North Forsyth High School hosted its spring signings event Wednesday, featuring eight Raiders who will continue their academic and athletic career at the collegiate level.
North athletic director Scott Tilden said after their fall and winter signing events, the total of 2021 signees at North Forsyth is at 23, a sum he said was impressive considering the recruiting complications with COVID-19.
Four soccer players committed to play soccer at the collegiate level, including three from the boys team. Raiders head boys soccer coach Brandon Stewart said that all three of his players who committed were vocal leaders of his team and will be tough shoes to fill in the coming seasons.
Bryan Silva battled injuries and his grades all season, shortening his senior season with the Raiders. Despite having to be sidelined for most of his senior year, Silva committed to play Division 1 soccer down Ga. 400 in Atlanta for Georgia State.
“Man, I don’t even know where to start,” Silva said. “Today is a very special day for my family and I. First off, I would like to thank God for changing my life, especially with soccer. He’s given it to me as a platform to inspire people and I realize that. So many people believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. I fell so many times, but you helped me back up.”
Stewart said he gave John Adams the nickname of “bull in a bull shop” after his aggressive play on the field. After playing this past season as a forward for the Raiders, John Adams committed to Montreat College in Montreat, North Carolina.
“He has really done a great job of creating havoc on the field so that the guys underneath him can pick up stuff,” Stewart said. “Montreat is going to have a great opportunity to move him around because he is so versatile.”
Will Mashburn’s first season of high school soccer was this season for North Forsyth, but do not let that fool you. He was a member of the Development Academy for his first three years, but was immediately voted as a captain for this season’s team.
He will continue his soccer career at Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina.
“I am truly honored to continue my athletic career,” Mashburn said. “I would like to thank everyone in the crowd who has cheered me on, especially my parents. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me, and I promise I will never stop working hard for you guys.”
After her twin sister Hailey committed to swim at the University of Georgia earlier in the year, Hayden Galbraith will continue her soccer career collegiately at Brenau University in Gainesville.
Galbraith was voted a captain her junior and senior seasons, and she won the coaches' award in 2019.
“[Galbraith] never gives up,” Raiders head girls soccer coach Jared Steinberg said. “She never wants to come off of the field. Doesn’t matter if we’re up big or down big. She’s always at the field right when school ends, getting warmed up or taking shots to get ready.”
Hailey Mize spent her time at North Forsyth rewriting the softball record books. Three times, she made the All-County and All-Region teams. Softball head coach Jim Cahill went through a list of her accomplishments on the mound and at the plate.
Mize ends her career with these all-time Raiders statistics: fourth in wins , third in saves, fifth in innings pitched, five in strikeouts , second in runs batted in , second in home runs , third in slugging percentage, eighth in batting average and ninth in doubles.
Mize hopes to rewrite Louisburg College’s record books after committing to continue her collegiate career for the Hurricanes in Louisburg, North Carolina. Mize thanked her coaches for always pushing her to be a better person on and off the field.
Ana Colón was the lone volleyball player who signed Wednesday, committing to Toccoa Falls College. Colón played four years for the Raiders.
Raiders volleyball coach Kelly Cecil said Colón stepped into a leadership role for North’s young team this season, calling her the “mama bear” of the team.
“I think if we were to go back four years and tell Ana she’d be sitting on this stage today signing to play college volleyball, she’d probably say that was crazy,” Cecil said. “She’s going to accomplish great things at Toccoa and anything else after that.”
Austin Colón, Ana’s twin brother, committed to play Division III football for the Ohio Northern Polar Bears. Colón played both offense and defense for the Raiders last season and was voted team captain by his teammates for the 2020 season. Colón was included in the All-Region team on defense.
Colón thanked his twin sister for being such a strong encouragement and said he was blessed to get to commit on the same day as her. He additionally thanked his parents, his coaches, his older siblings and his girlfriend for their support of his athletic career.
Not only did Colon commit with his sister, but also with his teammate Dylan Lurie. Lurie will stay in Georgia to continue his football career at Reinhardt University in Waleska.
Raiders head coach Robert Craft said that Lurie by far had his best season on the defensive line his senior year.
“If you look back at our team in terms of work ethic during the offseason, nobody stands out more than Dylan," Craft said. "He took it upon himself to make sure that he personally was going to be prepared to be ready for us when the time returned to play. And he was.”