By Doug Gorman
Thursday, April 17 will go down as a histortic day for the Eagle's Landing Christian Academy athletic program.
At 11 a.m. in the school's media center, five athletes, including Jake Davies (baseball-Georgia Tech), Caroline Rutledge (soccer-Georgia Southern), Daniel Black (track and field-Georgia) Travis Rogers (track and field-Gardner Webb) and Cole Bostwick (football-Jacksonville State ) all signed with Division I schools.
Athletic Director Scott Queen says this shows how successful Eagle's Landing Christian has be come in athletics.
"It's awesome for our school," he said. "Next year, we hope to have two of these tables, instead of just one."
For Davies, it's a culmination of lots of hard work.
"I felt the most comfortable at Georgia Tech," Davies said. "I had a few good offers, but I Iike the coaches and the team, and their good program helped. They are doing really well this year, and hopefully, I can bring something to the program.
ELCA coach Doug Campbell is glad to have Davies as part of the team as the squad tries to win its second state title in three years.
"He knows every bit of the game," Campbell said. "You know he is going to show up to play."
Black would like nothing more than to close out his high school career with state titles in the 200 and 400-meters, but he feels good about his decision to sign with the Bulldogs.
"It was a tough decision," he said. "It came down to Georgia and Liberty, and I liked both schools, but I grew up in North Georgia, and felt right at home there. Liberty has a beautiful campus too, but I feel I made the right decision."
Rutledge has plenty of experience playing soccer at the club level. She helped start the girls team at ELCA and the Lady Chargers have turned into a soccer power in just two years.
"It was new, so we didn't really know what to expect," she said of playing high school college. "Now, we are really excited, so hopefully, we can go a long way at state."
Co-coaches Lori Shultis and Pam Tate are glad to see Rutledge's work pay off.
"She has had a long career and played select ball," Shultis said. "She's a great player and a great leader."
Both ELCA soccer coaches are convinced others will benefit from seeing Rutledge move on to the next level.
"We have a sophomore who is already getting looks from colleges." Tate said. "There are sevel others who should sign scholarships too."
Travis Rodgers is set to throw the shot put at Gardner-Webb.
Rogers found out about Gardner-Webb by doing a little on-line research.
"I knew I wanted to compete in the shot put in college, and I just applied to different schools,and they were one of the schools that called me back. I felt really comfortable about the school."
Queen is glad his two senior track participants are headed to the sport on the Division I Ievel.
"I have taught Daniel since he was in elementary school, and I always knew he was going to be special," said Queen who also coaches track. "I knew we could get Travis somewhere, but it's great to see him going to Gardner-Webb. He has always competed well, and he is going to be successful there."
Cole Bostwick is headed to Jacksonville State where he will play center for the Gamecocks.
Bostwick was part of the transition when the Chargers moved from GISA to GHSA. He has also played for three different coaches.
Still, he enjoyed the experience, especially the night ELCA defeated state-ranked Breman on the road.
"It's been incredible," he said. "There have been a lot of changes, but it's been fun."