Three Sumter County athletes sign college scholarships
Published 12:54 pm Monday, May 8, 2023
AMERICUS – On Monday, May 8, three Sumter County High School athletes realized their dreams when they signed letters of intent to play at the next level. Two football players, Kadarrius King and Brandon Pope, and one female flag football player, Haley Moore, each signed their letters of intent in front of teammates, family and friends inside the Sumter County High School gymnasium.
King, a senior wide receiver on the football team, signed his letter of intent to play at Union College, a small NAIA school in Barberville, KY. King had offers from schools such as Greensboro College, Avila University (MO) and Cornell just to name a few, but when it came time to decide, he decided to take his talents to Kentucky to play for the Union Bulldogs.
“I just liked the vive around there,” King said. “The coach was cool. Some of the players, they reached out to me, texted me and told me how bad they wanted me to come to the school and that they would make sure that I stayed on point in class and all that.” While at Union, King plans to major in Business Management and would like to go play at a Division 1 school after two years and would like to start his own business after he graduates from college.
King’s teammate, wide receiver Brandon Pope, signed a football scholarship to play at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville. During his senior season with the Panthers in 2022, Pope caught 31 passes for 603 yards and scored four touchdowns.
Pope was recruited by Carson-Newman University in Tennessee and another college in Ohio, but decided to take his talents to GMC. “It was close to home and they have the right passing offense,” Pope said. Pope plans to major in Sports Management and would like to go to a technical school after his two years at GMC and he would like to earn a degree in business. After college, Pope plans to start his own business and be an entrepreneur.
According to Sumter County Head Football Coach Will Rogers, both King and Pope have been the foundation of what he hopes will be better years to come, as far as Sumter County football is concerned. “They’ve been huge. They were the first class that we had. They really bought into what we were doing,” Rogers said. “They’ve been a big part of the turn around that we are trying to get rolling around here. They’re huge. They are the foundation.”
The third of the three athletes that signed letters of intent is Haley Moore, who was the quarterback of the Lady Panthers’ Flag Football Team and was also a key contributor on the Sumter County girls’ basketball team as well.
Girls Flag Football is still somewhat relatively knew as far as a high school varsity sport, but it is growing. It is also growing at the college level as well. According to the website www.girlsplayflagfootball.com, there are 15 NAIA colleges in the Midwest and the South that offer women’s flag football. Thomas University in Thomasville, GA is one of those colleges and that is where Haley Moore will be taking her talents, as she is the first flag football signee from Sumter County.
“It was the only school that offered me a flag football scholarship,” Moore said. “I was just going to go to Georgia State, but then, after a basketball game, the coach wanted to talk to me.” Moore went on to say that she went down to visit the school and liked it and wanted to play for the Lady Hawks because, in her words, they play together.
According to the school’s athletics website, www.tuhawks.com, the women’s flag football team went 16-1 this year and won the Sun Conference Tournament championship.
While at TU, Moore plans to major in Creative Technology with an emphasis in film and photography and she would like to own her own business and be an entrepreneur after graduation.
“She’s an outstanding individual,” Sumter County Head Flag Football Coach Sherri Harris said. “Her father has done a very good job with her high school career, and as you know, her mother passed back in December, if I’m not mistaken. Our program rallied around her because there was a lot going on emotionally for somebody that’s about to graduate high school, but I think she’s done a great job as an individual. Her parents did a great job with her early on and she’s just turned out to be a great kid, let alone a hell of an athlete.” Harris went on to say that she told TU Assistant Coach Chris Seay that not only are they getting a great athlete, they are getting a great kid.
Harris also stated that Thomas University was ranked #1 in the nation in women’s flag football about a week ago and they will be playing in the national championship at Mercedes Benz Stadium two weekends from now.