Jack D’Amico arrived at South Forsyth as a corner infielder. He’ll leave later this year as a pitcher.
D’Amico, South’s everyday third baseman, signed Wednesday to pitch at Piedmont College, the culmination of a yearslong effort by head coach Russ Bayer to transform D’Amico into a right-handed hurler.
“I came in mostly as a third baseman and first baseman,” D’Amico said. “I mean, I pitched when I was younger, but I just kind of stopped and kind of lost it. Coach Bayer brought it back, so I have a good feeling for it and everything.”
D’Amico was one of seven South seniors who signed National Letters of Intent to play college athletics.
Bryce Myers signed to play football at West Virginia Wesleyan, while teammates Hannah Marchman (Central Alabama Community College) and Katie Traynor (Georgia Highlands College) signed to play softball.
A trio of girls soccer players in Ally Bridwell (Birmingham-Southern College), Emily Crowder (Young Harris) and Sage Smith (Columbus State) also signed for the War Eagles.
Similar to D’Amico, Myers isn’t confined to any single position. He’s lined up just about everywhere imaginable on both sides of the line of scrimmage, from pulling guard to defensive tackle.
Myers logged 27 tackles this year at defensive end, including five tackles for loss, two sacks, four QB hurries and a forced fumble.
“I was pretty frustrated my sophomore and junior years. I was starting but not getting any attention, but it all flooded in after my junior year,” Myers said. “Once it started, it didn’t stop. I was just trying to find a place that cares about me above being a football player. It was definitely challenging. My parents had to help me, and other coaches and all that. But at the end of the day, West Virginia is where I belong.”
Myers will join a pair of South Forsyth graduates at West Virginia Wesleyan in Allan Reyes and Bryce Cockfield, who both graduated from South in 2020.
Myers said he is especially close with Reyes.
“He told me a lot about kind of the way they were going to handle it up there, and what he had already been through, especially with all the forms for scholarships, housing and everything that goes into it,” Myers said. “I don’t think anybody was more excited to hear about me committing there than him. He’s been a great friend and brother to me.”
Marchman, the reigning Forsyth County News Pitcher of the Year, signed to play her next two seasons at Central Alabama Community College, with the hope of transferring to a four-year school following the 2022-23 season.
Marchman compiled a 12-2 record and 1.44 ERA as a senior, displaying dazzling control with only three walks in 87 1/3 innings.
In all, Marchman collected 22 wins across two seasons in the circle, helping the War Eagles to back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances.
Traynor burst onto the scene during the 2018 season, hitting .353 with three doubles as a sophomore.
South’s senior slugger finished with a .348 batting average this season, driving in 22 runs and scoring 15 times. Traynor drove in 45 runs across her junior and senior seasons at South.
South head coach Leanne Brooks said Wednesday that Traynor’s bat made it difficult to ever take her out of the lineup.
Bridwell, Crowder and Smith each signed to play collegiate soccer, with Crowder and Smith set to join the same conference.
Crowder, who scored three goals last season, will play for a Truett McConnell program that owns a 46-6-1 record over the past two and a half seasons.
Smith will join a Columbus State program that is only two seasons removed from a 18-1-2 year and an appearance in the NCAA Division II quarterfinals.
Bridwell, who will play at Birmingham-Southern, scored two goals and notched an assist last season as a key member of South’s midfield.