BY GENE NARDI
Six student athletes from Wellington High School signed letters of intent to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level on National Signing Day, held Wednesday, Feb. 3.
Riley Nicholson signed with Malone University to play soccer. Nicholson helped lead Wellington’s girls soccer team to the final four last season, but missed this season due to a knee injury. “It’s exciting, especially coming back from my knee injury,” Nicholson said.
Maddie Beaubien signed with the University of South Carolina for cross country/track. Beaubien set seven school records this season. Also, Jenna Niedzwiedski signed with Belmont Abby to play lacrosse. She was a 2015 all-county first team selection for the Wolverines.
Three boys signed letters of intent to play football, among them Blake Dever, who signed with Savannah State. He was a 2015 all-county first team selection and played in the Florida-Georgia All-Star Game. “This is a big step in my life, and I’m just really excited to move on,” Dever said.
Harrison Paul signed with the University of Chicago. The offensive tackle was selected to the 2015 all-county first team and played in the Palm Beach County All-Star game. “It’s great to have the opportunity to keep playing,” he said. “After playing basketball, I wanted to give football a shot, and I wasn’t really expecting any of this.”
Receiver Ahmmon Richards signed with the University of Miami. He was a verbal commit to the Hurricanes last year, but withdrew his commitment in October after the university let go of coach Al Golden. The two-time player of the year and U.S. Army All-American elected to announce his decision on National Signing Day.
Richards felt a connection with new Hurricanes coach Mark Richt when he made his official visit to Miami. Before Richt was hired by Miami, he coached at Georgia, which heavily recruited Richards. “I just followed my heart,” said Richards of his decision. “Being close to home and the tradition there played factor to my decision.”
Richards reeled in 65 receptions for 1,358 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior and helped lead his team to the regional quarterfinals.
ABOVE: (L-R) Harrison Paul, Riley Nicholson, Ahmmon Richards, Jenna Niedzwiedski, Maddie Beaubien and Blake Dever on National Signing Day.