More than 20 area athletes sign college scholarships

More than 20 area athletes sign college scholarships

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More than 20 area athletes sign college scholarships

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MURFREESBORO

Carley Hatcliff is a standout tennis player at Central Magnet with lofty goals beyond athletics.

But athletics may help her get closer to achieving her dream of being a pilot in the Air Force.

The Central Magnet senior became the first from the fourth-year school to sign a Division I scholarship when the standout tennis player signed with Air Force.

“I want to serve my country, and the opportunities that were offered and just the camaraderie of everyone there led me to want to go there,” Hatcliff said. “It’s an amazing opportunity to get an amazing education, serve my country and play college tennis.”

Hatcliff has never taken flying lessons, but the desire to “want to fly” helped make her decision. Hatcliff first looked into the Air Force during her sophomore year at Central and pursued it.

Hatcliff was one of more than 20 Rutherford County or Cannon County high school or former high school athletes that signed with a school on Wednesday.

Eight signed, or plan on signing, basketball scholarships during the early signing period, which began Wednesday and ends Nov. 20. Six signed with baseball, three signed with softball, one golfer and one swimmer signed too.

Oakland senior point guard Emily Eubank was greeted with a basketball locker completely decorated by her mom, celebrating Eubank’s decision to sign with Lipscomb University.

“I’ve got purple and yellow balloons with all of these old pictures of me when I was little,” said Eubank, describing her locker decked out in Lipscomb’s school colors. “There are flowers and beads and everything else you can imagine.

“She surprised me. I don’t even know when she could have done this, or when she did it. I just walked in the locker room to put my stuff away and all of it was there.”

Eubank wasn’t alone in celebrating their accomplishment.

Riverdale teammates Collin Snider and Brady Puckett planned on dining with teammates Wednesday evening to celebrate their signing. Snider signed with Vanderbilt. Puckett inked with Lipscomb. Both are pitchers.

Both wore shirts and ties for their signing. Puckett’s signing came after an exam.

“My whole family came and watched me sign,” Puckett said. “I took a test in my childcare class before I signed.”

Snider also was joined by his parents and siblings. Snider committed to Vanderbilt about a year prior to signing.

“I’ve been looking forward to this day since I committed,” Snider said. “When Jonathan King and Trevor Sutton signed I started to think about when it would be my turn to sign. I’ve been looking forward to this day for a while.”

Siegel’s Chase Slone was committed to Southern Illinois since December. And the shortstop was unwavering in that commitment. Sutton said Austin Peay also offered.

“When I took my visits (Southern Illinois) was the place that really stood out,” Slone said. “Their coaching staff was really professional.”

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