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Four more Tigers sign with college teams
Emma Pelfrey, Ella Siuta and Ethan Smith sign for their respective college teams. - photo by Rio White

On Wednesday, May 4, four Dawson County student-athletes signed to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level. 

Volleyball player Emma Pelfrey will be sticking close by in neighboring Cherokee County, committing to Reinhardt University. 

Pelfrey was an important part of a squad that won 20 matches and became one of the strongest teams in their region.

She will be looking to help the Eagles build on their 20-12 record last season, which ended with a trip to the semifinals of the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament. 

“We are really proud of Emma and wish her the best of luck,” head coach Tanya Porter said. “Emma has been very thorough in making her [college] decision and I know she has picked a good one. I also know that Reinhardt is getting a good one in Emma.”

From the girls basketball team, Ella Siuta committed to Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee.

She helped the Lady Tigers secure a state playoff spot and had an important leadership role as the only senior on the team. She was also an All-Region honorable mention last season.

Siuta will be joining a Lions team that posted a 32-2 record last season and reached the third round of the NAIA Tournament. 

“I’m very proud that she saw this through and is getting this opportunity to play in college,” head coach Eric Herrick said. “She’s a great player but an even better person and leader. She’s going to go into a college program and make a huge impact.”

From the football team, quarterback Zach Holtzclaw signed with Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee.

Holtzclaw represented Tiger Nation well in his time as quarterback, setting school records for career passing yards and passing touchdowns. In addition to his individual accomplishments, he helped lead the team and hold it to a state playoff standard.

He will be looking to lead the Phoenix to success in the Mid-South Conference of the NAIA.

“I am blessed to be Zach Holtzclaw’s coach,” head coach Sid Maxwell said. “He’ll be the first one to be humble and tell you that his success is based on his teammates…which says a lot about who he is as a person. He’s a great leader who took charge of our football team for three years.”

From the cross country and track and field teams, Ethan Smith signed with Berry College in Rome.

Smith currently holds the school record in the 800-meter race and was the anchor leg in the school record-breaking 4x400-meter relay team. This season, he was also the Region 7-AAA runner-up in the 400 and 800-meter events. 

During the regular season, Smith won 12 individual events across 7 meets.

“He has been the epitome of a teammate and a leader,” head coach Arron Haynes said. “I’m a better coach for having been around him. He will go on to great things in college, but the bigger thing is he will become a better man.”