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College Bound

Athletes sign to continue careers

Seven athletes signed with college programs

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Edenton-John A. Holmes’ Kentreaz Coston will continue his football career at Marshall University. Top Left: Northeastern’s Tyquan Mercer (Elizabeth City State), Aaron Harris (North Carolina A&T State), Jorell Baum (Old Dominion) and Robert Ferguson (Fayetteville State) signed to play football at the college level. Bottom Left: l-r: Currituck’s Kendal Cahill (Methodist) and Bailee Twiford (Western Carolina) will continue their athletic careers at the college level. Cahill will play women’s soccer at Methodist, while Twiford will join the Western Carolina women’s golf team.

020619CurrituckSigningDay
020619CahillMethodist
020619TwifordWCU
020619CostonSigningDayEdenton
020619CostonMarshall
020619SigningDayNortheastern
020619HarrisNHSfootball
020619BaumSigningODU
020619FergusonFayettevilleState
020619MercerECSU
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By Malcolm Shields
Sports Editor

Thursday, February 7, 2019

From football to girls soccer, multiple athletes in the Daily Advance’s coverage area put pen to paper on Wednesday to confirm commitments to play sports at the college level.

Wednesday marked the regular signing period for NCAA Division I and Division II football senior athletes.

High school seniors in all other sports can sign between last Nov. 14 until Aug. 1 of this year.

Currituck was the first school in the area to hold a signing ceremony Wednesday.

Girls’ soccer player Kendal Cahill and girls’ golfer Bailee Twiford were part of a signing ceremony at Currituck’s media center.

Cahill committed to continue her soccer career at Methodist University in Fayetteville.

For Cahill, she gets to continue playing a sports that she picked up when she was around six-years-old.

“It’s been a very big part of my life,” she said. “Soccer was my main sport and I loved it.”

Cahill has been a standout defender for the Currituck girls’ soccer team during her varsity career.

She added that the small campus and the people at Methodist attracted her to join the Division III program.

Before she heads off to Fayetteville, Cahill has still has to play her senior season with the Lady Knights this spring.

“I think it will be the best one yet,” she said. “I think I am prepared and it’s going to be sad leaving, but I’m excited to finish out my year.”

Twiford said that she was very excited to golf at the next level.

“I’m definitely looking forward to that,” she said.

She also visited the campus and said that the school fits her perfectly.

Twiford capped her standout prep golf career at Currituck with a NCHSAA 1A/​2A East Regional championship last October.

“I shot one of my best scores,” she said about the regional championship. “It was really cool to do that in a moment that I needed to.”

Last season also included a trip to the state championship tournament where she finished third overall.

She will join a WCU women’s golf team that is a Division I program that competes in the Southern Conference.

John A. Holmes’ Kentreaz Coston has battled through adversity during his high school football career.

So it isn’t a surprise that he is up for the challenge to earn a scholarship at Marshall University.

Coston will join the Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I) program as a preferred walk-on.

That means that he doesn’t get football scholarship funds, but will have a spot on the roster.

Coston, who played quarterback for the Aces the previous two seasons on the varsity team, will be a defensive back at Marshall.

If there is a player that can deal with adversity, it is Coston.

During his junior season, he sustained a lower body injury that forced him to miss the majority of the season.

“It was super tough,” Coston said.

Even though he was limited, Coston was in the weight room working on his upper body while healing.

Coston rebounded in 2018 with a senior season where he threw for over 800 yards in a run-first offense with 14 touchdown passes.

He also added over 500 rushing yards with six scores.

Coston noted that his success in 2018 led to an active recruitment cycle.

That also included interest from North Carolina-Pembroke, Elon and Charleston Southern.

The family atmosphere at Marshall won Coston over.

“It’s like a brotherhood,” he said. “Once you go there, you can tell everybody is in it for the bigger picture.”

Edenton coach Paul Hoggard was thrilled for the opportunity for Coston.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “When one of our kids gets the chance to go somewhere and play college ball, mainly to go to college, that’s a great thing for us and a great thing for Kentreaz and his family. We’re hoping that he make the best of it.”

Northeastern concluded signing day in the area with four football players committing to play at the college level.

Defensive lineman Jorell Baum will play college football at Old Dominion, quarterback Aaron Harris will join the North Carolina A&T State program, Robert Ferguson is set to join the Fayetteville State program and Tyquan Mercer will stay close to home and join the Elizabeth City State football team.

Harris, who played a key role in leading the Eagles to the NCHSAA 2A state championship game in December, fulfills a goal to play college football.

“This is something that I have been dreaming about since I was younger,” he said.

Harris, who will play defensive back for the Aggies, said that his official visit to Greensboro felt like home.

He added that it was a real nice campus was he was able to meet with players that would be in his signing class.

He will also get the chance to have the ball in his hands at A&T.

Baum battled through an preseason knee injury to also help the Eagles reach the state championship game.

“It’s a great accomplishment for me,” he said. “It’s a great goal that I set for myself to be able to make it this far.”

Before the injury, he was wanted by many top programs in the region.

Baum was able to return for the state playoffs and had an impact.

“It’s amazing how God works,” he said.

Baum said that he likes the program and the coaches at the FBS program in Norfolk, Virginia.

Ferguson had a late burst of interest during his recruitment cycle, but was able to secure a spot at Division II Fayetteville State.

“It’s a blessing to get an offer late my senior year after the state championship game,” he said.

Ferguson had a standout game in the state championship loss to Reidsville in Raleigh Dec. 15.

The linebacker tallied 15 tackles to be named Northeastern’s defensive player of the game.

His performance in the state championship game was helpful in his recruitment.

“I feel like that helped me a lot,” he said. “It put my name out there even more.”

Ferguson liked the atmosphere at Fayetteville State.

Mercer, who played multiple positions at NHS will bring his talents to the Division II Vikings.

“It’s a great opportunity to continue my football career,” he said.

Mercer was appreciative of the interest from the Vikings.

“They showed me the most love out of all the other schools,” he said.

For Northeastern head coach Antonio Moore, it is another group of athletes that he has helped move on to the college level.

The group has identical attributes that will help them while in college.

“Good character, awesome student athletes, great home training and hard workers,” Moore said. “That equals state championship appearance. That’s the formula to winning. It’s always good to be able to coach kids like that. It makes your job a lot easier.”

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