Seven Darby athletes sign their National Letter of Intent

Seven athletes who signed (From Left to Right: Lily Garnett-Brown, Kristian Amaro, Nick Cecil. Olivia Zawadzki, Nicole Logan, Adam Ansel, Noah Platfoot) Photo from @HDarbyAthletics

Three times a year, there are National Signing Days where senior student-athletes sign their National Letter of Intent to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level. Wednesday, November 13th was the first of this year’s signing days, and seven Darby athletes signed. 

   At the beginning of eighth period, students who were invited to the signing by the signees gathered in the gym. Classmates, teammates, and friends from all of the grades came to support the students. 

   The celebration began with a few words from Darby’s Athletic Director, Chris Ludban, about the overall accomplishment of playing college sports.

   Then, each coach got the chance to say a little bit about their athlete that was signing. 

   First, Head Softball coach, Shawn Papp, spoke about Lily Garnett-Brown.

   “It’s an honor to talk about Lily. She is a program player. She’s an all around athlete…She’s ready to get better every practice that she comes to,” said Coach Papp.

   Garnett-Brown will be playing softball at the NCAA Division I level at the College of Central Florida. In the 2019 season, the Patriots of CF won their fourth conference title in the past six years.

   Head Baseball coach, Michael Weer, had the opportunity to speak about two of his players. The first was Nick Cecil. Coach Weer spoke about Cecil’s “electric arm” that he uses on the pitching mound and in the outfield. Cecil will continue is baseball career at West Virginia State University’s NCAA Division II program. 

   The other Panther baseball player who signed was Kristian Amaro. Amaro moved here from Puerto Rico his freshman year, and he has played for Darby all four years. 

   “He is a tireless worker. He has spent hours perfecting his impressive skill set at and behind the plate,” Coach Weer explained.

   Amaro signed to become a Golden Eagle at the NCAA Division II school, University of Charleston.

   After Coach Weer, the Girls Head Volleyball coach, Stephanie Dietrich, got the mic to speak about two of her athletes as well: Olivia Zawadzi and Nicole Logan.

   Zawadzki is committed to set at Indiana Wesleyan University, a Division I school in the NAIA. Logan will continue her career at Urbana University’s NCAA Division II program.

   Coach Dietrich spoke well about all Zawadzki and Logan have accomplished. Zawadzki earned 1st Team All-OCC and 2nd Team All District this year. Both girls were team captains, and Coach Dietrich made sure to mention Logan’s great leadership. 

   Continuing with the theme of volleyball, the Boys Head Volleyball coach, Evan Bell, spoke about all Adam Ansel and Noah Platfoot have done for the program, in their four years on varsity.

   “I took over this program when I was 25; definitely young. I’ve leaned a lot on these guy alone, just to continue the culture and continue the success,” Bell expressed his gratitude for both of the players.

   Ansel will join Logan at Urbana University next fall, and he will help to build their growing team, as the 2021 season will only be the Blue Knights third year as a program.

   Platfoot, who committed as a sophomore, will stay in Columbus as he goes to play at The Ohio State University. 

   Next, each of the athletes got the opportunity to thank their families, coaches, teammates, and friends in front of the whole gym.

   Ansel managed to get a few laughs from the audience as he went a little off from the unofficial script that most students tend to follow at these events.

   After thanking his coaches, friends, and teammates, Ansel said, “And especially my family, who have spent all their money and all their travels on my volleyball career.”

   Finally, the group of seven got to experience the moment they had been working towards for the past several years; they signed their official letter of commitment. 

   Playing sports at the collegiate level is a big deal. Any athlete who does this has put in years and years of time, effort, money, sweat, and maybe even some tears in order to reach their goal.

   On behalf of Hilliard Darby High School, we wish the best of luck to Lily Garnett-Brown, Nick Cecil, Kristian Amaro, Olivia Zawadzki, Nicole Logan, Adam Ansel, and Noah Platfoot. The seven of you have left your legacy as a Panther.