Three Landrum High athletes sign at regional colleges

Published 10:00 pm Monday, May 22, 2017

Three more of Landrum High School’s star athletes have signed on at regional colleges to continue their sports careers. Track and field jumper Reydiance Whiteside, catcher Jacob Murphy, and first baseman and outfielder Cole Steele all signed on the dotted line this past Friday.

In a mid-day gathering attended by the athletes’ families, friends, teammates, coaches, and teachers, the three 18-year-olds were the center of attention as they ceremoniously signed the paperwork from their intended colleges.

Both Whiteside and Murphy will attend Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C., and Steele will head out of state to Georgia’s Toccoa Falls College. All of them received partial scholarships.

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“These three athletes help round out a very good signing class from Landrum High School,” Athletic Director Mike Gentry said. “We’ve had about 10 athletes sign this spring and fall for baseball, track and cross country, and football. Even though we haven’t had the ‘big’ signing, we’ve had many good kids who have worked extremely hard to play at the next level and that makes us very proud!”

Whiteside, the daughter of Cassandra and Steve Whiteside, has been making progress in both triple and long jumps since middle school. Her best jumps to date are 32 feet 6 inches in the triple and 16 feet 2 inches in the long jump.

At Limestone she plans to major in pre-veterinary medicine to eventually become a veterinarian in her hometown of Landrum. A native of Forrest City, NC, Whiteside came to Landrum in the seventh grade. Her GPA is 3.4.

“I feel really great,” she said. “I’ve been looking at that school (Limestone College) for a while. It is my dream school.” In addition to her track and field accomplishments, she also played right side and middle for the high school’s 2A varsity volleyball team.

Until recently, Murphy had planned to attend Toccoa Falls College with this friend Cole.

“I was excited when I was contacted by Limestone to play with them,” he said. “It is a better fit for me. I was planning to go Toccoa with Cole. But after touring Limestone, it was pretty easy to make my decision to where I want to go.”

With a high school GPA of 4.03, Murphy plans to major in physical education. The Campobello native is the son of Lisa and Wayne Murphy. As a high school junior Murphy batted 338. In his senior year, the catcher touched the ball in every single play and improved his batting to 358. His catching percentage is 987, out of 1000.

“I can’t wait to go to Limestone and grow as a better athlete,” he said.

After two tryouts, first baseman and outfielder Steel has accepted a partial scholarship to attend Toccoa Falls College. “It is a dream come true,” he said. “I’ve worked hard since I was a little kid, and I’m just excited to go there.”

With a 3.5 GPA, Steel plans to major in elementary education. “I thankful that my coaches worked so hard with me for the four years, and I want to thank my parents too for without them I wouldn’t be here,” the Landrum native said.

“Cole has worked very hard in the weight room over the last few years to make himself a better player,” Gentry said. “He is a very determined young man that hates to lose! Reydiance has worked hard over the last few years to make herself better. And, Jacob has been the been catching for Landrum High School for three seasons and has been very consistent behind the plate. He has become a very good hitter that most opponents stay away from.”