Of the 16 athletes playing eight different sports that made up the honorees at South Forsyth's National Signing day Ceremony on Wednesday, there was one particularly notable first.
The school does not have a varsity bowling team, or a bowling club, and the sport isn't sanctioned by the GHSA, but Emily Rettig was there, wearing a red shirt with Louisiana Tech's logo and signing her National Letter of Intent to join the Bulldogs' Division I program.
"It feels amazing," Rettig said. "It just seems like all the hard work and all that I've put in is really paying off."
She was part of a large crowd of athletes putting pen to paper in South's performing arts center. The others were
- Matty Bapst, to play baseball at Belmont Abbey
- Cooper Davidson, to play baseball at Austin Peay
- Ben Ferrer, to play baseball at South Carolina-Upstate
- Ryan Finnegan, to play baseball at Stevens Institute of Technology
- Kaylee DuPont, to run track and cross country at Georgia
- Sara Idris, to play basketball at North Florida
- Kelly Strickland, to play golf at Kansas
- Raegan Dover, to compete on the acrobatics and tumbling team at Baylor
- Kelley Bagarose, to play softball at Georgia Military College
- Cat Rife, to play softball at Berry College
- John Ryan, to swim at Lenoir-Rhyne
- Izzy Parker, to play lacrosse at Rhodes College
- Kira Hearns, to play lacrosse at North Greenville
- Camryn Klaus, to play lacrosse at Kennesaw State
- Katelyn Housler, to play lacrosse at Longwood
- Mackenzie Cole, to play lacrosse at the University of Findlay
Rettig first made it a goal to bowl in college four years ago, and her recent accomplishments in the spot include qualifying for the Junior Gold national youth tournament four times and being named the state's U-20 girls bowler of the year for 2016-17.
In Louisiana Tech, Rettig saw a growing program and an academic environment that would allow her to earn an MBA in four years.
Rettig still hears some surprise when she tells people that she'll bowl competitively in college, and she occasionally goes with her friends casually. She doesn't change her game for them, though.
"They're like, 'Oh, go easy on me,'" Rettig said. "I'm like, 'Nope, not happening.'"