By John Turner
On Wednesday, four student-athletes from Fort Mill High signed on the dotted line to continue their athletic career.
Two girl’s lacrosse and two equestrians signed to continue in their sports of choice next year.
Two-sport athlete Lydia Laney committed her future to Xavier University to play lacrosse. She also stars for the Lady Jackets basketball program.
“I picked this school because I really like the coach and the program and could get the chance to play right away,” Laney said.
This coming season will be Laney’s fourth season on varsity lacrosse and she was the team’s MVP in 2022. She has been named to the All-State and All-Upper State teams and is a two-time All-Region player. She was selected for the Under Armor 150 and an ambassador for the Elite Nations United Lacrosse Team. She was also picked for the US Lacrosse Association South Carolina national team, in addition to the American Select national team for North Carolina.
Another multi-sport athlete Natalie Michelow signed on the dotted line to play lacrosse for the Furman Paladins.
This coming season will be her fourth on the varsity squad. According to Michelow, she likes the “close knit atmosphere and community” of the Paladin program.
Michelow received Academic All-American Honors in 2022, according to USA Lacrosse. She was selected for All-Upper State last season. She is an incredible scorer leading the Jackets in goals as a sophomore, shooting .833 as a junior and had an impressive 38 draw controls.
She was selected to Team South Carolina and Team North Carolina while participating in the inaugural Nike National Tournament. Michelow also starred for her club team Lax/Elite/Charlotte Style ’23. Last season, she was one of three finalists for Charlotte Area Awards Association High School Player of the Year.
Grace Rabb will take her 11 years of equestrian experience to Columbia as she signed for the University of South Carolina.
Having ridden since she was 6-years-old, Rabb has qualified for many top National Finals including the ASPCA Maclay Finals on three different occasions. She has also competed three times in the USEF Dover Medal Final, Gladstone Cup, Junior Hunter Finals, USEF Pony Finals and the South Carolina Governor’s Cup.
Rabb currently competes for the United States Equestrian Federation and US Hunter Jumper Association as a junior rider in the disciplines of jumper, hunter, and equitation. Rabb has multiple championships, as well as ribbons in hunters and equestrian, at Tryon International Equestrian Center. Rabb is really excited to meet all the girls currently competing for the Gamecocks.
“I’ve always had my eye on that team and I’ve always wanted to ride there,” she said. “It’s also close to home.”
Joining her sister at South Carolina will be accompanied equestrian Sarah Rabb. Rabb has been riding since she was 6-years old and that experience has paid dividends as a junior rider for the United States Equestrian Federation and the US Hunter Johnson Association in the disciplines of hunter and equitation.
Rabb has competed in some very impressive National Finals including the ASPCA Maclay Finals, USEF Dover Medal Final, Gladstone Cup, Junior Honor Finals, USEF Pony Finals, South Carolina Governor’s Cup, and the USHJA Jumping Seat Medal Final.
When asked why she chose the University of South Carolina, she stated, “I’m looking forward to having a team-based atmosphere.”
She also stated she chose the Gamecocks due to location, convenience and the coaches.
So, what is it like going to the same school and competing in the same sport as her sibling?
“It’s exciting because we’ve always lived together so it won’t be much of a change,” she said.