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Three North Augusta athletes ink with colleges

Posted: April 18, 2017 - 11:38pm
North Augusta’s Grace Wallace (from left), Mitch Barefield and Kiara Jackson sign letters of intent to play college sports during a ceremony at North Augusta High School.

NORTH AUGUSTA -North Augusta featured a number of signings April 12, including two friends heading to the same school in different sports.

Softball player Grace Wallace and basketball player Kiara Jackson both signed to play at Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C. Baseball player Mitch Barefield signed to play for Erskine College in Due West, S.C.

Wallace and Jackson will play in the Division I Big South Conference. Both have been steady contributors in their high school careers and developed into senior leaders this season.

"It's very exciting, because not only am I signing to a very good school, a Division I school like Presbyterian, but also I got to have my friends and family come here, and I'm also going to school with my friend Grace," Jackson said. "It feels like all my hard work has paid off."

Jackson tied for fourth on the team in points per game at 8.7 and chipped in 5.8 rebounds. She was one of four seniors on a North Augusta girls basketball team that went 28-0 and cruised to the Class AAAA state championship.

Wallace is a key member of North Augusta's other top-ranked program. She's a five-year starter at catcher for a varsity softball team that's No. 1 in the state and currently 18-1-1, with high hopes of winning their own state title.

"Being a local guy and stepping into the role I'm in, I've been able to see Grace and all the other girls grow from 8 years old to a senior and signing," North Augusta coach Gerald Brown said. "I'm proud of her, proud of the other girls who have signed this year, and it's an exciting time."

Wallace has been a strong defensive catcher since joining the varsity team at a young age. Her bat has developed to make her an all-around threat, and she's hitting over .300 with three home runs this season. She said she was drawn to Presbyterian because of the coaches and campus.

"I really liked the atmosphere and the campus, and all the girls on the team are really nice. I really love the coaches," Wallace said.

Barefield will compete in the Division II Conference Carolinas. He's been a reliable third baseman and pitcher for the Yellow Jackets in his career.

 

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