Navy, Army recruits among five Panther Creek athletes to sign
Posted February 5, 2014
Five Panther Creek athletes—including four football players—signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday afternoon.
Linebacker Terrence Laster and defensive tackle J.T. Wise signed letters with the United States Naval Academy. Linebacker Justin Byers signed with the United States Military Academy at West Point. Offensive lineman Gregg Storey signed with Liberty.
Gretchen Dettlinger signed with Pfeiffer University to play soccer.
With Laster and Wise becoming teammates at the next level of their careers, and Byers playing football at Army, there is a chance that three Panther Creek graduates could be on the field during the annual Army vs. Navy football game.
“Playing against one of our good friends in one of the biggest games in all of college football, it’s going to be a fun time,” Laster said.
While Laster is excited to be back on the football field, he said he is equally as excited about the other perks that come with attending a service academy.
“Going to the Naval Academy, you’re not only held to high academic standards and high athletic standards, but you’re also held to the standard of being a person of character,” Laster said. “Giving back to your country after you’ve graduated and after it’s given so much to you—if everybody got the opportunity, they should all jump at it.”
Wise, a 6-foot-3, 246 pound lineman, echoes Laster’s ideas.
“Playing college football and getting a free education, in my mind those are just perks for going to the Academy,” Wise said. “What I’m really going to go there for is to study to be an officer in the Marine Corps, and my ultimate goal is to graduate and become a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.”
Heading to Army, Byers says he has wanted to attend West Point for as long as he can remember.
“I have a brother who was in the military, and that kind of helped spark my interest,” Byers said. “Another person who sparked my interest was Pat Tillman and the whole story behind him.”
Also signing Wednesday, Liberty University will be getting a 6-foot-6, 281 pound offensive lineman in Gregg Storey.
Storey says of all the schools that wanted him, Liberty was the best choice for him.
“I got offered by about five schools and it was my best choice because they have academic support and I will have an opportunity to start my freshman year.”
In 2013, the Panther Creek Catamounts went 9-3 overall and 6-1 in the 4-A Southwest Wake Athletic Conference. The team lost in the first round of the state playoffs to Wake Forest.
Follow Zach Mayo on Twitter at @ZachMayoHSOT