FORT MILL — Six Nation Ford High School student-athletes made commitments on National Signing Day last week to continue their playing careers in college.
Four of those athletes will play college soccer in North and South Carolina and two will play football, one in-state and the other in Kansas.
Falcons receivers Dijuan Ussery and AK McCoy will be playing college football at Coffeyville Community College and Greenville Tech, respectfully. Both are junior colleges where the two Nation Ford students hope to get started before moving on to bigger schools. Ussery, who caught 99 passes for 1,676 yards and 19 touchdowns over his career at Nation Ford, said he will be playing on special teams as well as lining up as a receiver for Kansas-based Coffeyville. He will join former Falcons player Sean Potts-Harris, who signed with them late last year.
Ussery, 18, said he went the small school route to keep his focus, though he had looked at South Carolina State and other large schools. He plans on majoring in art and design.
“It’s a better environment for me,” he said. “My dream is to go to Georgia to play.”
McCoy, 18, will also be playing on special teams and as a receiver for Greenville Tech. McCoy caught 65 passes during his varsity career at Nation Ford, good for 1,211 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had five carries for 71 yards.
Both Ussery and McCoy averaged 38 yards a return over their high school careers.
McCoy looked at Coffeyville as well, along with Georgia Military Institute and Hutchinson Community College, but said Greenville Tech stayed consistent in its contact with him.
“It seemed like a good college to start things off,” McCoy said.
He plans on majoring in engineering and would like to stay along the East Coast after his time is up at Greenville Tech.
Nation Ford’s Austin Huddy, Tyler Snincak and Kyle Juell have been playing soccer together since middle school, so National Signing Day was a big deal for them to sign together, although they are all heading in different directions.
“It is great to go to the next level together,” Huddy said.
Huddy, 17, will be playing soccer at Queens University in Charlotte and plans on majoring in exercise science.
He looked at Wofford College, Francis Marion University, the College of Charleston and Erskine College, but liked the proximity of Queens.
“It is within 20 to 30 minutes from my house and it’s in uptown Charlotte,” he said. “It has great academics and it was my number one choice.”
Fellow soccer player, Snincak, 17, decided Erskine College is the right choice for him.
“I liked the environment and felt like it was the best place I could prosper on and off the field,” he said.
Snincak looked at Anderson University and Clemson University for academic purposes, but didn’t want to give up the idea of playing college soccer. He plans on majoring in mathematics.
Juell, 18, will be heading to USC-Upstate to play soccer next year. He said it was really the only school he considered.
“It was one of the schools that there was a mutual attraction to,” he said.
Like Snincak, Juell, who plans on majoring in business management or marketing, said getting to play soccer is an added bonus.
The final signee for Nation Ford was girls’ soccer player Shannon Blair, who is going to USC-Beaufort.
Blair, 17, also looked at Coker College and Brevard College, but liked the feel of the beach atmosphere near the coast and the campus.
“The coaches were really nice as were my teammates,” she said. “They are a new program and I get to be a part of the building of it.”
Blair said she plans on majoring in psychology.