By Owen Gotimer
(February 27, 2015) – As high school student-athletes in Loudoun County make their decisions on what to do with their futures, many choose to continue pursuing an athletic career in college. LoCoSports is here to tell you about Life After Loudoun.
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On the hardwood, Loudoun County High School graduate Brittany Batts (2011) has once again made a name for herself. The Lady Raiders’ all-time leading scorer with 2,039 points, Batts has eclipsed the 1,000 point mark in college and just earned her 101st collegiate victory with Gannon University in a 69-48 win over Seton Hill on Feb. 25 on her senior night. As the Division II Golden Knights start their postseason play, Batts is currently 19th all-time on Gannon’s career scoring list.
Another Loudoun graduate and basketball player also shined on his senior night. Broad Run High School graduate Taylor Johnson (2011) scored 19 points, collected nine rebounds and added five steals in the University of Mary Washington’s senior night win over Southern Virginia. Johnson saw his senior season cut short after the Division III Eagles fell to Salisbury in the Capital Athletic Conference semifinals. However, Johnson finished the season as the team’s leader in minutes played per game (37.1), points per game (14.3), rebounds per game (7.7), assists per game (2.5) and steals per game (2.1).
Potomac Falls High School graduate Greg Graves (2012) is continuing to help Mount St. Mary’s men’s basketball team through their 14-14 season. On Feb. 21, in a 75-64 win over Fairleigh Dickinson, Graves scored his fifth double-double of the season scoring 15 points while corralling 13 rebounds. Graves currently leads the Division I Mountaineers in minutes per game (29.8) and rebounds per game (7.5) and is second on the team in points per game (10.4).
As the winter season wraps up and the spring season begins, the James Madison University women’s softball team is out to a 5-4 start thanks to a pair of Loudoun grads. Stone Bridge High School graduate Niki Prince (2013) currently leads the Division I Dukes in runs scored and doubles while starting all nine of JMU’s games this season as the leadoff-batting shortstop.
JMU teammate and Potomac Falls High School graduate Heather Kiefer (2011) has started two games in the circle for the Division I Dukes compiling a 1-2 record. Her first win of the season came in shutout form against Maine on Feb. 15 when Kiefer went six-and-one-third innings allowing five hits. One of her two losses came in relief against No. 3 Alabama.
Another Potomac Falls High School graduate is trying to find his place on the baseball diamond. Class of 2013 graduate, Brandon Orbe has started all four of Marymount University’s games this season at four different positions around the infield. To start his sophomore campaign, Orbe started at second base and drove in four runs as the cleanup hitter in the Division III Saint’s, 11-8, loss to Washington & Lee. On Feb. 11, Orbe got the call on the mound, going four innings, striking out five in a no decision effort in Marymount’s win over Hampden-Sydney.
After stealing only two bases as a college freshman, Orbe’s teammate, Heritage High School graduate Lorenzo Calderon (2013) has already swiped four bases during the Division III Saints’ first four games of their 2015 campaign. Calderon – who is the Pride’s career (42) and single season (24) record holder in stolen bases – has started all four games for Marymount this spring in the outfield as the leadoff or two-hitter.
Calderon’s Heritage High School teammate Zack Hopeck (2014) has earned a spot in Coastal Carolina University’s starting rotation as a true-freshman making his collegiate debut on Feb. 16 in a win over Canisius. The 6-foot-2 right hander threw three-and-one-third innings allowing one earned run in his no decision. On Feb. 22, Hopeck earned his first career win after allowing only one earned run over three-and-one-third as the Division I Chanticleers cruised to a 12-3 win over North Carolina State.
From a rookie to a veteran, Broad Run High School graduate Taylor Clarke (2011) got the day one call for the Division I College of Charleston baseball team on Feb. 13 as the Cougars’ ace picked up the win over nationally-ranked South Carolina after throwing six innings of two hit baseball while allowing only one earned run. On Feb. 20, Clarke threw four innings in his second start of the season earning a no decision allowing three earned runs while striking out six in the Cougars’ 11-inning win over The Citadel.
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently in his senior year at Syracuse University. Follow LoCoSports on Twitter (@LoCoSports) for up-to-date news and scores from around Loudoun County.