Catawba Ridge had nine athletes sign during Wednesday’s National Signing Day. They are from far left, Caleb Avery, Lane Boutwell, CJ Brown, Asa Johnson, Tyler Levy, BJ Mallard, Krysten Wallace, Cooper Wilson and Wyatt Wilson.

The Catawba Ridge Copperheads had nine athletes sign letters of intent on National Signing Day Wednesday.

Five of the nine were baseball players, with three being football players and one girl’s lacrosse player.

The five baseball players were – Caleb Avery, Lane Boutwell, Tyler Levy, Cooper Wilson and Wyatt Wilson. The three football players were – CJ Brown, Asa Johnson and BJ Mallard, and the lone lacrosse player, the only girl in the group, was Krysten Wallace.

Catawba Ridge head football coach Zac Lendyak talked about the signing group as a whole.

“We are really proud of this number of athletes and their character,” he said.

Brown will be attending Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C. to play football and was an All-Region player for the Copperheads.

“He really is an example of doing whatever it takes,” Lendyak said.

Johnson was a three-year football captain for Catawba Ridge and often heard his name called out on Friday nights for his aggressive defensive prowess. He will be going to Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C.

“There are going to be some coaches that are very sad they didn’t take a chance on Asa,” Lendyak said.

Mallard was the final of the three football players that signed and he will be heading to St. George Collegiate Academy in St. George, S.C.

“He is an unbelievable person,” Lendyak said. “He is a people person. It was never about him; it was always about the team with him.”

When it comes to baseball, both Levy and Boutwell will both be going to USC Salkehatchie in Walterboro, S.C. Levy, a pitcher, and Boutwell, a centerfielder, both should help lead the Copperheads far this upcoming baseball season. Head baseball coach Stas Swerdzewski had a lot to say about his players. Eight of Catawba Ridge’s 11 seniors have signed to play in college next year.

“I am overjoyed for these guys,” Swerdzewski said. “I love celebrating these athletes.”

Regarding Levy, Swerdzewski described him as a Swiss Army Knife because he is so versatile, he could play all nine positions. He hit .450 last season as a junior.

“He has a lot of love for the game and that has a positive reflection on the team,” Swerdzewski said.

For Boutwell, Swerdzewski said he was a clutch hitter for the Copperheads.

“He has been a mainstay,” he said. “He is a great leader and a great kid.”

Also, a pitcher, Avery will be attending Catawba Valley Community College in the Hickory, N.C. He has been coached by Swerdzewski for some time and came with him from Nation Ford.

“He has worked extremely hard,” Swerdzewski said. “He is going to do great things at Catawba Valley.”

Cooper Wilson came from South Meck and hasn’t been around long, but Swerdzewski said he brings a lot to the Copperheads program. Wilson is heading to Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven, Ga.

“He is a tremendous all-around player,” he said. “He does everything well.”

The final baseball player to sign was Wyatt Wilson who is a catcher for the Copperheads and Swerdzewski has had him as part of his program since he was a freshman. Wilson is heading to Centre College in Danville, Ky.

“He has been an outstanding leader,” he said. “I love his confidence behind the plate.”

Catawba Ridge girls’ lacrosse coach Pat Gormley said he has enjoyed coaching Wallace in the sport. She is going to North Greenville University in Tigerville, S.C.

“She can be the leading scorer on the team, when necessary,” Gormley said. “She is a standout on the field.”

Mac Banks:, @fortprep