In this year’s third signing ceremony, four more seniors signed letters of intent to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level in the packed Estes Athletic Center on Friday, April 20. Griffin Phillips and Brendan Houghtaling will attend Lynchburg College, playing soccer and baseball respectively. Parker Wilburn will play baseball at Mary Washington University, and Jaiden Hobbs will play soccer for Shenandoah University.
With these commitments, there are now 19 athletes from the class of 2018 that will represent Trinity in eight sports at 14 different schools next year. Coaches for each of the signees took the stage to say a few words about each senior.
“He’s everything you want in a starting player,” said varsity baseball coach Mitch Hauser about Brendan Houghtaling. “He’s tough, he’s durable, he’s dependable…He gives you everything he has every day.” He also commented on Houghtaling’s character off the field, saying that his actions make everyone proud.
Hauser also spoke about catcher Parker Wilburn. “Catching is the most demanding and physically taxing position there is in baseball … you have to be extremely tough and a little crazy and fortunately he’s both of those things,” Hauser said, “his toughness is something I’ll always remember.”
Girls varsity soccer coach Rick Hamlin reflected upon the the four-year varsity career of senior Jaiden Hobbs, noting her excellent ability to head the ball as well as her strong leadership. “She has stayed really positive even through some ups and downs we’ve had as a team this season,” Hamlin said, “Jaiden is someone that gets along with everyone… She’s a very genuine person, very authentic person, very real person… [and] a very loyal friend.”
Head boys varsity soccer coach Brian Phillips spoke about his gratitude to be able to coach his own son, Griffin Phillips. “I remember when he was about 10, Mom was required to take several quizzes on soccer, so that she could actually be conversant in the car,” Phillips said, “That’s the level at which he was into it and I’m thankful for that.”
Assistant boys varsity soccer coach Dylan Norvell noted that Phillips has scored more goals than any other Trinity boys soccer player over the past decade. “But that wasn’t what defined Griffin’s season this year,” Norvell said, noting his resilience and determination both on the field and in the classroom. “Every time that the other team would score a goal,” said Norvell, “I could pretty much count on Griffin stepping his game up to a new level and lifting his teammates up like a good captain does.”
Following rounds of applause for all four athletes, they all uncapped their pens and officially signed their letters of intent.
Next year, Trinity will have 67 athletes from the last 4 graduating classes competing at the collegiate level; 41 of those athletes will compete in Division 1 sports. For more about Trinity athletics, visit www.trinityes.org/athletics