Top Blacksburg Athletes Sign Letters of Intent
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Often times the greatest moment in an athlete’s life is the day they sign their letter of intent to play college athletics. On November 9, four Blacksburg students received an honor few high school athletes earn. Ben Fleming, Sebastian Cianelli, Hunter Duncan, and Samantha Marin signed with their respective Colleges.
“I’m so proud of these athletes! They all deserve the honor, and I’m confident they will do great things at the next level, said Jake Scott, freshman.
Signing is the official agreement between the athlete and the college that both parties will honor their end of the bargain. Once the athletes sign they may not back out of the agreement or go to a different school. The college may not change the scholarship agreement or take away the roster spot for the athlete.
“I think it is great we have so many students signing this year. It really proves how awesome the athletes are that we have at our school,” said Mrs. Radford, marketing teacher.
Ben Fleming has been a Varsity Cross Country and Indoor Track runner for four years and Varsity Outdoor Track runner for three years. He has been a captain of all teams for his Junior and Senior years. In 2014, Fleming made the All Timesland Second Team Cross Country and Second Team Outdoor Track, in 2015, he made the First Team All Timesland for both sports as well. Ben Fleming was an Indoor 4×800 Relay State Champion and Outdoor 4×8 Relay State Champion. He is also an All-State Cross Country selection. Ben signed with Virginia Tech, to run Cross Country, Indoor, and Outdoor track.
Samantha Marin became the Team Captain of Cross Country for 2016. She was named Most Valuable Runner for Cross Country 2016, Most Valuable Distance Runner for Indoor Track 2016, Most Valuable Runner for Cross Country 2015, Freshman of the Year for Indoor Track 2014, and New Runner of the Year for Cross Country 2012. Marin competed at the National Cross Country Championships in Portland, Oregon in 2013, 2014, and 2015 with the girls’ varsity team, helped the team place 21, 7, and 12 in respective years. Samantha has contributed to 3 cross country, 2 indoor track, and 1 outdoor track team state titles.Samantha signed with the prestigious Columbia University to run Cross Country, Indoor, and Outdoor track.
Sebastian Cianelli: Sebastian Cianelli, the starting shortstop at Blacksburg High School, has accepted an offer to play baseball at King University in Bristol, Tennessee. Cianelli has played varsity baseball for four years. He was selected as the Outstanding Defensive Player for Blacksburg in 2016. He also received All Conference Honorable Mention in 2015 and 2016. Cianelli has helped the baseball team reach the Conference 32 finals and 3A West Regional semi-final rounds in both 2014 and 2016.
Hunter Duncan: Hunter Duncan has been a member of the Varsity Golf team since his freshman year. He began to catch attention from recruiters during his 2015 season, when he was a medalist at the Heritage Invitational and at the Bob McClelland Metro tournaments. He was the first ever high school golfer to win these two tournaments back to back. He also achieved third place in Individual State Championship results in 2015 and 2016. He is a two-time First Team All-Conference and First Team All-State selection and was the Boy’s Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016. As a senior this year, he led the Bruins to the 3A State Golf Team Championship. Hunter has accepted a golf scholarship from Radford University.
The signing ceremony was held in the Blacksburg High School library at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9. Many students, family members, and teachers came to watch and show support for the students getting recognized. The ceremony was full of heart-felt speeches by coaches, smiling faces by friends and family, and cake.
“Signing day was great! I was honored that all my friends and my family came to watch. It was one of my proudest moments,” said Sebastian Cianelli, student athlete.