Gryphons quartet ready for next level
BY JESSIE H. NUNERY
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Four Rocky Mount High seniors took part in signing ceremonies Tuesday afternoon in the school’s gymnasium. Among the group were a pair of reigning Telegram All-Area Players of the Year, a multi-sport athlete and an accomplished girls’ tennis player.
Ty Brice, Tennis, Hampden-Sydney
Brice, a two-time Telegram All-Area Boys’ Tennis Player of the Year, has chosen Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.
It caps a full career for Brice, who made his third state tournament appearance last week.
He was joined in the school’s gymnasium Tuesday afternoon by his teammates and coach.
The support did not go unnoticed.
“The best part is all the friends I’ve made,” Brice said. “Being on a team with them is really cool. These are friends I’ve had since elementary and middle school.”
Brice helped lead the Gryphons to the second round of the NCHSAA 3-A state playoffs this season, and he will leave as a rare Gryphons tennis player. There hasn’t been a boys’ player make the jump to college since Ellis Ramey did so in the early 1990s.
“The thing that sets him apart is complete dedication to his craft,” Gryphons coach Wayne Holloman said. “There was no doubt he would play collegiate tennis. I’m just glad I got to be along for the ride the last year.”
Rahsun Lawrence, Wrestling, Ferrum College
Lawrence was one of the steadier wrestlers in the area the past four years.
He was a consistent presence at the NCHSAA 3-A wrestling tournament each year, and this past season he earned the Telegram’s All-Area Player of the Year honor.
Lawrence, who has earned national honors on the traveling wrestling circuit, chose Ferrum College over another offer from Belmont-Abbey.
He will study criminal justice and try to do what he has every year on the mat — get better.
Lauryn Clark, Tennis, Fayetteville State
Clark tells a funny story that her father believes that she is a better softball player than tennis player.
Tennis seems to have worked out just fine as she has committed to playing at Fayetteville State.
Clark was a four-year player who excelled despite an injury during the past season.
She said she is ready for college and wants to prove herself at the next level as someone deserving of a college roster spot.
“Fayetteville State was the first to grab me,” said Clark, who also visited Winston-Salem State and N.C. A&T. “I went on campus and it felt like home. I’m going to study criminal justice. I want to work with the FBI like my uncle, and my dad used to work with the government in Washington D.C., so it runs in my family.”
Jamar Ellis, Baseball, Greensboro
Ellis played both basketball and baseball for the Gryphons, but one sport was just for fun.
“My heart is in baseball,” said Ellis, who signed with Greensboro.
Ellis showed promise as a freshman, and his skills have improved each season.
He admits he is a fastball hitter, and he’ll have the chance to keep swinging away as a utility player at Greensboro.
Ellis shows good defensive instincts in the outfield, which should serve him well.
“Other people have given me motivation, and I knew I could play at the next level,” Ellis said. “It didn’t matter what level it was.”
Ellis said he plans to study sports management with the hopes of having a career in physical therapy.