Samuel D. Logan
The Valdosta Daily Times
With high school graduation rapidly approaching, many students may be wondering “what’s next?”. Two Valdosta High Wildcats were able to answer that riveting question today, signing scholarships to colleges to continue their football career’s.
Seniors Anthony Smith and Demarcus Rhym will take on the challenge that many football players do not get to achieve, playing football on Saturdays. Smith and Rhym bring the total Wildcats going to college on football scholarship to eight out of a graduating class of 18.
Defensive coach Wayne Groves mentioned how fulfilling it is to play apart in helping his former players continue their education.
“Anytime that you can help further an athlete’s playing career and education, it’s always a great thing and a great feeling for them and I couldn’t be more proud of these guys to both getting to that point,” said Groves.
Smith is a linebacker who ended his senior
season listed on the
All-Region team and has the frame to be a formidable linebacker at the next level.
“It’s a dream come true. I’ve always dreamed of being able to sign and to go play football at a Division I level,” said Smith. “My dad instilled in me that you always want to go to the next level and it feels good to finally say that I am.”
As a Wildcat, one thing Smith cherished in high school was the rich football tradition at VHS.
“I learned three main things as a Wildcat,” said Smith. “You have to work hard, follow tradition and learn discipline. Set your goals in whatever you want to do; just set that vision and do what is necessary to achieve that vision or goal.
“I think that’s something I learned at VHS that i’ll carry for the rest of my life, not just in sports,” said Smith.
Smith will be attending Savannah State in the fall and will continue to play the linebacker position.
“I like Savannah State because they have a rich tradition. They’re a bigger version of Valdosta to me, they have a nice hometown feel, it’s not huge like Atlanta, it’s what I like,” said Smith.
Rhym is a defensive back with a smaller frame but nice coverage ability, shows good breaks on the ball and more importantly, can make the big hit when necessary. Rhym is excited about the chance to make a different on his new team.
“It feels good to be able to have signed a scholarship. I have to thank God though, because without him none of this would be happening. I am happy that I get to advance my football career and play for the Middle Georgia Knights,” said Rhym.
At VHS, Rhym learned about the importance of hard work.
“From my ninth grade year to becoming a senior, I learned that you have to have responsibility. You have to take care of yourself and get your work done. Going into college, I feel like I can handle myself and get my work done,” said Rhym.
Rhym will be attending Middle Georgia State College in Cochran in the fall and will hope to have an impact on the defense.
“I chose it because it’s a good school. They went 11-1 last year and went to the NAIA Championship. I feel like going there, I can make an impact on the team at the cornerback position, playing either nickel or an outside corner roll,” said Rhym.
Both players will embark on a new journey come fall with new motivation, focus and new goals to achieve as they enter the ranks of a NCAA athlete.