Seniors commit for college sports


Matthew Battle

Graphic design made by Aynsleigh Penland using Canva’s presentation software

Rhys Patterson, Sports Editor

With only around 7% of total high school athletes in the U.S. making the jump to play college sports, a commitment to a college whether it is D1, D2, or a community college, is a great accomplishment. We have some athletes of our very own at Fuquay Varina High School moving to the next level.

Senior Huell “H.L.” Smith will be the ace this year for the Bengals baseball team. The tall lefty has been a member of the varsity baseball team at Fuquay since his sophomore year but has been playing baseball his whole life. “I have been playing baseball since I could walk,” said Smith.

During the summer after his freshman year, Smith verbally committed to play college baseball for UNC Chapel Hill. Mind you, it is very rare for high school athletes to receive an offer to play college sports this early in their high school career, but it was an offer that Smith couldn’t refuse. “I chose Carolina because it was a school that I grew up knowing. They offered the best scholarship so my parents didn’t have to pay anything. They have three other kids to put through college,” explained Smith.

While Smith is very naturally gifted, being 6 foot 6 inches tall, height doesn’t really mean a whole lot without a great work ethic. Smith can be seen working harder than anyone, which has helped him get the velocity up on his fastball. “I have worked my entire life to achieve this goal of playing college baseball, but I’m not done yet,” explained Smith.

Smith doesn’t just plan on playing at UNC Chapel Hill and then calling his baseball career quits. He will attempt to take his game to the next level. “I’m still working hard every day to try and achieve my end goal which is to go and play professional baseball,” said Smith.

Senior Mackenzie Behr was one of the leaders on the FVHS women’s volleyball team this season. Behr committed to Pfeiffer University in North Carolina this past summer to continue her volleyball career. Behr has been involved with volleyball for the majority of her life thus far. “I’ve been playing this sport for close to a decade, so basically my entire life,” said Behr.

Behr didn’t just have to consider volleyball, but also academics and how she would potentially fit in the atmosphere of the college. Pfieffer checked all the marks on her list. “I chose Pfeiffer because I loved the small town feel to it and how interconnected everyone is. Everyone that I met was so friendly and welcoming,” said Behr. “Pfeiffer also has the degree I want and the class sizes are the type that I work well in.”

The amount of effort Behr put in over the past few years to achieve her goal of being able to play college volleyball was grueling but overall very worth it. “I spent so much time sending emails, going to camps, and talking to a bunch of coaches,” said Behr.

“Almost my entire summer the past two years was filled with emails, camps, and research on colleges that would work well for me. It was very mentally draining, but I’m so glad that I did it.”