From left, Bryce Webb, Payton Brookover and Austin Lockhart all were recent Nation Ford athletes who signed to participate in college sports.

Three Nation Ford athletes will be taking their athletic talents to the next level after recently signing as part of the school’s signing day.

Austin Lockhart, Bryce Webb and Payton Brookover all were part of the school’s signing day Wednesday. Both Lockhart and Webb will be attending the U.S. Naval Academy, as Lockhart will be swimming and Webb will be playing football.

Brookover, 17, will be playing basketball at Columbia College and plans on majoring in special education. The second-year player at Nation Ford, Brookover came to the school from Fort Mill High when the redistricting happened once Catawba Ridge was built.

This year Brookover is averaging 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assist a game for the Falcons during a challenging season due to the coronavirus. Brookover said she wanted to be somewhere close to the University of South Carolina. Columbia College allowed her to do that and play basketball as well.

“I went to the campus and fell in love with it,” she said. “I really loved the community and they are very welcoming.”

Webb, 18, will be heading to Annapolis to major in mechanical engineering and is looking forward to military life. The 6’1 270-pound defensive tackle also looked at West Point to play for Army, but though the Navy was a better option.

“I really wanted to serve my country,” Webb said.

In the two years he has played at Nation Ford, he has appeared in just eight games, but has recorded 46 tackles, 10 assists, eight sacks and nine quarterback hurries.

“Being able to go to the next level and play is something I have wanted to do,” he said.

Lockhart, 18, also will be heading to the Naval Academy and looked at other places like the University of Cincinnati and the University of South Carolina before picking Navy. He plans on majoring in aerospace engineering.

“I always wanted to serve,” he said. “It gives me a chance at a great career and a great academic experience.”

Like Brookover, Lockhart came to Nation Ford from Fort Mill and was a part of their swim team for two years before making the switch. A five-time state champion swimmer, three of those being individual state titles, he will be swimming the 50 and 100-free events for Navy.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep