Area athletes sign their National Letters of Intent

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MERIDIAN, Miss. 10 high school student athletes from Newton County Academy, West Lauderdale and Lamar signed their National Letters of Intent (NLIs) to continue competing in their sport at the next level

Newton County Academy:
Kemp Alderman and Hayden West of Newton County Academy signed their NLIs to continue playing baseball at the next level. Alderman signed to play with Ole Miss while West signed to play with East Central Community College.

Alderman, who plays football, basketball and baseball for the Generals, has been committed to play baseball at Ole Miss since 2017. He primarily is a pitcher and catcher but also plays third base, first base, short stop and in the outfield.

Last season, Alderman hit .569 with 41 RBIs, eight doubles, 12 home runs and 84 strikeouts for the generals. He also received numerous postseason awards including MAIS District III 2A All District, MAIS District 3 2A MVP and NCA Offensive MVP.

West, who is a pitcher and first baseman, finished last season with a .578 batting average, 41 RBIs, 12 home runs and 50 strikeouts. He was named MAIS District III 2A All District.

West Lauderdale:
Seven athletes signed their NLIs this morning at West Lauderdale High School.

Lucy Green, Kathryn Knuth and Mia Aviles all signed to continue playing soccer. Green will play at Ole Miss, Knuth will play at William Carey and Aviles will play at Hinds Community College. Green plays outside back for the Lady Knights while Knuth and Aviles both play center back.

Lexie Smith was representing West Lauderdale softball signing to continue playing at the University of Southern Miss. The senior plays catcher for the Lady Knights and is ranked 18th in the state according to Max Preps.

A trio of baseball players in Braden Luke (third baseman), Brett Mason (outfielder/pitcher) and Cole Boswell (pitcher) will continue on with their baseball careers together playing at MCC. Head baseball coach Jason Smith said he is excited all three boys will be close to home.

Eli Mitchell signed his NLI this afternoon to continue playing golf at the University of South Alabama. Mitchell was an individual golf state champion for MAIS 4A Division II in 2016 and 2018. He was also a 2018 recipient of the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Award.

"When I went there it just felt like home," Mitchell said. " I liked the coach, everything there is new and it's booming...Mobile's a great town. It's all very exciting and shows that all the hard work has paid off."