Briarwood has 10 athletes honored on signing day

Published 2:55 pm Thursday, February 7, 2019

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – Following last year’s record-setting signing day featuring 11 athletes signing, Briarwood came close to equaling that number for the second year in a row as 10 different BCS athletes inked with their future colleges on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at a signing ceremony to continue playing the sport they love.

The remarkable part is that those 10 players were representing seven different sports, showing that Briarwood is a school rich in talent throughout many different sports.

“This is a group that recognizes they represent a lot of God’s people through ministry and God’s ways,” athletic director Jay Matthews said. “In our culture today, more and more athletes feel like they are validated by this act of signing a college scholarship, but these athletes aren’t validated by that. They’re validated as sons and daughters of the King of the universe.

“These guys and girls are great teammates, they’re great competitors and they celebrate their other classmates. That’s what makes Briarwood great, we celebrate the different gifts God has given out in many different ways.”

It was definitely a blessed day for those on the stage as two football players, two soccer players, two lacrosse players, one softball player, one tennis player, one fisherman and one runner all inked on the dotted line.

The two football players to enjoy the special opportunity were J.R. Tran-Reno and Dalton Brooks, both of whom were part of a special senior class that played on head coach Fred Yancey’s final team as a head coach.

“Being a successful athlete requires more than just talent, but it also requires some talent,” Yancey said. “These guys are talented guys, but they’re more than that. They are fine young men.”

Tran-Reno, a running back and all-around athlete, is headed to play at Vanderbilt University. During his time at BCS, he totaled more than 1,000 all-purpose yards in three years as a starter, earning an All-County Second Team nod as a sophomore before making the first team each of the last two seasons.

Brooks, who is headed to Bethel University, has been named a second team defensive lineman each of the last two years totaling 109 tackles during that span. He posted 15.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks during his senior season and was the team captain.

Soccer wise, two of the best players in the state were sitting on the stage as Logan Frost signed for the boys and Ellie Sherrod signed for the girls.

Frost is headed to the University of South Carolina and has been unreal during his high school career, improving each year since his first year starting as a sophomore. He’s been on the All-County team each year, and as a junior last year posted 40 goals and 26 assists to earn the county’s Player of the Year honor.

Sherrod, a defender for the Lions, was one of the best in the county last year at getting stops and setting up fast break opportunities. She is headed to Berry College to not only play soccer, but also compete in the javelin throw in track and field as a two-sport athlete.

Briarwood has also prided itself in lacrosse as one of the original teams in the state to really put a lot into the sport many years ago. Now, two athletes get to play at the collegiate level because of that.

Mark Hand is headed to the University of North Carolina to become a Tar Heel after being one of the most sought after lacrosse recruits in the country.

He’s not only been an elite member on the lacrosse team, but was recently named as one of the top defensive players in football as well after posting more than 150 tackles during his senior season.

The other player to sign was Patrick Moore, who is headed to the University of Lynchburg in Lynchburg, Virginia thanks to being a key piece on the Lions’ team.

Catcher Taylor Wheat represented the softball team and is headed Coastal Alabama Community College. She will be looked at as a leader during the upcoming softball season as the team’s lone senior.

“When I got on campus two years ago, she jumped out as an amazing leader on our team,” softball head coach Ashley Segretto said. “You would have thought she was a senior last year with the way she led our team.”

For the tennis team, Parker Bradberry signed with UAB, as he’ll remain close to home.

Bradberry has been a member of a Briarwood tennis team that has one the last two boys state championships and set numerous records. He was also named MVP of the nationally recognized DecoTurf Championship in 2018.

The last two signees were Grayson Morris for fishing and Lauren Musachia for running.

Morris will be attending the University of Montevallo after a stellar high school career at Briarwood. He is the reigning 2018 Bassmaster National Champion and will get to defend that title this summer.

His senior year has included two first place finishes, a second-place finish, two third place finishes and three top 20 finishes. He has also been nominated to be a Bassmaster All-American.

Musachia is headed to Emory University, a private university in Atlanta, Georgia, after a stellar academic and athletic career at Briarwood.

She has been a leader of both the cross country and track and field teams that can do a little bit of everything, but excels in running. She recently finished fifth at the state indoor meet in the high jump and was 16th in the AHSAA cross country state championship in the fall.

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