Four Saints march to college
Published 12:02 am Thursday, April 17, 2014
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy held a signing ceremony on Wednesday for four of its elite senior athletes who have committed to continue their signature sports at the next level.
Kaylor Nash signed to play Division I volleyball at Radford University, Jacob Edwards committed to playing Division III lacrosse at Randolph-Macon College and Zach Leitner made the same commitment with Hampden-Sydney College. Like Edwards, Greg Beale will head to Randolph-Macon, but to play baseball.
“It was a really special day,” Lady Saints volleyball coach Robyn Ross said. While everyone already knew Nash was headed to Radford, “The ceremony piece of it is important, and it’s nice for the school and for everybody to take a little time out to tell all these athletes, ‘Thank you’ and ‘Congratulations,’ and make it the big deal that it is.”
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Having finally signed, Nash said it was “a relief, knowing it’s for sure — I’m going to Radford. It’s pretty awesome.”
Edwards had dreamed of playing lacrosse at the next level ever since he started playing at the age of 8.
“It’s just really exciting, honestly,” he said. “It makes me kind of nervous, too, at the same time, though. I don’t really know what to expect, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Saints boys’ lacrosse coach T.W. Johnson said, “I think it’s an exciting opportunity for Jacob to continue his career there. It’s a very good program.”
Leitner started playing lacrosse at the age of 6 and realized he wanted to play in college after he became part of a travel ball team.
“It’s huge,” he said of his commitment to Hampden-Sydney. “At first, it’s almost like a dream come true — parents have paid for me to do all this travel ball and everything, and now I’m going to the next level to keep pursuing the sport I love.”
Leitner is following in the footsteps of his coach, who is an alum of NSA and Hampden-Sydney.
“We’ve had a pretty good history of NSA guys going to Hampden-Sydney and doing well, and I think Zach certainly fits in that mold with the other guys that have gone there previously and done well,” Johnson said.
Randolph-Macon is one of its big rivals, however, which could make reunions between Edwards and Leitner interesting.
“I’m looking forward to joking around with him a lot,” Edwards said of Leitner. “I don’t think it’ll ever get serious, but it’ll be fun.”
Beale had made his commitment to Randolph-Macon clear near the beginning of March, but he was happy to go through the signing ceremony.
“It feels good,” he said. “It’s kind of like the next step getting there.”
NSA baseball coach David Mitchell was pleased to see the fruit of Beale’s efforts to be a college student-athlete.
“It’s pretty exciting, and it’s a happy day for the team, the coaching staff,” he said. “I’m just happy for Greg.”