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Ten South Forsyth seniors sign to continue athletic careers
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Ten South Forsyth seniors signed Tuesday to continue their athletic career collegiately. Front row, from left, Tyler Nelson, Aliyah Thompson, Grace Drawdy, Brandon Stoudamire and Mark Martin. Back row, from left, Matthew Meersman, Patrick Kelly, Graham Guerrero, Devin McGlockton and Michael Dotson. - photo by Jacob Smith

South Forsyth athletes, coaches, teammates and family members gathered in the arena Tuesday to celebrate South's 10 seniors who signed Letters of Intent to play sports at the collegiate level.

South's basketball and soccer teams each had two athletes sign to play collegiately. 

Devin McGlockton signed to play basketball at Boston College in Newton, Massachusetts. McGlockton was the Forsyth County News Player of the Year last year and was named Class 7A all-state this season. He leaves South with the most career points and rebounds, with the second-most blocks in school history as well. 

“I could go on and on and talk about all the superlatives,” South basketball coach Scott Givens said. “Watching him in middle school, I saw a kid that was like a cool customer; real relaxed, didn’t show any emotion ... all the things I wish I was as an athlete. Guys like him that are athletes that are really cool, calm and relaxed, I’ve always been jealous of."

Brandon Stoudamire will also move up north to Staunton, Virginia, to continue his athletic career with Mary Baldwin University. Stoudamire was a member of the all-region and all-tournament team this year in his only season with South. 

“I really could tell in our pickup games instantly what Brandon would bring to our team,” Givens said. “He is the most dynamic athlete I’ve coached here at South. He brought a lot of awesome things on our team and really took us to another level.” 

Patrick Kelly signed to play soccer at Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama. Kelly was the Forsyth County News Player of the Year in boys soccer and leads the team this season in goals and assists. 

“I’d like to thank my parents, my family, my coaches and obviously, my teammates,” Kelly said. 

Graham Guerrero committed to stay in Georgia and play collegiate soccer for Reinhardt University in Waleska. Guerrero has been a part of the rotation all season for South. 

“I want to thank everybody, especially my club coach, for making me a better player,” Guerrero said. 

Grace Drawdy will swim at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro after graduation. Drawdy set all of her personal records this season, despite the struggle COVID-19 put on all athletes. 

“Grace was one of our captains this year,” South swim and dive coach Kate Bergdahl said. “She brought all the energy with her and then some. She sets up boards of her goals that she puts up, and she obtains them all.”

Piedmont College took one visit to the South Forsyth baseball field to watch Tyler Nelson play in an intrasquad match before offering him a spot on their team. Nelson has had several knee surgeries to bounce back from an injury. 

South head coach Russ Bayer said he’s proud of how he overcame that adversity. 

“He worked his way to the varsity level last year,” Bayer said. “A lot of young men or women may not have been able to mentally or physically endure the things that he’s been through. Tyler never really missed a beat. He continued to be physically and mentally strong.” 

Matthew Meersman committed to wrestle collegiately for Life University in Marietta. Meersman also bounced back from an injury to go on and have a fantastic senior season. 

“He’s been a leader since day one,” South head wrestling coach Josh Stephen said. “He had a shoulder injury that really took him out of his entire junior year, along with the region tournament and state tournament. In wrestling, a shoulder injury can be difficult to come back through. His senior year, he was very dominant. He dominated the region and then placed fifth at state.” 

Life University captured the 2020-21 NAIA national championship last month, winning the program's first national title.

Aliyah Thompson signed to continue her volleyball career at the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama. Thompson was an integral member of the War Eagles volleyball team’s run to earn a state tournament berth. 

She was second on the team with 149 kills, averaging 2.6 kills per set with a .302 attack percentage, adding 1.2 blocks per match. 

“I couldn’t be more proud of her and her accomplishment this year,” South volleyball coach Stephanie Legall-Riddle said. “I knew once she found the right university, it was going to be the perfect fit.”

Givens previously coached Michael Dotson on the varsity basketball team, but this year marked his first season coaching Dotson on the golf course. Dotson signed Tuesday to play golf for Young Harris College. 

“I think his best golf is yet to come,” Givens said. “I’ve seen him hit some shots that have been really phenomenal. He’s still working on putting it together, but has an opportunity to be a really good college golfer.” 

After taking a year off wrong to try out wrestling, Mark Martin returned to running for an opportunity to compete collegiately. Martin signed Tuesday with Valdosta State University to run cross country and track for the program. 

“He wasn’t quite sure if he wanted to continue running this spring, but luckily he did,” South cross country coach Christine Shaw said. “We kept pushing the idea of what a future could look like for him. The sky is the limit and we haven’t seen the best from him yet.”