“My dream come true:” National Signing Day worth the wait for East Tennessee athletes

Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 7:03 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2021 at 9:35 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Wednesday was one of the most exciting days in a young athlete’s high school career -- National Signing Day.

“It’s just my dream come true, everything I’ve worked for, all those 4:30 am’s. All those early mornings and late nights. When I was a freshman, I said I was gonna run D-1 Track and a lot of people didn’t think I could do that, and I proved a lot of people wrong today,” said Farragut senior David Rhodes.

Rhodes will compete in Track and Field as he continues his education at High Point University in North Carolina. Eli Purcell and Bryce Burkey are also set to continue their education and compete in athletics at the next level, something which didn’t seem like an easy proposition once the pandemic hit.

”Nobody understands what recruitment was like except for us. We couldn’t take official visits none of us have met the coaches. We’ve only zoomed them, we never met them in person,” said Wofford-bound football Purcell.

Signing to play baseball at Cleveland State, Burkey added, ”It’s incredibly tough right now because the people who are returning get another year so you’re competing against five years of players instead of four so it’s tough to come by, and I’m just grateful for the opportunity.”

The Catholic Fighting Irish had four athletes sign on Wednesday, including Landon Cox, who’s headed up the road to Carson-Newman to play football. Also signing letters of intent Wednesday at KCHS:

  • Luke Davenport – Middle Tennessee State University – Football (PWO)
  • Emma Schaad – Tusculum University – Softball
  • Kennedy Noe – University of North Georgia – Golf
KCHS standout signs with Carson-Newman
KCHS standout signs with Carson-Newman(Pam Rhodes)

And at Webb School this was a big day for Jordan Sandberg, who’s going to play volleyball at Washington University in St. Louis.

Webb School Volleyball standout
Webb School Volleyball standout(Cathy Dowhos-O'Gorman)

Congratulations to all our area athletes who are moving on to compete at the collegiate level.

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