Mallard Creek football coach Mike Palmieri said he felt pride Wednesday watching 15 of the 18 seniors on last season’s team sign scholarships to play college sports.
There were 13 Mavericks who signed for football, one for baseball and another for track and field.
For the three-time 4AA state champions, national signing day was a good day.
“It feels awesome,” Palmieri said. “The program is definitely working well, on and off the field, and we’re proud of that. It’s a reflection of the coaching staff, these kids and the whole school. It’s something we can all be proud of.”
Palmieri expects signing day in 2017 could be similarly special.
“We’ve got 41 lettermen returning and they’re really great kids off the field,” Palmieri said. “This next group will make my job easier, and they handle their business in the classroom.”
▪ East Gaston running back Robert Washington signed with Charlotte Wednesday, becoming the 49ers’ first four-star recruit (as ranked by ESPN, with five stars being the highest). Washington initially committed to Syracuse, but said he narrowed his choices to the 49ers, Alabama and Pittsburgh. Washington had more than 40 Division I offers.
▪ N.C. 4A champion Charlotte Catholic had five football signees, including two in the ACC: linebacker Xander Gagnon (Duke) and defensive end Connor Miller (Wake Forest).
▪ N.C. private school power Charlotte Christian had seven players sign, led by all-state running back Elijah Deveaux (Duke).
▪ N.C. private school Division I state champion Davidson Day had seven players sign, continuing a strong trend. Davidson Day has had 25 players sign in five years. Two other Patriots will be preferred walk-ons in college. So, nine of 13 seniors will play college football next season, coach Chad Grier said.
▪ In Rock Hill, S.C. 3A state champion South Pointe had five to sign, and 4A champion Northwestern had four.
▪ West Charlotte had its first players to sign in three years: Marlon Dunlap signed with North Carolina; Xavier McKoy and Chavalyea Alexander signed with N.C. Central.
▪ Vance, enjoying a football renaissance under coach Aaron Brand, had seven players sign, including receiver/defensive back Myles Dorn, who will attend North Carolina. His brother, Torin, plays basketball at N.C. State.
Mallard Creek Signings
Chancery Bowman (football, Lenoir-Rhyne); Will Eason (football, N.C. State, preferred walk-on); Thomas Gordon (football, Furman); Javon Harbison (football, Louisburg College); Tharon Ingram (football, Lenoir-Rhyne); Devin Mines (football, Gardner-Webb); Thad Moss (football, N.C. State); De’Jour Simpson (football, Eastern Kentucky); De’Jour Simpson (football, Eastern Kentucky); James Smith (football, Eastern Kentucky); Ricky Smith (football, Lenoir-Rhyne); Anthony Valderama (football, Winston-Salem State); Josh Brown (football, Florida State); Corey Sutton (football, Kansas State); Myles Bowie (baseball, Guilford); Cravon Charleston (N.C. State, track)