August 21, 2018

Fall Signing Day: 8 Heard County athletes moving forward

Signing Day Baseball Players at table (L-R): Ethan Brant, Logan Ward, and Lee Kay with coaches standing (L-R): Matt Hornsby, Ryan Duffey, Trent Bianco, James Arp, and Gavin Porter

Signing Day Baseball Players at table (L-R): Ethan Brant, Logan Ward, and Lee Kay with coaches standing (L-R): Matt Hornsby, Ryan Duffey, Trent Bianco, James Arp, and Gavin Porter (Photo: Penny Hood)

(Franklin, GA) — A school record eight senior athletes took part in the annual Fall Signing Day at Heard County High School Wednesday morning.

Five Lady Brave softball players and three Brave baseball players will be moving on to play at the next level.

Family, friends, and coaches were all on hand for the big moment organized twice each year by HHS athletic director Shane Lassetter.

The athletes received gifts, cakes, and took memorable photos with those in attendance.

Senior baseball player Ethan Brant and softball players Hannah Sanders and Ally Harris will all be moving on together to play at Southern Union State Community College in Wadley, AL.

SUSCC has a longstanding tradition of excellence in athletics. With approximately 138 student athletes comprising six sports, the SU Bison competes in the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) and is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

Brant, an outfielder had an excellent junior season with the Braves helping lead Coach Trent Bianco’s squad to the state quarterfinals for the second straight season.

Brant led the squad in homers (2), RBI’s (36), and was second in batting with a .405 average. Brant has also been an important part of the Brave football team during his high school career and likely could have played that sport in college had he chosen to do so.

Right fielder Ally Harris just completed an awesome senior season as she and the Lady Braves’ softball team battled all the way to the Elite-8 in Columbus for the for the fifth straight season.

Harris was named the Region 5-AA Offensive Player of the Year after leading her team in batting average (.416), hits (47), RBI’s (38), and doubles (13).

Third baseman Hannah Sanders was also a crucial component to Coach Matt Hornsby’s squad over the last four years and her senior year was no exception.

Sanders led the team with eight home runs placing her second on the Lady Braves’ all-time list (22) just behind Cali Harrod (24). Sanders also batted .318 and drove in 29 runs.

Sanders and Harris also both play varsity basketball for Coach Helen Akins.

Seniors Aspen Barker and Alyssa Cosper will remain together as they both are committing to play softball for the Golden Stallions at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA.

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) is a State College of the University System of Georgia. The college is named after Abraham Baldwin, a signer of the United States Constitution from Georgia and the first president of the University of Georgia.

Alyssa Cosper, the left fielder for Hornsby’s Lady Braves finished her senior season second on the team in batting with a .409 average, 45 hits, 29 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases. Alyssa was only caught stealing once all season.

Shortstop Aspen Barker finished her senior season with a .373 batting average and 41 base hits while leading the team in runs scored with 35. Aspen stole 18 bases and like Cosper was only thrown out once.

Signing Day Softball Players at table (L-R): Ally Harris, Hannah Sanders, Hannah Stephens, Aspen Barker, and Alyssa Copser with coaches standing (L-R): Gavin Porter, Trent Bianco, Matt Hornsby, Ryan Duffey, and Laura Marshall (Photo: Penny Hood)

Signing Day Softball Players at table (L-R): Ally Harris, Hannah Sanders, Hannah Stephens, Aspen Barker, and Alyssa Cosper with coaches standing (L-R): Gavin Porter, Trent Bianco, Matt Hornsby, Ryan Duffey, and Laura Marshall (Photo: Penny Hood)

Senior softball first baseman Hannah Stephens is moving on to play ball at West Georgia Technical College.

West Georgia Technical College (WGTC) is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) providing education for a seven-county service area that includes Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson, Heard, Meriwether, and Troup.

The Golden Knights compete in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA).

Stephens just completed a memorable season for the Lady Braves where she delivered walk-off hits to win a region championship and to end a state playoff series. Stephens batted .363 for the season with 37 hits and was second on the squad in RBI’s with 31.

Logan Ward will be moving on to play at Chipola College in Marianna, FL. Chipola College is a state college located in Marianna, Florida, United States. It is a member institution of the Florida College System and the Indians compete in the NJCAA Region 8.

Ward, an infielder, batted .295 in his junior season with 31 hits, 24 RBI’s, and 25 runs scored.

Lee Kay will be playing at Florida Southwestern State College in Fort Myers, FL.

Florida SouthWestern State College was founded in 1962 and named after Thomas Edison as Edison Junior College, renamed Edison Community College in 1972, renamed Edison College in 2004, renamed Edison State College in 2008, and finally renamed Florida SouthWestern State College in 2014.

The Buccaneers resumed athletics in 2015 after all were discontinued in 1997.

Kay finished an injury-shortened 2015 season with a .474 batting average.

In Kay’s last full season as a sophomore, he hit .453 with 35 RBI, 35 runs scored, 10 doubles, three home runs, 14 walks and 11 stolen bases. On the mound he went 5-2 with a 2.50 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 53 innings while being named the Times-Georgian All-Area MVP.

Congratulations to all these tremendous Brave athletes for moving forward to compete at the next level.

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