to get to the next level so that I can compete.”
Rogers, who helped the girls golf team to a fourth-place finish at the 2012 Class AAA state tournament, signed with Spartanburg Methodist College. Rogers was a member of the 2011 Class AAAA state championship team and led the Hurricanes to the Western AAA Region championship in 2012.
“It’s really exciting for me because I’ve only been playing for two years, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to play college golf,” Rogers said. “This is definitely a new point in my life, and I can’t wait to see what it holds for me.”
Pearson, who signed with the Erskine men’s golf program,, has been region player of the year and a three-time all-region selection. He also holds a region record with a round of 64.
“Countless days on the range in 110 degree heat,” Pearson said, “and it’s all worth it now.”
Murphy will take his soccer skills to Coker College. The midfielder has been part of three region championship teams with a chance at a fourth this spring.
“I’m excited to be going to college to play soccer, meet new people, and travel places. This has been a goal of mine since I was little,” Murphy said. “I like the small school and the small town environment. I’m overjoyed and ecstatic.”
Baker signed to play football for Maryville (Tenn.) College. The All-Western AAA offensive lineman and team captain helped Wren to four consecutive playoff appearances and was part of the Hurricanes’ first Class AAAA region championship as a freshman.
“I’m looking forward to getting better academically and athletically at the next level, and I think Maryville can take me there,” Baker said. “They’re a very prestigious academic school, and I’ll get a chance to play early next year as a tight end. It just felt like the right school for me.”