Lauren Wall and Caraline Bryant are almost inseparable.
The two met playing travel softball, became close friends and stayed teammates on Forsyth Central’s varsity squad, which finished its brief 2019 postseason run last month. But while that was the final time the two would ever play together on a high school field, their time as teammates isn’t over just yet.
On Wednesday afternoon, surrounded by friends, family and seven other Central senior athletes, Wall and Bryant sat next to each other as they both signed their Letters of Intent to continue their softball careers at Kennesaw State.
“I'm super excited and thankful that we get to go through this journey together,” Wall said.
Their decision to join the Owls wasn’t orchestrated from the start, but with the kind of timing they had with the same schools looking at both of them, they traveled on visits together before finally settling on their choice. Bryant and Wall hit .343 and .320 for the Bulldogs this year, with each of them tallying 24 hits.
“As we went through the process together, we ended up getting all the same offers, so it worked out,” Bryant said. “We're just really excited. It's kind of close but it's far enough away to where we have the college experience, and I really love the coaches.”
Sitting right next to Wall and Bryant was softball teammate Bailey McCachren, who signed with Tennessee after a stellar career as Central’s primary starting pitcher. She finished with a 7-6 record and a 1.85 ERA during her senior season, and at the plate, she led the team in RBIs with 21.
Central’s swim and dive team had two signees in Tommy Eaton and Amanda Cesario, who will continue their careers at Florida State and Wingate, respectively. Conor Azar and Nick Hyden signed to play college lacrosse with Piedmont College and the University of Indianapolis. Jake Hill, who will continue his athletic career at Flagler College, was Central’s sole baseball signee.
Laney Kronz, who signed with UAB on Wednesday, holds numerous records for the Bulldogs in track and field, including school-best marks in high hurdles, intermediate hurdles and the long jump. Kronz’s family connections to Alabama and the Blazers’ new track facility played into her decision.
“She's been a lynchpin for the program the entire time,” Central track and field coach Scott Walker said. “She's spot on, she's great in the offseason, very dedicated, very goal-oriented. She's a tremendous young lady, she really is.”
Kronz has been fighting some tightness in her back with physical therapy, and she feels like the strength she’s built doing that can help her in the long run. The only thing really missing from her resume is a state championship, which her coaches believe she has potential to win in the coming spring.
“I don't know what I have left in me for this last year,” Kronz said. “I had some setbacks in terms of injuries and things, but I'm ready to have that icing on the cake and finish out the season as best as I can.”