Last week was an important time in the lives of many area high-school senior athletes, as they each took pen to paper to a National Letter of Intent during the NCAA’s Early Signing Period.
Although Feb. 3 is recognized more widely as “National Signing Day,” thanks to its ties to the beginning of football’s regular signing period, the early period for basketball and other sports is another opportunity for local schools to celebrate their best and brightest.
This year’s early period ran from Nov. 11 to 18, with students from the coverage areas of both the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer signing NLIs.
The West Orange Warriors had a total of 17 non-football athletes recognized in several ceremonies throughout the week, with senior pitcher Tyler Baum’s signing with North Carolina baseball among the more high-profile recruitments coming to an end. In total, all seven seniors on the West Orange baseball team for this coming spring signed an NLI.
The Foundation Academy Lions held a ceremony to recognized senior volleyball standout Elyssa Stimmell.
In Southwest Orange, a remarkable 25 athletes from Dr. Phillips, Olympia and Windermere Prep signed NLIs. The Titans led the way with 12 signees, followed by the Lakers’ eight and five for Dr. Phillips.