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Lady Pats sign for basketball, softball
by Ericka Birdsong
May 16, 2013 08:21 AM | 3084 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Paulding County High School athletes, from left, Tiara Lovejoy and Jenny Vernet, stand in the school media center after signing college scholarships last week.
Paulding County High School athletes, from left, Tiara Lovejoy and Jenny Vernet, stand in the school media center after signing college scholarships last week.
After four years of playing Paulding County High School basketball, seniors Tiara Lovejoy and Jenny Vernet are taking their athletic careers in different directions after signing college scholarships on May 6.

Both players were able to obtain their scholarships through the help of head basketball coach Larrell Lewis though one will be playing a different sport.

Lovejoy signed a scholarship to play softball.

“I think they both made good choices. They’ll get to be in different environments and this gives them the opportunity to get a free education and see different things,” said Lewis.

Lovejoy, an outfielder for the Lady Patriots softball team, signed with NCAA Division I South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, S.C., where she will be led by head coach Tonja Braxton.

“Tiara is very quick and has a good arm and that drew the coach’s attention. She’s book-smart, respectful and has an instinct for success in athletics and academics,” said Lewis.

Lovejoy said she chose this school because she liked the team and her coach, as well as the fact the school is a historically black college.

Though she did not sign a basketball scholarship, Lovejoy said Lewis played a “large role” in her signing process, sending out emails and videos as well as offering encouragement and motivation.

Being a “fun-loving” person, Lovejoy said her most memorable athletic moment at Paulding County was a funny one during her sophomore year playing basketball.

“We were warming up during pre-game and I got hit in the face with a ball,” said Lovejoy, laughing and explaining how she momentarily lost focus.

Vernet, a center on the basketball team, signed with NCAA Division I Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Fla., where she will be led by newly announced head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin.

“Her strengths are her enthusiasm, her work ethic and her willingness to learn. First-year coach McPhee will be able to mold her into the player they need her to be,” said Lewis.

Vernet said she was looking for a family-based school and she found it in Jacksonville. Everyone seemed welcoming and smiled, making her feel very comfortable she said.

Vernet said her most memorable moment playing at Paulding County was the first win of her senior season.

“We were on a losing streak but we put our hearts into it and it was an accomplished feeling,” said Vernet.

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