Washington’s Walker, Little sign letters of intent
Published 1:49 pm Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Washington seniors Warner Little and Abby Walker each signed their letters of intent on Wednesday to play their respective sports at the collegiate level.
Walker, a volleyball player, committed to Welch College, a school in Nashville, Tenn. with about 300 students. The athletic program, consisting of four varsity teams (golf, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball), is affiliated with the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). The Pack Pam middle hitter signed the letter alongside her future coach, Ashley Lockert, her family and her former coach Kelly Slade.
“I’ve been to their college before and I just fell in love with the Christian environment. The people there were so welcoming, so I just felt like that’s where God wanted me to be,” Walker said.
Last fall, Walker led the Pam Pack with 48 aces, while also notching 220 kills, 89 blocks, 13 assists and 403 digs. Paired with Adriana Tyson, who committed to play volleyball at Lenoir Community College in November, Washington’s front line dominated the Eastern Plains Conference and powered its way through the conference tournament, the team failing to drop a single game.
“I owe everything to coach (Kelly) Slade, she’s taught me so much,” Walker said. “I owe everything to my teammates as well, who were all so supportive, helping mentor me. I’m looking forward to how they’re going to do next season.”
Despite the team’s regular season success, Washington’s campaign was cut short in the second round of the state tournament at the hands of Bunn, a team boasting one of the top hitters in 2-A in Tainasha Vines.
Now, Walker will join a Flames team that went 3-12 last season, winning just one home game.
“I’m very proud of Abby for moving on to the next level,” Slade said. “She’ll be an asset to their program and school.”
Shortly after Walker penned her signature, Little signed her letter of intent to suit up for the Meredith College soccer team next season.
Meredith, a school in Raleigh with about 2,000 students, is an all-female institution with eight varsity programs that compete at the NCAA Division III level.
“My mom went to Meredith, so there’s some family ties, and I just really like the atmosphere,” Little said. “I always kind of had a dream to play soccer in college, but I didn’t know if it was a realistic dream. Then we he actually offered me the position. It was a big deal and I was really excited.”
Little, along with three other current college or college-bound female soccer players, suited up for the 2014 Pam Pack soccer team that won 21-straight matches en route to the 2-A state championship. However, rampant injuries cost them the title in the final game, falling to West Strokes in Raleigh, 2-0. But now, fittingly, it is in Raleigh where Little will continue her soccer career.
While the team didn’t finish on top, the state runner-ups scored a Washington school record 171 goals. Little, a defenseman, finished with two goals.
This season, Little has moved up to the midfield, scoring eight goals and recording five assists in 10 games, as Washington currently sits at 7-4 (2-0 Eastern Plains).
“Warner has been a very useful player since her freshman year,” said Pam Pack girls’ soccer coach Ed Rodriguez. “She’s been rotated between defense, now she’s more in an offensive role because of our needs. She’s always been someone reliable, no matter where she’s played. She has a very strong foot, she can kick with both feet well, great strength, great distance on her shot and great speed. She does a lot of the things I need from her.”
Little joins an Avenging Angels team that finished 13-5-2 (10-1-1) second in the USA South Conference.
As for their future plans, Walker will major in exercise science with the hope of becoming a physical therapist down the road. Little, who was accepted to the Honors College at Meredith, will study communication, psychology and Spanish.