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Five Denmark seniors sign to play sports in college
Denmark seniors, from left, Sutton Smith, Emma Davies, Jaden Wilkins, Nic Ferrer and JJ Corr signed Monday at Denmark High School to play sports in college. - photo by David Roberts

Denmark middle infielders JJ Corr and Nic Ferrer were instrumental in the Danes' march to a Class 4A state championship appearance in 2019.

On Monday, Corr and Ferrer cemented plans to continue their baseball careers in Florida's panhandle, as Corr signed with Tallahassee Community College and Ferrer signed with the University of West Florida.

"We were buddies right when school opened," Ferrer said. "We've actually talked about it, and he's right down the road at Tallahassee Community College, so there's a chance he could come to West Florida after a couple of years. Hopefully that works out, but yeah, we've got a good little duo going over there."

Denmark's double-play duo of Corr and Ferrer was among five seniors celebrated Monday at Denmark High School.

Emma Davies signed to the University of Pennsylvania's gymnastics program, while Sutton Smith signed with the University of Alabama in Huntsville for basketball and Jaden Wilkins signed to play lacrosse at Bellarmine University (Ky.).

Ferrer hit .294 during an abbreviated junior season, while Corr hit .260 with a home runs, driving in 12 runs and scoring nine runs. Corr's home run was a grand slam against Forsyth Central that helped break open the game in an 8-1 win.

"Well, we also play on our summer team together, so me and Nick have been working together since early sophomore year. Now we're kind of just like brothers," Corr said. "We've been training together for two years now. We know each other's style of play like the back of our hand. He's helped me a lot, just by making me better and holding me accountable. I give credit to him."

Ferrer said he looks forward to competing in Region 6-7A this spring against Forsyth County's historically competitive baseball programs.

"I'm really excited to play the other teams in the region and in the county," Ferrer said. "Enough with all the talk about us being whatever. I'm just excited. Trying to win a region championship and I think we've got the team to do it."

Davies' 38 was among the county's top all-around scores last year, but after having her gymnastics season cut short because of COVID-19, she set out for a new challenge. She found cheerleading. 

"My sister, she does competition cheer here, and she loves it," Davies said. "I wanted to try something new this year. Corona hit, and that definitely canceled our season, so I was like, 'Might as well do one more cool thing to finish out my senior year.' Then I got the opportunity to do Cheerleader of the Year, which is like competition cheer, and that was a cool, new experience."

Davies found the tumbling aspect to be similar but said the stunting and team aspect of cheerleading is much different than gymnastics.

Davies marks Denmark's third gymnast to sign to a Division I school, joining Sarah Wilson (Yale) and Chase Brock (LSU).

"I am in love with the campus, I love the city of Philly and Penn is a great school," Davies said. "It has a great business school, which is exactly what I want to do. It just seemed like a perfect fit for me."

The University of Alabama in Huntsville was the first school to offer Smith, who led the Danes to the Class 4A Final Four last season and the Elite Eight in the school's inaugural year.

UAH is 50-13 in that same two-year span and is currently the No. 14 team in Division II after winning the Gulf South Conference in 2019-20.

"Obviously, it's a successful, winning program," Smith said. "The style of play really fits me well, so it was just a good fit all around."

Smith averaged 14.3 points, 6.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game last season. 

Denmark head coach Tyler Whitlock said he believes Smith is the best point guard in the state.

The Danes (4-0) are ranked No. 7 in Class 7A and will open Region 6-7A play Friday at Forsyth Central.

"It's going to be a challenge, for sure," Smith said. "We're not that young, but we're inexperienced. A lot of our guys are having to learn their new roles and things like that, but I think we just need to keep getting better as the season goes on. That's what's happened to us the past few years — we've kind of gotten better as the season's progressed."

Wilkins was set play a key role for Denmark's boys lacrosse team last year in his first season after transferring from Cambridge. 

Despite only playing a handful of games, Wilkins managed to make an impact on head coach Barney Marchand.

"We were down to one of the best teams in the region and Jaden took the game over," Marchand said. "He put five of our nine goals in, and right then and there, I knew we had a special player."