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Three Wildcats sign to play in college
RH 3 Sign
From left, Andrew Purcell, Grace Kiser and DeAndre Joyce share a laugh Wednesday before the three Richmond Hill seniors signed to play collegiate athletics. - photo by Ted O'Neil

Three Richmond Hill seniors signed letters of intent Wednesday to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.

Andrew Purcell and DeAndre Joyce both singed to play football at LaGrange College, while Grace Kiser will be playing soccer at Elon University.

The LaGrange Panthers, who compete in the NCAA Division III USA South Athletic Conference, finished 2017 at 4-6 overall and 3-4 in the conference.

Purcell and Joyce both said they look forward to being teammates as they have the past four years.

“I’m excited to play another four years with my friend and brother,” Joyce said. “Not everyone is able to play at the next level, so that makes it really special.”

Purcell and Joyce were all-region honorable mention picks the past two seasons. Purcell said he wants to major in physical therapy, while Joyce is leaning toward exercise physiology.

“This has been a dream of mine since I was 10 years old,” Purcell said. “I’ll never forget the memories I’ve made playing for Richmond Hill.

Wildcats football coach Matt LeZotte concurred.

“This isn’t just about the football team or the soccer team, this is about family and being able to ‘Build the Hill’ as our saying goes,” he said. “This is exciting for the whole school.”

Steve Kollman, the long-time girls’ soccer coach who is now helping the team as an assistant, agreed.

“As teachers and coaches, we get watch these kids grow over four years and become mature, responsible young adults,” he said.

Kiser has been an all-region pick since her freshman season, helping lead the Wildcats to two region titles during that time and three consecutive state tournament appearances.

The Phoenix, an NCAA Division I school in North Carolina, is part of the Colonial Athletic Association. The team 9-6-4 overall last season, including a 2-4-3 mark in the conference.

“Everyone who goes on to play at the next level has worked so hard, it’s the common denominator,” said Kiser, who is undecided on a major. “But it’s also a testament to the hard work that our parents and coaches and teammates have also put in.”

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