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Four York athletes officially committed to play their respective sports in college during a signing ceremony Thursday.
The players — Courtney Ray, Bentley Zabicki, Destiny Martinez and Devon Smith — officially signed their letters of intent inside the cafeteria at York with friends and family in attendance.
Ray, a senior defender for the York field hockey team who scored six goals and had six assists this season, signed to play for Division II Newberry College, joining three Warhill players who have also committed to the school. Ray earned first-team All-Conference honors for her play as a senior.
"She's just a natural athlete. She floats with the ball on the field," said York Field Hockey Coach Taylor Janus. "I know she's going to do great things for Newberry."
Zabicki, a central midfielder for the field hockey team who has started all four years, has been verbally committed to play for Division I Virginia Commonwealth University for nearly a year and was able to make her commitment official Thursday.
A first-team All-Conference selection, Zabicki scored 11 goals and logged 12 assists for the Falcons.
"She's the one who made the plays happen," Janus said of Zabicki. "She's aggressive, has great hand-eye coordination, her stick skills are insane and she's going to do great at VCU."
Two York softball players also signed letters of intent during the ceremony.
A shortstop who earned first-team All-Conference honors last season after batting .306 last season, Martinez officially signed to play softball for Division I Longwood University.
"As soon as I met her I knew she was going to be a great leader," said York Coach Ashley Meredith of Martinez, one of York's captains last season. "I can put her anywhere. She led off for us, she can bat cleanup — she can pretty much go anywhere."
The final York athlete to sign her letter of intent was utility softball player Devon Smith, who signed with Division I Oakland University. Last season, Smith played a combination of catcher and third base for the Falcons and drove in a team-high 19 RBIs, earning first-team All-Conference honors in the process.
"She caught for us a lot and has a phenomenal arm," Meredith said. "She's a menace on the base path and anyone who has played us knows she's deadly when she's on the bases. "
Two HRA Athletes Sign Letters of Intent
A pair of Hampton Roads Academy athletes signed letters of intent to play in college Thursday.
Swimmer Jared Norton signed his letter of intent to swim for Division I University of Virginia and swimmer Carsen Mumford signed to swim for Division III University of Mary Washington.
North, the 2015 Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association state champion in the 100 butterfly, helped lead the HRA swim team to its fourth consecutive Division II swim championship.
“Jared has been a versatile swimmer for the HRA swim team for the past five years,” HRA Swim Coach Jeff Scott said. “He has played a pivotal role in our TCIS and state championship teams. As a captain this year, the team will look to him for leadership on the pool deck.”
Mumford, a member of the HRA swim team for six seasons, swam on the conference champion 200 medley relay and earned top three finishes in his individual events during the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools championships.
“Carsen has been a very dependable and a versatile swimmer throughout his career and, as a captain, the team will look to him for leadership,” Scott said. "The community at Hampton Roads Academy congratulates Carsen, and we look forward to watching him lead the Navigators in the pool this season.