The Class of 2018 will be remembered as one that sent a lot of athletic talent onto the next level. Several student athletes in nearly a half-dozen sports have all signed scholarships through this spring and are headed near and far from Polk County. Whether it be up the road a piece in Kentucky, or just a crow’s flight from Rome, this year is one where local youth will get a chance to show off what Polk County is made of.

Cedartown and Rockmart High Schools are both sending off eight each of their scholar athletes onward to play on the college level. Those include seven athletes from both schools combined heading off with offers to play football, one player each from the soccer team, plus scholarships in cheerleading, cross country, basketball and softball.

The furthest drive of all among the group of 16 who signed is for Jay Hinkle, who is going to be playing at Notre Dame College in Ohio, in the suburbs of Cleveland. It’s a 10 hour drive from Rockmart to where Hinkle will play for the Falcons.

“Hinkle said that he felt “it was the best offer” for him to continue playing when interviewed back in February about getting to play on the college level.

Joining him in football scholarships far afield from Polk County is Cedartown’s Trevon Wofford, who is heading off to Pikeville, Kentucky, this fall to play for the University of Pikeville Bears. He signed with the team back in February as well.

“I really like the program they had to offer,” he said of his choice of the Kentucky school. “I’m just glad to have the opportunity to play at the next level.”

Pikeville is more than 6 hours of driving away.

Other signees will be slightly closer to home, with the majority of the group of scholar athletes this year staying in Georgia. Bulldogs’ football standouts Steven Howard, Keshun Kent and Cruz Rodriguez will all be playing in Polk County’s back yard up at Shorter University for the Hawks this fall.

Rockmart football players Ridge Blackwell and Cade Holder are heading off to Rhinehart University and LaGrange College respectively.

Then there are the other sports. Rockmart senior standout Madison Davis just had her signing day last week with Truett McConnell, and will be heading off to play girl’s basketball for the Lady Bears.

Kelsea Elrod will be playing at West Georgia University in softball, and the state champion Lady Jackets also saw Taylor Camp sign with Andrew College.

Rockmart’s cross country runner Allie Sproull is heading off to Emanuel College in the fall to run for the Lions program. Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College also recently got the talents of Emily Gashon for their soccer program.

Dalton State’s soccer program is getting Cedartown’s Yovanka Pineda for women’s soccer. The Bulldogs are also sending Chloe and Lizzie Lee off to cheer for the Gamecocks.

And Jack Haney. Well, he signed with Chipola College in Florida, but might not make it there. The senior is also missing his graduation this week to travel around the Southeast to tryout camps for the Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals and the Minnesota Twins.

All of these athletes are getting chances to play at the next level through hard work and dedication. There will be many more to follow as scouts and offers are already coming in for Cedartown and Rockmart players in a variety of sports.

Only time will tell where they will all end up.