Red Bank High School volleyball players Savannah Nelson and Shelby Hayes signed scholarship papers Thursday, becoming among the first recruits for first-year program Dalton State and coach Bruna Langner.
Sonoraville's Kailey Vaughn was the Roadrunners' very first signee three weeks ago.
Nelson and Hayes each said at one time they weren't sure if they were going to continue playing in college. Nelson, who had 590 kills and 97 blocks for the Lionettes last fall, said she had other offers but treasured this one.
"I love that it's so close to home," Nelson said. "I loved how small the campus was and love the coach. I had her coach me at some of the camps we had at Red Bank."
The high school teammates plan to share an apartment together.
"Everyone is so excited to have sports there," said Hayes, who totaled 483 kills, 450 digs and 59 aces last season. "The students will have a big part in the games."
Red Bank advanced to the state tournament every year Nelson and Hayes were in the program, winning the Class AA title in 2009.
"I think the tradition of Red Bank volleyball had a lot to do with them wanting them," said Christel Brooks, who resigned as Red Bank's coach after last season. "They both went there and they liked it. It's close by. I think it's an excellent opportunity for both of them."
Dalton State will play an independent schedule its first season, then will join the NAIA's Southern States Athletic Conference.
Jones to Austin Peay
Central High's Chancis Jones has signed to continue her track and field career at NCAA Division I member Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. The 2012 Best of Preps first-team selection won the Class A/AA triple jump and was the long jump runner-up at the state meet last year.
Jones, also a member of the Chattanogoa Jets Track Club, has a national ranking of No. 29 in the triple jump with a best of 38 feet, 2.75 inches for the indoor season, and her 18-3 long jump is No. 37.
"I also talked to Central Michigan, Samford University and Georgia Tech," she said Thursday.
She was impressed by Austin Peay's chemical engineering program and its internships, and she really liked the Governors' coaches, she said.
"They really seem like they care," she said. "And they have a nice campus and nice dorms."
Central senior Taylor Williamson recently signed scholarship papers to continue her volleyball career at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky.
"As soon as I stepped onto campus, I felt a sense of community," Williamson said. "It just felt like the perfect fit for me. I prayed about it, just as I had other schools I had visited. On my second visit I went and tried out with the volleyball team. The girls and coaches were all extremely nice. They made me feel like I fit in."
Williamson was a four-year varsity starter at Central. She was a team captain and an All-District 6-AA selection each of the past three years. She played for the Cleveland-based Ocoee Heat the past two club seasons and for Choo Choo City volleyball before that.
"Taylor is a quick and smart defensive specialist, and her actions on the court speak for themselves," UC coach Kara Clemenz said in a school release. "Her passing abilities really stand out as she consistently finds a way to get the ball to the setter. Taylor has solid fundamentals and great footwork and form. ... It is evident that she has had great coaching."
Area QBs in state's best
Three Chattanooga-area quarterbacks -- Ooltewah's Brody Binder, Cleveland's Austin Herink and East Hamilton's Hunter Moore -- are among the state's top quarterbacks for the 2013 season according to a list compiled by Vanderbilt.247sports.com.
Binder, also an exceptional baseball player, threw for 1,265 yards with 14 touchdowns and just five interceptions in 2012. Herink, a left-hander, had 2,288 yards with 20 TDs and six interceptions and ran for three scores.
Moore, who plays in a run-oriented offense, had 1,360 passing yards with 15 scoring passes, five rushing TDs and just two interceptions. He completed 72.5 percent of his passes.
Also on the list is a name familiar to University of Tennessee fans: Cedrick Wilson Jr. of White Station. His father was a standout receiver for the Volunteers.