Science Hill senior basketball player Enjelica Reid made much more than memories when the Lady Hilltoppers played well against several national powers in a tournament in Naples, Fla., this season. Reid also made herself money for college.
The 5-foot-9 Reid signed Monday to play at Florida Southern, an NCAA Division II school in Lakeland, Fla. One of five 1,000-point scorers who helped Science Hill to a top-10 national ranking and back-to-back state runner-up finishes, Reid turned down an offer from Austin Peay.
“They have a really nice campus and everything was nice,” Reid said. “But as far as my career and other experiences and future opportunities, I feel like the Florida school would be a better fit for me.”
Reid said both schools expected her to move from forward to the wing.
“My (perimeter) shot is better to where I feel comfortable pulling up or anything like that,” Reid said. “It’s something I’m gonna have to keep developing, of course, but I think it’ll be something I can lean on at the next level.”
Reid, whose father Winfred was a 1,000-point scorer at East Tennessee State, was a difficult matchup as an undersized power forward in high school.
“She was a difficult player for teams to deal with because of her combination of size and quickness,” former Science Hill coach Darrell Barnwell said. “And defensively, she was an asset for us because she could guard any position. Enjelica was really a tremendous asset to us because of the things she could do on both ends of the floor.”
Reid liked Florida Southern’s business program. She said her twin sister, Emanda, will give up basketball to study biomedical engineering at Tennessee.
Enjelica and Middle Tennessee signee Shy Copney began starting for Science Hill during their freshmen season, a prelude to the most successful three-year run in Lady Hilltoppers’ history.
“I have great memories with the girls on my team, great memories that I’ll keep with me,” Reid said. “And I know I’ll be able to keep supporting them from long distance. I’ll always have that bond with my teammates. … We’ll have a connection forever.”
Will Craig is on a short-list of all-time great Science Hill hitters. One college coach described Craig as the best hitter in the state this season, and two opposing high school coaches made similar statements.
“Golly, Craig is just a monster,” Sevier County coach Casey Taylor said after watching Craig lace two quality offspeed pitches to left field for a single and a double against ETSU signee Dillon Cate in the regional tournament. “Some of the pitches he hit were actually, in fact, good pitches. I mean he’s just an outstanding player. I’d like to find out whether or not he’s gonna be a hitter or pitcher at Wake Forest. I mean, geez, I don’t see any reason why he can’t do both.
“He’s one of the best hitters we’ve seen. We saw a really good left-handed hitter from Oak Ridge. But as far as right-handed power guys, I can’t think of one better than him that we’ve seen this year.”
Craig batted .560 (56-for-100) with 32 walks and 14 strikeouts. He had nine home runs, 15 doubles and three triples, which helped produce his 1.040 slugging percentage.
Former Science Hill baseball player Ken Campbell is taking Walters State’s baseball team to the NJCAA World Series for the sixth time. The Senators open play in Grand Junction, Colo., on Saturday.
Walters State contributors include Unaka graduate Josh Peterson, Dobyns-Bennett’s Elijah Sutherland and Reid Matthews and Tennessee High’s Chase Cunningham.
Peterson is 7-3 with 4.79 ERA, and has started 13 of the 14 games he’s pitched. Cunningham (2-1, 4.88) has pitched in 15 games, including three starts, and has 37 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings.
Sutherland is hitting .384 and leads the team in runs (52), doubles (23) and triples (three). Matthews is hitting .317 and is second among Senators in home runs (eight) and RBIs (51).
Science Hill graduate/Tennessee signee Will Carter (elbow) is redshirting this season with the Senators, and Science Hill’s Reed Hayes and Kyle Wilson have signed to play for Campbell beginning next season.
Former Science Hill girls basketball coach Darrell Barnwell is moving back to Williamson County. He will teach at Brentwood Middle School. He said he didn’t have to hesitate in declining an offer when told the sixth-grade girls’ basketball job was available.
Science Hill had a state semifinal appearance and the programs’ first two state runners-up finishes during Barnwell’s final three seasons, but his father’s death and some health concerns helped fuel a case of burnout that he says should keep him out of coaching for at least several years.