Four Wolverines sign letters of intent

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Polk seniors (l-r) Ryan Thomas, Cody Orick, Juan Hicks and JJ Maxwell sign college letters of intent Tuesday, May 3 as coaches Bruce Ollis, Josh McEntire and Jamie Thompson, along with principal Aaron Greene and family and friends, look on. (photo by Daniel Hecht)

With 22 wins, including 12 victories in 2010 alone, and two Western Highlands Conference championships, the past two seasons have been, without question, the most successful in Wolverines football history.

Tuesday, May 2, at the Polk County High School library, four of the players who made key contributions to that success took the next step in their athletic careers, signing letters of intent to play football at the collegiate level next year. Linebacker/guard JJ Maxwell has received an appointment to the Naval Academy. The team captain led the Wolverines in tackles over the past two seasons, earning All-Western Highlands Conference honors along the way. Maxwell also wrestled for Polk, finishing second in the state this season in the 171-pound weight class.

Ryan Thomas also earned All-Western Highlands Conference honors, leading the Wolverines in receiving during the 2010 season. The wide receiver/defensive back, also a standout on the baseball diamond, has committed to attend Western Carolina University in the fall.

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Fullback/strong safety Cody Orick also pulled in All-Western Highlands Conference honors for his contributions as Polk’s second leading rusher and third leading receiver in 2010. Orick, who also excelled on the track at Polk, has signed to play for head coach Paul Hamilton at Brevard College.

Juan Hicks earned All-Western Highlands Conference honors at linebacker for Polk in 2010, second only to Maxwell in total tackles. Hicks, who also wears pinstripes for Coach Ty Stott on the baseball field, will join teammate Orick at Brevard as he dons the Royal Blue and White of the Tornados.

“The best thing I can say about each of these young men is that they are winners,” said Polk head football coach Bruce Ollis. “Each of them has paid the upfront price in the classroom, in the weight room and on the practice field to be successful. “Their leadership and work ethic will be very difficult to replace as they have added to and built on the Wolverine football legacy. I am confident they will represent Polk County High School well as each of them moves on to another very exciting time in their lives, and we wish them the very best.”