Leaving "The Nest"

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A trio of Eagles will compete at next level

By Mike Forster



They'll be playing different sports and they're  all heading in different directions, but they're all flying high.

Three Staunton River athletes announced their intentions to attend college, pursue academic excellence and participate in intercollegiate athletics.

Carol Rice, Lillian Garrecht and Brie Holdren announced those intentions to family and friends at separate celebrations near the end of Staunton River's school year.

Rice will head west, to Ohio, where she'll don the softball uniform of Cedarville University.

Garrecht is heading south, to South Carolina, where she'll participate in track and field for Winthrop University.

Holdren is heading north, just slightly, to hit the hardwoods for Randolph College, in Lynchburg.

Rice was a multi-purpose player for the Eagle softball crew.  An unselfish player, Rice stepped into the role of catcher when the need arose, despite the fact she is a natural infielder.

She hopes to play second base at Cedarville, where she'll go from being a Golden Eagle to a Yellow Jacket.

"I chose [Cedarville] because it is a Christian school and when I went there it felt like home," said Rice.  "It had everything I wanted; everything on my checklist."

Rice plans on majoring in graphic design with a minor in computer science.

Garrecht plans to run both indoor and outdoor track at Winthrop.  Once a Golden Eagle, Garrecht will now be just a plain old Eagle at the Rock Hill school.

At Staunton River, Garrecht was dominant, picking up three medals at last spring's State championship meet.  Her prodigious preps career was capped by being named Bedford County's top scholar-athlete at this year's Rotary Awards ceremony.

Garrecht chose Winthrop after a visit to the school.  "I knew it was the place I wanted to be," she recalled.  "The coach was extremely welcoming and it was beautiful there."

Garrecht, who competed in many events at SRHS, plans to focus on the long jump, triple jump and pole vault in college.  She will also major in exercise science.

Holdren was a standout in volleyball and hoops for River.  She is in the VHSL record book for her volleyball serving proficiency and was a key member of the SR basketball program from the day she stepped on the Eagles' court.

Now, she'll major in sports management while playing hoops for the Wildcats.

"I really liked Randolph from the start," said Holdren.  "Nowhere else interested me.  I was set on Randolph." 

And Randolph should be set on her.  A proven player at the one-through-four slots, Holdren should be an asset to her team and her school.

As should all three ladies.