More varsity athletes commit to colleges

One of Thomas Dale’s senior leaders, left back Hunter Gonzalez committed to play soccer at Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista. According to head coach Mark Fowler he’s a “team man” and brings a “steely resolve” to the team in the form of senior leadership. Defenders are often unsung in the stat book, but Gonzalez is one of the best that Conference 3 has to offer.

The forward and top offensive option for the Thomas Dale Knights Bridget Schindel recently committed to Division III Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. As of press time, she’s scored 12 goals and dished out 12 assists. Schindel, along with Dominque Grubbs have led the Knights attack to a 10-3-1 record and a two seed in the Conference 3 tournament. Schindel was also an outstanding goalie for the field hockey team.

Matt Dirr started at both linebacker and tight end as a senior, filling in successfully for the injured Marco Carrabotta. The back-up turned starter committed to play at Hampden-Sydney, joining Shaq Thomas, Dalton Lee and Jamal Woolridge as Knights on the roster. In 2013, he recorded 40 tackles and was a great blocker at tight end, scoring 16 domination blocks.

Trevor Luke, an All-Star selection at the Big River Rivalry, will play at Averett University next year, joining defensive tackle P.J. Best on the roster. On the year, he threw for 941 yards and five touchdowns splitting time at quarterback with A.J. Holliday. His punting average of 42 yards per punt led the Central Region in 2013. Luke was selected to the All-Conference First Team as a punter.

Bird’s slick-fielding second baseman Kim Ellis signed to play softball at Richard Bland Community College, a program in its second year of existence. Ellis has hit .275 with a home run and 14 RBIs on the year, but her strength is in her defense. Head coach Deanna Owens raved about her defense in the pre-season and it showed as she made a couple of great plays in a recent game against Prince George.

The Skyhawks center fielder, Tatyana Jordan also made her college decision; she’ll play at Virginia State next year, joining Matoaca’s Maya Bailey as a signee and Dale alum Logan Tollison on the roster. Jordan possesses great athleticism, also having played basketball. While struggling a bit to get in a groove at the plate this season, she’s played a great defensive center field and had a two-hit game against Prince George.

Darius Gillus, a two-sport standout, with an offer on the table for football from Fairmont State University (WV), got the offer he was looking for and signed with Old Dominion to play baseball last Friday. The third baseman/pitcher excelled for the Skyhawks, Gillus will lead L.C. Bird into the Conference 12 playoffs with a .397 batting average and .438 on-base percentage.

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