Three Pinecrest Seniors Sign LOIs
Brett Heimrich has his sights on pursuing a degree in biology as a step toward becoming a doctor. Dannie Monroe wants to become a graphic designer. Sports medicine is the calling for Damion Pride.
Wednesday morning in the school auditorium, the three Pinecrest seniors signed national letters of intent to combine playing college football with the pursuit of career goals. Patriot coaches, players and family members looked on as Heimrich, an offensive lineman and long snapper, announced he would be attending Appalachian State.
Monroe, a wide receiver and defensive back, and Pride, the first Patriot to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season since 2000, both committed to Robert Morris University in Chicago.
Head coach Jared Williamson announced the signing of 63 recruits on Wednesday for the first-year football program that will compete against NAIA and NCAA Div. II teams beginning this fall.
The Eagles are getting a player in Pride who has competed with passion in football, where he gained 1,048 yards and scored 13 touchdowns last fall, as well as in track and as a starting guard for the Patriot basketball team this winter. Patriot head football coach Chris Metzger described him as a warrior and a gentleman who is as tough pound for pound as any player he has coached.
Accompanied at the signing ceremony by his mother, Diane Simmons, sister, Dekailah Goodman, and grandmother, Iris Tobler, Pride thanked his offensive line.
“I talked to the coach (Robert Morris) and he said I have an opportunity to start, so I’m excited about that,” Pride said after a basketball game at Scotland County the night before. “I love playing football and I love school, so I’m putting the two things I love together. It’s a real good opportunity.”
The versatile Monroe was the starting quarterback for the Patriot jayvee team as a junior after transferring from Hoke County. His senior highlights included a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown that gave his team the lead against West Johnston and a touchdown catch in the season-ending win over Hoke.
Metzger described Monroe — listed as a defensive back on the Robert Morris press release — as a vocal leader and an exciting player to watch. Monroe’s mother, Devetta Hurst, and sister, Kimyata Hurst, were present for the occasion.
“I thank God for the talent to play football and my coaches for helping me focus on academics,” Monroe said. “My mom is the reason I’m here.”
Heimrich will join former Patriot teammate Tucker Lee at Appalachian State. Classified as a preferred walk-on, the 6-foot-4, 245-pound lineman will have the opportunity to become the Div. I Football Champion-ship Subdivision power’s starting long snapper and earn a scholarship.
The son of John and Jodi Heimrich has been working on the specialty since he was in middle school. He is an admirer of Kansas State’s Corey Adams, who recently completed his career with more than 350 perfect snaps in a row. He has attended Ray Guy kicking camps and Chris Rubio long snapping camps to prepare himself.
“The athletic facilities are outstanding, and I knew right away when I visited Appalachian State that it was the school for me,” Heimrich said.
In his opening remarks, Metzger told the other football players in the auditorium that it was a team effort that helped give the three signers the opportunity. Additional Patriot players are expected to make college commitments in the coming weeks.
In addition to Lee, other former Patriots expected to suit up for college teams next fall include Spencer Bishop (Wake Forest), Josh Scales and Blade Shoop (Fayetteville State), Ryan Murray (Methodist), Ladarius Graham (Greensboro College), Mitch Johnson (Eureka College, Ill.), Sam Cole (Rochester Community and Technical College, Minn.) and Bret Toomer (Citrus College, Calif.).
Contact Charlie Berg-mann at email@example.com. com.
More like this story