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Trio of senior signees at Richmond Hill

When Gwyneth Harper signed her letter of intent to play volleyball at Georgia College and State University, she became the third member of this year’s team to take her talent to the next level which says a great deal about the program coach Kaitlin Bean is building.

The same can be said for Madison Haldeman signing in soccer with Emory and Henry. Haldeman was a key player on last spring’s team which was unbeaten before losing in the third round of the Class 7A state playoffs.

Baseball’s Victor Villela was somewhat of a mystery signee when he inked with South Carolina-Salkehatchie as his play last year was limited to three at bats but Coach Hill Thomas said this is a case of his best days—to coin a cliché—being ahead of him.

“Gwyneth has played a major role in Richmond Hill’s volleyball success,” said Bean who last month saw Carson Reeves sign with Wingate and Courtney Joseph with Auburn-Montgomery. “She has been the starting setter since her sophomore year and plays the game with such passion.”

The last four years have seen the Wildcats volleyball team win three region championships in compiling an overall 115-40 record including 30-9 this past fall. Twice they advanced to the Elite 8 and made the second round the other two seasons.

“Gwyneth’s presence in this program is going to be missed,” Bean said of Harper who was the Region 7A Player of the Year. “She’s a selfless leader who is very athletic and her high volleyball IQ was a big factor in our success this past season. She is now the school’s all-time assist leader with 2,102.”

Anderson, coming off a 15-1 season, is looking for another big year and Haldeman’s play will be a major factor in any success the Wildcats enjoy.

“Maddie is a silent force for our team,” Anderson said. “She plays defense and may not have stats for the most goals or assists but she has been the backbone of our team for the last three years. She has been a starter since her freshman year.

“She is a dependable defender who gets the job done on the back line,” Anderson said. “She was first team all-region last year and is the glue for our pieces.

“Maddie has set a standard for the Lady Wildcats team by raising the bar and leading by example. She has a positive influence on all her teammates who aspire to be in her shoes one day.”

Indians coaches saw enough of Villela in the summer to believe he could compete for the Allendale, S.C., school which plays at the junior college level although it does have some four-year degree programs.

“Our coaching staff and program are proud of Victor,” Thomas said. “He’s an extremely hard worker who has great concentration and focus. Victor is an exceptional young man to be around and is a great teammate.”

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