IWA athletes announce college plans

Published 6:11 pm Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Three Isle of Wight Academy athletes announced their college athletic choices on March 4.

Russ Wells, a senior at Isle of Wight Academy, will attend and play basketball at Emory & Henry College in Emory.

Senior soccer player Sean McDermott will play at King University in Bristol, Tenn.

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Senior football player Colby Williams announced he will play at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater.

The Emory & Henry Wasps plan to join the South Atlantic Conference in all of its NCAA-sanctioned sports. If approved for the move from NCAA Division III to Division II, the Wasps would earn provisional status in the fall of 2021 with plans to play a full conference schedule for the 2022-23 season.

The Chargers went 16-11 in Wells’ junior season, a campaign that saw him appear in every game, averaging 14.8 points per contest.

King University is also an NCAA Division II institution and, as such, offers partial athletic scholarships. McDermott’s is a non-scholarship offer. Division III schools offer merit-based aid to student-athletes.

McDermott had his junior soccer season short-circuited by COVID-19, but notched 44 saves and allowed only nine goals on 54 shots in 12 games for the Chargers in 2018-19, a season that saw them win a state championship.

In 2019, Isle of Wight Academy football finished 5-4 on the season with the highlight being a 10-7 overtime win over regional rival Nansemond-Suffolk Academy.

Williams had his senior football season canceled but was a first team All-Metro Conference selection as a running back in his junior season, when he also played linebacker.

The addition of Emory & Henry will increase the number of SAC members to 14 institutions, including Catawba, Lenoir-Rhyne, Carson-Newman and U.Va.-Wise.

Founded in 1836, Emory & Henry is the oldest college in Southwest Virginia. The central campus is listed on the National Register of Historical Places and the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register.

Founded in 1867, King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated Christian academic community dedicated to the integration of rigorous academic programming and the exploration of faith, according to the school’s website.

Bridgewater was founded in 1880 as the Spring Creek Normal School and Collegiate Institute. Its first incoming class was six students, including one woman, making it the first private liberal arts college in Virginia to admit women.