Hornets celebrate college-bound seniors

ORANGE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- College football had always been a goal for Orange County High School's Kyrie Carter. And that dream helped push the senior through some of his darkest days as a student-athlete.

A knee injury forced Carter to miss his entire junior season with the Hornets. He returned last fall to play tight end and linebacker at Orange, and earn All-Jefferson District honorable mention on defense.

On Wednesday, Carter completed his comeback at a signing ceremony in the school's cafeteria, as he made his commitment to the football program at Alderson Broaddus official.

"The comeback was amazing," Carter said afterward. "I prayed all the time. I went through a real deep, dark depression. I prayed about this moment that whole time. Just the grind, getting back, and getting faster and stronger."

"Ever since I touched a football I wanted to play college football, and make it here."

Carter wasn't alone at the table for Wednesday's commitment ceremony. He was flanked by four classmates also being celebrated for their plans to continue playing sports in college.

Chloe Kinkopf will make the three-and-a-half hour trip to York College in Pennsylvania to continue a softball career that started when she was in second grade.

"I hate having time off, honestly. And I knew if I had the softball team and the support of it, that it would help me a lot with not only sports and my health, but with academics as well," Kinkopf said. "It really helps a lot to have an automatic group of friends."

Three members of the Orange County baseball team were also honored Wednesday morning. Catcher Keenan Williams had been committed to UNC-Pembroke since last summer. He's ready for the challenge that will come with playing baseball at the college level.

"Just the intensity and the passion of all the players, and the ability set that everybody has," Williams explained. "Just the drive, everybody wants to get better every single day."

Tucker Hensley and Canon Davies will both continue their baseball careers closer to home. Davies will play third base and possibly pitch at Mary Washington, while Hensley will be an outfielder and pitcher at Mary Baldwin. Both players settled on their school choices last fall.

"Just a big sigh of relief. Because all this hard work I've put in, I just wanted to do great," Hensley said. "It's just the biggest thing ever. Just great."

"I want to finish out a good season and then this summer I want to play a lot, and just continue to work hard," said Davies. "Just get ready to go to college."

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