Cavs make a statement on National Signing Day


Cherish Bland

Ariel Farmer, Kayla Sledge, Chris Chavez, Mustafa Elteir, Cade Kinne, Xzavier Dixson

On Feb. 2, eight Clover Hill athletes put pen to paper on National Signing Day to officially commit to continue their athletic and academic careers at the collegiate level. 

To open the event, volleyball players Cade Kinne and Xzaiver Dixson committed to play at Roanoke College in Virginia. Kinne was second team all-region and second team all-metro with a region-leading 277 kills as a right hitter from both the front and back row. Coach Joey Joback emphasizes his commitment to volleyball, and he chose Roanoke College after a recruiting process that involved a number of colleges on the East coast. Dixson played volleyball for the first time this season and became a top threat for the Cavaliers as an outside hitter using his athleticism. To achieve his new goal of playing in college, he practiced extensively outside of school and attended camps to improve his skills. 

Joback praised both Dixson and Kinne for their consistency, and believes that their tenacity will lead to success in college.

Not only are they excellent athletes, but they are also leaders, have a desire for excellence, and most importantly, a refusal to quit,” Joback said. 

Kayla Sledge signed with the University of Lynchburg to continue playing basketball. Sledge, a four year varsity player for Clover Hill, was set on attending the University of Lynchburg from the beginning of the recruiting process. She received third team all-region honors in her junior year and averages 10 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists per game. According to coach De’Cedric Loveless, Sledge is dedicated to basketball and practices constantly to work on her craft. 

Soccer player Ariel Farmer chose Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. Farmer is a four year varsity player who made second team all-region as a freshman before having her sophomore and junior seasons cut short. According to coach Charles Anderson, Farmer excels as a scorer on the field, always supports her teammates, and is excited to play at Randolph-Macon to continue her soccer career and her father’s legacy at the school, as he played football there. 

Anderson believes that Farmer will put up her best season yet this spring before heading off to Randolph-Macon in the fall. 

“The Cavs are looking forward to her senior year being her finest as she will undoubtedly be on a field near you putting numbers on the scoreboard and helping this year’s team make a run at the Central Region 5 Championship,” Anderson said. 

Mustafa Elteir signed with Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia to play soccer. Prior to this year, he played on an academy team; 2022 will be his first year playing for Clover Hill. He started playing soccer when he was four and grew up playing the sport. Elteir never expected offers, but he hoped that he might earn an opportunity if he worked hard enough.

“It feels great, definitely a big weight off my shoulders, as this is something [I’ve been] working towards for a long time,” Elteir said. 

His recruiting process with VMI included phone calls, zoom calls, and meetings on campus. He started to grow a bond with the coaches, which made his decision easy. Following his signing, he is looking forward to his time at VMI and the growth that it offers him.

“I’m most excited about the life lessons I will learn, since VMI is a school like no other,” Elteir said. “I will be tested in ways I have never experienced before. This I believe will help me grow and develop overall as a well charactered man.”

Chris Chavez committed to continue playing soccer at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. He is a four year varsity player on the school team. 

Tennis player Sia Chaudry will play at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland following two years on the school team. Chaudry, who began playing in national tournaments at the age of eleven, is a 5 star tennis recruit who is number 1 in Virginia in the class of 2022. 

Jailyn Williams committed to play football at Augusta United Graduate Academy in Augusta, Georgia. Williams played for four years as a highly-graded guard on offense and a double-digit tackler at defensive tackle. 

Coach Bryan Jennings commends Williams for his versatility as the only lineman to play on both sides of the ball as well as his fun-loving personality and ability to get along with everyone on the team. 

“Jailyn ‘Cheesecake’ Williams will definitely be missed on the field and off the field,” Jennings said. 

While Feb. 2 was national signing day, it was not the only time when athletes could sign with colleges; several Cavaliers made it official at other times of the year. Football players Bryson Jennings and Abe Uqdah committed to the University of North Carolina and Hampton University, respectively. Their teammate Malakhai Lewis chose Randolph-Macon on March 2nd. Four baseball players also accepted offers: Cam Mazell at Norfolk State University, Clark Driscoll at VMI, Zach Crigger at Patrick Henry Community College and Jay Stiff at Marymount University. 

Signing day is one of the best times of the year for Director of Student Activities David Zyglocke because family, friends, teammates, coaches and staff get to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of the student athletes. It is one of the largest groups to sign in his time at Clover Hill.

“It makes me very proud to see these large numbers of students from a variety of sports go on to continue their athletic careers,” Zyglocke said. “It goes to show that the hard work of our student/athletes and coaches is paying off.”