Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Six Franklin athletes sign national letters of intent

With its gymnasium stands filled, its blue and red colors streaming, Franklin High recently hosted a National Letter of Intent ceremony for six student athletes.

Longtime Baltimore sportscaster John Buren was master of ceremonies. Buren praised the student athletes and reminded those in the stands, "Excellence is contagious." In an upbeat speech, he noted that having six students sign national letters of intent is rare for a school and "emblematic of changes, very positive changes," for the spirit at Franklin.

Before signing his letter of intent for the University of Charlestown, lineman Cyril Nuworsoo cited small student-to-teacher ratios as playing a major role in his decision. He credited his teammates for saluting him as a leader and encouraging him to excel. Defensive end Andrew Bond signed with Averett University at the ceremony. He spoke of his growth throughout his four years at Franklin and added, "I've figured out my full potential."

Wide receiver Ian Thomas was the last to announce his decision and sign. His highlight video was played on a big screen to celebrate his achievements. Ian has been recruited by 22 schools. When asked about future NFL prospects, Ian quickly refocused, stating that his goal is mainly "to become a better man." Wearing his new hat with a bright red R, Ian then sat down to sign with Rutgers's University.

Recently, it was announced that Rutgers coach Greg Schiano would be leaving the University to coach professionally for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Thomas, who had been recruited specifically by Schiano, still felt Rutgers was the right choice.

"I wasn't picking Rutgers for the coaches," he said. "It was more for the program, and I like the people in the program, the players in the program. I have great relationships with them all."

Maggie Montanye, Ashley Reid, and Sarah Rybak were also recognized for signing their own letters of intent at an earlier ceremony with close friends and family. Montanye will be attending Winthrop University for lacrosse; Rybak, Mount Saint Mary's for lacrosse; and Reid, Bluefield State College for basketball. Rybak and Montanye, teammates for three years, still have their final season left to play this spring, while Reid is currently in her final season this Winter.

"It was a dream that I could work towards, not just athletically, but academically," said Montanye. "It's a relief to have achieved this, but I also know that there's still a lot of hard work to come."

Athletic director Rich Reed praised the three athletes, stating that such accomplishment, "means a lot to the school and the community and is a testament to all the hard work of the student athletes, the parents, and the coaching staff, and we're very proud of all of them."

After the applause settled and as the students trickled out to continue with their days, a few close teammates and members of the media stayed.

Principal Pat McCusker - new to Franklin this school year and a Franklin alumni himself - sat next to Ashley Reid as she worked ahead on her math homework.

McCusker, still a math teacher, guided her through a series of problems. Looking around the gym, he smiled: "This is what it's all about."