At South Forsyth High School, no one has a hand in the athletic department like Keith Gravitt.
As the head girls basketball coach, he of course manages that team, and has done so for two decades. But he also pulls double duty as the school’s athletic director, so he’s involved in all the athletic offerings South has to offer.
Last week, Gravitt, along with other coaches, students and parents, was in South’s basketball gym to help celebrate one of the standout moments in any high school athletes’ life, watching eight of his programs’ athletes sign to play their respective sports in college, including a few that play basketball under his tutelage.
“It’s always gratifying to see your players reach goals,” Gravitt said Monday at the Forsyth County News basketball media day. “We actually had two players sign to play at the next level, not just basketball. Ashley (Briendl) did with basketball and Kayla (Casey) did with lacrosse as well. I look forward to some of our other players hopefully signing as the year goes on.”
Breindl, who is one of South’s primary leaders on the court this season, signed to play basketball at Wingate University in North Carolina. During her junior season, she earned first team All-County honors, averaging 13 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game, and will again look to be a key leader for the War Eagles this season.
Casey, who signed with Mercer, is one of Briendl’s teammates on the basketball team, but her primary sport is lacrosse, where she is South’s standout goalkeeper. She was a first team All-County selection last year, when she had a 53 percent save percentage to go with six goals. Sarah Mele, a key defender for the War Eagles and a 2019 second team All-County selection, also signed to play lacrosse at the next level with Young Harris College.
South’s cross country program is one that has seen considerable success in recent years, and it had two signees in Joe Pontrelli and Madelynne Cadeau, who signed with Kennesaw State and Furman, respectively. On Nov. 2, Cadeau ended her senior cross country season as a state champion, taking the individual Class 7A girls title in Carrollton with a time of 18:46.
Pontrelli finished 55th at the state meet with a 17:25.
Cadeau and Pontrelli participated in the Meet of Champions over the weekend, with Cadeau placing second with an 18:10 and Pontrelli finishing 70th with a 16:47.
From the baseball team, Peyton Rawlins signed with Georgia Southwestern. The swim team had a pair of signees in Emery Betzer and Emilie Flynn, who will be attending the University of San Diego and UNC Asheville.
Breindl and Casey have one more season of basketball under Gravitt before they go their separate ways. With a sizable crop of seniors, the War Eagles are confident they can improve on their 13-15 showing from last season.
“We just have to keep our same energy, keep our same dedication we have towards everything,” Breindl said at Monday’s Media Day. “We’re going to surprise some people this year.”