As the Christmas and New Year’s holidays drew nearer, a handful of local high school seniors had a little something extra to celebrate last month when they all signed their National Letters of Intent to finalize their college plans for 2021.
Leonardtown High School senior Will Johnson had committed to Virginia Tech University for football soon after his junior year at St. Mary’s Ryken. When his final season with the Knights was nixed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson opted to transfer to Leonardtown where he experienced exactly one day of in-class learning.
“When the pandemic started it just kind of made sense for me to transfer over to Leonardtown and save money,” Johnson said. “Since nobody is in school, I still get to see all of my friends from Ryken that live close to me. I was glad to finally be able to sign with Virginia Tech. I had committed to them my junior year and to finally be able to sign brought a sense of closure to the whole process.”
St. Mary’s Ryken football coach Aaron Brady also saw two of his returning seniors sign last week — Dez Williams who is headed to Wake Forest University and Daniel Ollom, who inked with Frankin & Marshall University. While Johnson left St. Mary’s Ryken to attend Leonardtown for his senior year, Ollom transferred from Leonardtown to Ryken prior to his junior year.
“I’m happy for all three of those guys,” Brady said. “It’s been a long wait since they committed to the time when they could finally sign. All of those guys put in the work to get those offers. We’re not expected to get back onto the practice field in February and then start our season in March and we open with DeMatha, but I know those guys are already putting in the work during the offseason.”
“Dez has really had an impact on the defense the past few years,” Brady said. “I think Wake Forest is a great fit for him. Daniel played two years at Leonardtown but he’s always wanted to come over here and play. His parents told him if he got straight A’s then he could transfer and that’s what he did. It’s a great opportunity for him at Franklin & Marshall, both academically and on the field.”
Charles County resident Josh Williams, a Gonzaga High School senior football player, signed his National Letter of Intent to attend Holy Cross University. One of 14 players the Crusaders signed on Dec. 16, Williams is among the latest round of players from Southern Maryland seeking to continue their days on the gridiron.
“We are thrilled to welcome the 14 newest members of the Holy Cross football family,” said Holy Cross football coach Bob Chesney. “We look forward to their immediate futures being productive and we are just as excited for the long term future after choosing Holy Cross. As abnormal as this year may have been, the world will return to normal one day soon.”