Three Amherst student-athletes made it official Wednesday afternoon as they signed National Letters of Intent and athletic scholarships with NCAA Division II schools.
Chad Jones, Colin O’Connor, and Ryan Sturgeon all signed letters of intent during a ceremony at Steele High School.
Jones will continue his academic career and play baseball for Walsh University, located in North Canton. Last year, as a junior, Jones had a .250 batting average, hit four doubles, had 12 RBIs, and scored 13 runs.
He’s a two-year letter-winner in baseball and has also lettered twice in basketball.
“This has been a dream of mine since I was a kid,” Jones said. “It’s great to be able to fulfill that dream.”
Jones is a member of the National Honor Society and a three-year academic award winner.
O’Connor signed to continue his soccer career at Lake Erie College, located in Painesville.
In his career with the Comets, O’Connor scored 22 goals with seven assists. He was selected to the first team All-Southwestern Conference as a junior and second team his senior season.
He is a four-year boys soccer varsity letter-winner.
“Today means a lot, seeing that I finally came through with a scholarship,” O’Connor said. “It’s good to relieve the stress of senior year and wondering if I was going to sign with a good school. I think I picked a good one.”
Sturgeon will be joining Jones at Walsh University to continue his soccer career with the Cavaliers. He was a three-year starter with the Comets, playing center back and midfield, and was a team captain his junior and senior years.
Sturgeon has won eight varsity letters in his athletic career at Amherst, earning three in soccer, three in track and field, and two in football.
There were several reasons he decided on Walsh.
“I didn’t really want to go to a big campus, so Walsh is perfect because it’s smaller,” he said. “I fit in with the soccer team really well.
“I was attracted to the program because of the style that they play. It’s very similar to what we played here in high school, so obviously, I fit in pretty well.”
While O’Connor and Sturgeon’s high school soccer careers have already wrapped up, Jones still has his senior season of baseball ahead of him. Getting his college decision behind him is a relief.
“It’s very nice to get out of the way,” Jones said. “It’s kind of a stressful process, trying to figure out where I was going to go and spend the next four years of my life. Having it out of the way is a big relief. Now I can just focus on the high school season and get it done.”
Scott Mahoney can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @sm_mahoney on Twitter.