They say the future is never certain, but for three Pocahontas County High School seniors, their future at college is set in stone, or at least in ink on paper.
Morgan Baldwin and Briar Wilfong both signed to play football at Concord University and West Virginia Wesleyan College, respectively, while Tiler Mortensen-Smith signed to join the color guard of the Alderson Broaddus marching band.
Each of the three students has held their field as a high priority throughout their lives and are looking forward to exploring what college has in store for them.
Baldwin, son of Anita and Travis Workman, of Hillsboro, played football for 13 years and is ready to work toward a career in the field of sports.
“It’s not a sport, it’s a way of life,” he said of football. “I’m going to study sports management – learn the ins and outs – anywhere from coaching to managing a team.”
Concord wasn’t Baldwin’s first choice – he had already paid tuition to attend West Virginia University – but once the Concord coaches contacted him, and he toured the campus, his mind was changed.
“It was a tough decision,” he admitted. “I already had my heart set on going to WVU and this came about.”
While Baldwin knew he was going to change plans, he kept it a secret from his parents until a special package arrived – containing shirts from Concord University.
“They kept asking me what I was doing, and I would tell them I didn’t know, yet,” Baldwin said. “I was waiting to give them the shirts to tell them.”
Baldwin plans to play wide receiver for the Mountain Lions.
Ironically, Baldwin and teammate Wilfong will go from sharing a huddle to competing against each other next year.
Wilfong, son of Tim and Cindy Wilfong, of Marlinton, has a similar history with football – a player since second grade – but his college plans are a little more straight forward.
“I went over there [Wesleyan] for a visit last year – just to tour the campus – and I really liked the campus,” he said. “I was interested in playing football, so I sent an email to the coach, and he sent an email back saying that he had heard my name. That’s when it all kind of started.”
The coach invited Wilfong to Wesleyan’s Prospect Day and offered to sign him as a walk-on.
Wilfong plans to study athletic training and go through the college’s five year master’s program. He will play as quarterback or defensive back for the Bobcats.
“I like the part of [football] where it’s unlike any other sport that we have around here – where you can actually physically hit somebody,” he joked. “That, and it’s a team sport. It takes a whole team to make it work. It’s not like basketball or baseball where you can have one play that can take you the whole way. In football, you have to have everybody. I like that part.”
Band student Mortensen-Smith, son of Dreama Smith, of Frank, plans to join the Alderson Broaddus University marching band color guard – The Battlerettes – next year.
Mortensen-Smith first became interested in the AB color guard last year when members of the band visited PCHS.
“They are trying to start this thing called ‘Battlerette for the Day’ which means you’ll learn one of their marching songs, and you get to perform it on the field with them,” he said. “Ever since then, I’ve been interested in it. I went up there one day for a football game and there was some extra time, so I got to audition for them.”
Sticking with his music roots, Mortensen-Smith plans to study music education and become a teacher.