Michelle Britton and Beaufort High School girls golf coach Keith Weaver talked at length about whether the senior wanted to play college golf.
Britton knew she wanted to, if given the chance, but she also wanted to be prepared for the commitment of playing college athletics. She decided to try, and Weaver helped by contacting a number of schools.
Limestone coach Nick Biershenk showed the most interest and offered her a partial athletic scholarship to play for the Saints, who compete on the NCAA Division II level in Conference Carolinas. Britton signed during early signing period.
Weaver knew what he would get from his top golfer this past season. He said Britton led the team in other ways than on the scorecard.
"Just everything you could ask for in a senior player, she was," Weaver said. "Just an absolute great individual."
Weaver helped put her in touch with nearly a dozen schools, sending scores and video of her swing. Biershenk remained in contact, and asked Britton to play for Limestone the day after her senior season ended.
Britton earned all-Region 8-AAAA honors last fall and just missed qualifying for state at the Class 4-A Lower State tournament. She started the season strong, breaking 40 during the Eagles' nine-hole matches before finishing with close to a 41 average.
The senior's father, Dave Britton, is the director of golf at Dataw Island and Beaufort High's assistant coach. He has been Michelle's primary coach since she picked up the game at age 5.
The family has visited the school multiple times, and Michelle likes the small size and how much of the student body consists of athletes.
"It's the perfect size for me," she said.
BLUFFTON, HILTON HEAD HIGH ATHLETES SIGN
Several athletes at Bluffton High School and Hilton Head Island High School also signed on with college teams this recently.
The Bobcats saw swimmers Andrew Faciszewski and Madison Wall sign on with the Air Force Academy and West Virginia, respectively. Lacrosse standout Katie Sills, who scored a career-high nine goals earlier this season against Hilton Head High, is headed to Division III Meredith College in in Raleigh, N.C.
Emily Rhodes will stay in-state and play for the Columbia College tennis team. Abby Roulston, who led the Bluffton volleyball team to the second round of the Class 4-A playoffs last year, will do the same by playing for Newberry College.
Austin Chittum, a lineman on the Bobcats' 12-2 football team last fall, rounded out the list of Bluffton signees with his commitment to Catawba College.
Hilton Head High saw a pair of football standouts affirm their plans to play at the college level, as Scott D'Amico and Brooks Jenkins will play for the University of Mount Union, the alma mater of Seahawks coach B.J. Payne.
Label Lewis, The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette wrestler of the year, signed to wrestle for Rochester Community College while three other Seahawks affirmed their plans to remain in South Carolina. Defender Maddie Campbell will play lacrosse at Newberry while Storm Grisham, a standout on the Hilton Head High baseball team, will head to Anderson.
Conner Goulet, who helped guide the Seahawks soccer team to the state championship a year ago, will continue his career at Newberry.
STANSELL COMFORTABLE WITH BREWTON-PARKER
Mack Stansell was sitting in Fat Patties with his family late last year when his mom's phone rang.
The Beaufort High School goal keeper had information posted to a recruiting site, and Brewton-Parker coach Michael Dye took notice.
After the initial conversation began a back-and-forth between Stansell and Dye. The Eagles senior visited the small campus in Mount Vernon, Ga., liked Dye's energy and eventually solidified a spot on the team.
Stansell contacted USC Salkehatchie and USC Upstate about possibilities, but Dye was the only one to reach out to Stansell first.
"He was passionate, wanted me there," Stansell said. "So I felt more that I was wanted more there than I was in other places and that I could make a bigger impact there."
Stansell also liked the smaller class sizes. He said a student told him classes have not had more than 35 students or so.
"So I don't have to worry about going in a class freshman year and having 200 people in there," he said.
WHALE BRANCH STANDOUT CHOOSES ALLEN
S'Nitra Mack wasn't sure of her plans before playing in the North-South all-star basketball game.
The Whale Branch Early College High School senior, who played three years for the Warriors and was a force in the post, had interest from junior colleges but didn't want that route.
Allen coaches approached Mack after the all-star game, offering her a spot on the team not long after she emerged from the locker room. After some thought, and a visit to the Columbia school for a workout, Mack accepted.
"She said she liked my shot and liked the way I played the post," Mack said of Allen coach Lucinda Stukes. "She told me I'm guaranteed playing time when I first get there."
Mack, an all-state selection as a junior, joins former Beaufort High standouts Emani Gray and Arielle McPhee, as well as former Battery Creek guard Katrece Daniels.
MOULTRIE, KERBY NAMED ALL-STATE
Whale Branch senior Kenyada Moultrie and Bluffton High School's Kim Kerby were named to the S.C. Association for Women's College Sports all-state softball team.
Moultrie batted .714 for the Warriors, with four home runs, five triples and 28 RBIs. She also stole 20 bases and fielded .911 at shortstop.
Kerby, a junior third baseman, helped lead Bluffton to the Class 4-A Lower State final.