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Feature: National Signing Day 2016

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February 8, 2016

10:32 PM

Wednesday, Feb. 3 marked the 2016 National Signing Day, where high school student-athletes commit to a collegiate program by signing National Letters of Intent. Although the day largely revolves around the top football recruits, William and Mary had a number of signees for several of its Division I sports.

The breakdown of new student-athletes adds 13 new members to the Class of 2020 for football, four for men’s soccer and six for women’s soccer. This is in addition to signings that took place before National Signing Day, which included four volleyball recruits, a women’s basketball player and two men’s basketball commits.

With the graduation of a myriad of seniors from the football program, the Tribe has many spaces to fill. The 13 signees will likely be just about half of the total newcomers, as some will come later and try to make the team as walk-ons. The College signed players from several East Coast states, as far north as New York and as far south as Florida.

“We are very excited about this year’s group,” head coach Jimmye Laycock ’70 said to Tribe Athletics. “This is a well-rounded class with a great deal of athleticism.”

On the offensive side, the Tribe gained a pair of running backs and wideouts, a quarterback and one offensive lineman. Running back Jaret Anderson comes from Charlotte, N.C., his conference player of the year for his senior season while running back Noah Giles of Suffolk, Va., was the 2015 Division III Player of the Year. The receiving corps gains Jordan Lowery from Roanoke, Va., a record holder for his high school program in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches. Wide receiver Anthony Mague also joins the College from Medford, N.J. after setting his high school’s record for career receptions. The offensive line loses senior captain and center Andrew Jones, but gains Daniel Evers from Chapel Hill, N.C., the Rivals.com 2015 No. 12 overall postgraduate prospect. From Poughkeepsie, N.Y., quarterback Dean Rotger is heading to Williamsburg after setting his high school’s records for touchdowns as well as for both career and single-season passing yards.

We are very excited about this year’s group,” head coach Jimmye Laycock ’70 said to Tribe Athletics. “This is a well-rounded class with a great deal of athleticism.”

Defensively, William and Mary adds two linebackers, a pair of defensive backs and a trio of defensive ends. Arman Jones of Chesapeake, Va. and Alexander Purviance of Winston-Salem, N.C. are the newest linebacker recruits. Jones earned first-team all-conference honors while playing multiple defensive positions, settling in at college as linebacker. Purviance led his high school in tackles for his final two years while gaining distinction as the Central Piedmont Conference and Forsyth County Defensive Player of the Year this season. Defensive backs Isaiah Laster of Cary, N.C. and Nathan Lewis of Chesapeake, Va. (and the same school as linebacker Arman Jones) join the College after Laster set a school record for interceptions and Lewis earned first-team all-conference honors. Defensive backs Robert Omelchenko of Darnestown, Md., Jake Walter of Haddonfield, N.J, and Gavin Johnson of Apopka, Fla. round out the football recruits. Omelchenko earned honors this season for being one of the top high school student-athletes in the D.C. Metropolitan area, Walter earned all-conference honors in his junior season and Johnson was selected to the Florida All-State team for 2016.

While we do not graduate many seniors, we do have a few key areas we want to strengthen and each of these student-athletes fits a very specific need,” head coach Chris Norris said to Tribe Athletics.

The men’s soccer team signed a keeper, a defender and two midfielder/defenders. Goalkeeper Daniel McBride comes from Lincolnton, N.C. as the first D-I soccer recruit in his school’s history. Defender Tanner Shane is from Macungie, Pa. and was a four-year varsity starter who won the state championship once. Midfielder/defender Reeves Trott comes from just down the road from Lafayette High School in Williamsburg, where he earned back-to-back Conference Player of the Year awards going into his senior year. Ricardo Acosta of Stafford, Va. is the other midfielder/defender joining the Tribe as a member of the 2014-15 No. 2 nationally-ranked Arlington Impact Red 97.

“While we do not graduate many seniors, we do have a few key areas we want to strengthen and each of these student-athletes fits a very specific need,” head coach Chris Norris said to Tribe Athletics.

This is a strong class with players who have the ability to challenge for playing time,” head coach John Daly said to Tribe Athletics.

The women’s soccer team’s six additions include midfielder/defender Stephie Arens of Ashburn, Va., a Virginia High School League State Champion, forward/defender Sully Boulden of Wilmington, Del. who has been all-state in each of her three completed seasons, keeper Katelyn Briguglio from Fallston, Md., a member of the Maryland United Soccer Club. The Tribe also adds midfielder/forward Rachel DeMasters from Stanardsville, Va., the district Offensive Player of the year last season, Fairfax, Va. native Charlotte Hyland, a midfielder who was named first team all-region last season and defender Hannah Keith from Charlottesville, Va., a three-time Jefferson District first-team defender.

“This is a strong class with players who have the ability to challenge for playing time,” head coach John Daly said to Tribe Athletics.

These athletes and likely more to come will join the Tribe this August for the 2016 fall semester.

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About Author

Nick Cipolla

Sports Editor Nick Cipolla '17 is a neuroscience major from Virginia Beach, Va. He was previously Associate Sports Editor.