Nash Central's Nobles inks with UNC; Carter, Bass sign baseball commitments

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Nash Central’s Colby Carter, left, signs to play baseball with Wake Technical Community College and Nash Central’s Payton Bass signs to play baseball with Barton College.


Sports Writer

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

If Alex Nobles’ college career ends up anything like his high school career, Nash Central football coach Chris Lee thinks Chapel Hill will work out just fine for the senior.

“I feel that, with his work ethic, he should be able to earn scholarship money in no time,” Lee said. “He’s worked a part-time job for the last two years, he’s kept his grades to a 3.6, he was the defensive player of the year in conference this year. There’s no doubt in my mind that if he keeps his work ethic, he’ll earn some playing time eventually.”

Indeed, Nobles will take that work ethic to UNC-Chapel Hill’s football program next fall. On Tuesday afternoon in the media room of Nash Central High School, the senior sat down for signatures and pictures to make his preferred walk-on status official for Tar Heel football.

He was one of three Bulldogs to sign their letters; baseball players Payton Bass and Colby Carter inked for Division II Barton College and Wake Tech Community College, respectively. Not on hand, but also recently committed, were three other NCHS football players: Travis Griffin and Jay Smith, who signed with Fort Scott Community College (Kan.) and Kesean Williams, who signed with Division II Shaw University in Raleigh.

Nobles, at 6-foot-3, played his senior season for the Bulldogs as a middle linebacker. Both he and Lee said they expect him to bulk up and line up as a defensive end when he gets to college next year.

Nobles said the first contact he had with UNC came as a junior, but this past season is when the ball got rolling.

“One of the coaches, he got my information, we started to talk, he started chatting me up. He took me on a visit and I saw the campus. I loved it, I knew then and there,” Nobles said. “ I’ve watched them play football a lot. I loved the energy. I thought it was the right atmosphere for me.”

Carter, Bass extend baseball careers

About three weeks ago, Nash Central baseball coach Willie Langley was hanging out on his couch, when he started to receive a series of texts from two different people.

One was Barton College’s baseball coach. One was his senior player, Payton Bass.

He was the middle man of some mutual interest.

“The Barton coach was texting me saying they really want him. Payton was saying he wanted to go there,” Langley said. “It was funny, I was sitting on the couch getting texts from both of them at the same time. The Barton coach said, ‘You think he would commit?’ I said, ‘I think if you texted him right now, he’d say yes.’”

And so Bass received a call, and by the time he hung up he was a future college baseball player.

“I knew it might come,” said Bass, who hit .312 for a Bulldogs team that won its conference for the first time school history. “But I had no clue when it would happen. It was just relief, knowing I’m going somewhere to play.”

Bass’s senior teammate, Colby Carter, who compiled a .463 average, 31 hits and 22 RBI — all ranked either first or second on the team — had been talking to the coach at WTCC off and on for a few weeks.

“He called me yesterday and told me I had a place to play, and I do want to play baseball in college,” Carter said. “That was a goal of mine.”

Langley had high praise for Carter, and said he was glad his baseball career found a new path after the high school season ended in the second round of the playoffs this past May.

“Colby was — he may be the best hitter to come out of this school. He had several colleges inquire. I think it didn’t really hit him until the playoffs that he wanted to keep playing,” Langley said. “Sometimes they ain’t ready to give up ball. Towards the end of the year he decided he wanted to keep playing. I’m glad it worked out for him.”