Seven seniors from Daviess County signed to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level during a ceremony at the high school Wednesday.
Boys’ golfer Daniel Love will attend Middle Tennessee State University, while boys’ soccer player Jacob Boling will continue his career at Kentucky Wesleyan College.
Five girls also announced their commitments to keep playing soccer. Kenlee Newcom is headed to Western Kentucky University, while Elizabeth Collier, Chloe Hinchcliffe, Bree Owen and Ashlyn Payton will all attend Kentucky Wesleyan College.
Read more for brief bios plus thoughts from coaches and each athlete.
Daniel Love — Middle Tennessee State University
About Love: An impressive varsity career full of awards ended with Love claiming the most ever tournament wins (12) and posting the lowest all-time season average (72.02) by a DC golfer. In addition to an individual region championship and two city-county titles, he was the region player of the year twice and made the All-State team three times.
On playing at DC: I played varsity here seven years, so I got to see a bunch of different waves of players comes through. When I started, I was playing with older guys who always treated me well. As I got older, I took that and treated the younger guys the same way.
On playing in college: It’s a goal I’ve always had. Since I started, I’ve known I wanted to play in college and just see where that takes me.
On choosing MTSU: I was between them and a couple other schools. I decided to visit and literally right when I stepped on campus I knew it was the right place for me.
On first-year expectations: I hope to develop as a player. That’s goal number one. Just getting used to becoming more independent as well. If I play well, then we’ll see where it takes me.
From DC head coach Lars King: Being able to coach Daniel the last five years has been a privilege. Daniel is a once-in-a-lifetime talent and I have truly been blessed to watch him grow on and off the course. As he moves on to further his golf career, there will only be more accolades to add to the many he already has.
Jacob Boling — Kentucky Wesleyan College
About Boling: Already a major player for the Panthers, Boling’s role this season was greater than ever as the lone senior starter. Time after time, he came up with game-winning goals as the Panthers reached their third state championship game in the last four years. In addition to winning four straight district and region titles, Boling finished second all-time in goals and points at DC.
On playing at DC: I say hands down Daviess County is the best program in the state of Kentucky. It’s meant a lot to me — and to every player on the team — that it’s one of the best programs you can play at.
On playing in college: It’s a great feeling to be able to continue doing what I love. It’s been a goal since I started playing soccer. I grew up playing three sports, and I knew all along soccer was the one I wanted to stick with.
On choosing KWC: There are three other players from Daviess County already on the team and I’d love to play with them again. I think KWC is a great program to play for.
On first-year expectations: I want to make myself better and train hard and make the team better if I can. I want to help them out any way I can.
From DC head coach Doug Sandifer: I’ve had the pleasure — because that’s a very appropriate word to use — of coaching Jacob since he was 10 years old. I think Wesleyan is getting a true scholar athlete. I was glad we were able to go as far as we did this year and finish on such a high note in his last season. The effort he put in to lead this group, I couldn’t ask for more out of a kid.
About the group: Over the last four years, the Lady Panthers went 63-23-4 overall. They won four straight district championships, also claiming the region title two times. This group of five became more instrumental to the team’s success each year, collecting numerous awards that included All-District, All-Region and All-State honors as well as finishing near the top of the all-time leaderboards in various categories. Collectively, they’ve been versatile and played about 25 different positions at DC.
From head coach David Sandifer: They are outstanding students and athletes. These young ladies have played soccer year-round since they were eight or nine years old. Everything that they are doing right now is based on their work ethic, what they are willing to sacrifice for. This is just a great group of kids. We can’t be more proud of them or happier for them.
Kenlee Newcom — Western Kentucky University
On playing at DC: I’ve loved every bit of it. Playing with all the girls I’ve gotten to play with has meant everything to me. I’ve made so many bonds that I hope will never break.
On playing in college: It means everything to keep playing. I’ve worked for this basically my whole life and I’ve always dreamed about playing DI soccer, and I finally achieved that.
On choosing WKU: It’s close to home, and one of my good friends goes there. It’s a really nice campus and I love the coaches and the girls who go there. The program is really good and it was a perfect fit.
On first-year expectations: I expect to work harder than ever. I know it’s going to be tough, but I’m going to have to stick with it. I’m ready for the ride, whatever it takes.
Elizabeth Collier — Kentucky Wesleyan College
On playing at DC: I don’t think I could see myself not playing soccer here at Daviess County. I’ve had so many great memories with all the girls and they pushed me to be who I am today.
On playing in college: I’ve always had a passion for soccer, so it’s really exciting to be able to get to play at the collegiate level.
On choosing KWC: When I was looking at colleges it was for academics. When Wesleyan asked me to come to their camp I fell in love with all the girls on the team. I was really grateful for the opportunity.
On first-year expectations: I’m starting college as a junior, so I’ll be taking my upper level classes. I know it’s going to be a big endeavor to be playing soccer along with doing those hard classes, but I’m really excited and I think it will help me grow as a person.
Chloe Hinchcliffe — Kentucky Wesleyan College
On playing at DC: Daviess County holds a special place in my heart. It has been the best four years of my life and I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity.
On playing in college: It’s such a great feeling to continue four more years playing with the people I’m closest with. I’ve always wanted to play in college and go as far as I can since it’s my favorite sport. I’ve never wanted to stop playing.
On choosing KWC: It’s in town and I didn’t want to go too far from home. All my sisters have gone there, and I will get two more years with my sister Natalie, so that’s a major factor. It’s also just a great school in general.
On first-year expectations: I just want to get better. Playing at the collegiate level I think will improve my playing skills at a whole different level than high school ever could.
Bree Owen — Kentucky Wesleyan College
On playing at DC: It’s been the best time of my life, for sure. I’ve made bonds that I will have for a lifetime, and I’ll never take it for granted.
On playing in college: I’m just very excited. I’ve achieved a lot of my goals. Going further in these next four years I feel like I can achieve even more of them. Ever since I started playing I knew I wanted to get to the college level, and I’ve been playing for about 10 years.
On choosing KWC: I love the campus and a lot of my friends go there. I just knew the environment at Wesleyan was what I’ve always wanted.
On first-year expectations: I hope to keep improving my game while having the opportunity to play alongside the people I love most.
Ashlyn Payton — Kentucky Wesleyan College
On playing at DC: I’ve made a lot of good memories here that will last forever. This place is amazing and the program is full of top-notch players and coaches.
On playing in college: I think it’s a big reward to make it to the next level. It’s a reward after all the hard work and all the time you’ve put in over the years. It’s been a goal since I was little, probably about the time I was eight years old.
On choosing KWC: I wanted to play with my friends for four more years, and it’s close to home. Plus I really like the program and all the coaches at Wesleyan.
On first-year expectations: I’m excited to keep playing with so many people I know. We mesh together super well, so I hope we can all continue to get better.