4/23/14 EA student-athletes sign to play collegiate ball

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Five more Eastern Alamance High School student-athletes sign letters of intent last Wednesday, April 16, to study and play collegiate sports at the schools of their choice. Pictured are (seated, l-r) Keidra Smith and Bobby Webber; and (standing, l-r) Zach Dernbach, Eric Fenton, and Edgar Rivas.

Karen Carter / Mebane Enterprise

Five more Eastern Alamance High School student-athletes sign letters of intent last Wednesday, April 16, to study and play collegiate sports at the schools of their choice. Pictured are (seated, l-r) Keidra Smith and Bobby Webber; and (standing, l-r) Zach Dernbach, Eric Fenton, and Edgar Rivas.

EA student-athletes sign to play collegiate ball
By Karen Carter, Enterprise Editor The Times-News 4/23/14  
Reprinted with permission.

Five student-athletes signed letters of intent and were recognized last Wednesday, April 16, at Eastern Alamance High School for their collegiate commitments.

Headed to the schools of their choice next fall are Keidra Smith, basketball, Limestone; Zach Dernbach, football, Guilford College; Eric Fenton, football, North Carolina Central; Edgar Rivas, soccer, Emory & Henry College; and Bobby Webber, soccer, Emory & Henry College.Edgar Rivas: Pre-pharmacy and soccer draw Rivas to Emory & Henry College, located at Emory, Va., in the southwest part of the state.

“Emory & Henry will give me the chance to play collegiate soccer and let me study at a highly accredited top school in the country, to change your life,” Rivas told the Enterprise.

“The school has some of the top professors. I looked at other schools, but they didn’t have the major I wanted: pre-pharmacy.”

Rivas said studying pre-pharmacy involves a lot of math and chemistry, something he is “good at,” having excelled in those courses with honors while studying at Eastern.

“I went to Elon University last semester to take Calculus II,” he said. “I earned an “A” the entire semester until the final kicked by butt, an 88.”

A “perfect fit” for Rivas, he said the college offers a “welcoming” environment, “a second home away from home.”

He said he would be able to pursue his “giant love” of playing soccer and could not have done it without the support of his teammates, Eastern, and his parents, Zoila and Euesvio Rivas.

Rivas was a starter on the Eagle varsity team for the past three seasons, playing left his sophomore year and center back his junior and senior years.

“I started playing soccer late when I was about nine years old,” said Rivas. “I love the atmosphere, the fans and my teammates cheering me on.”

At Eastern, Rivas belonged to many clubs, ran track and enjoyed swimming, but soccer, he said, is like “instant happiness.”

“You can have the worse day ever, play the game and be the happiest person in the world, peaceful and happy.”

Rivas credited Eastern for mentoring him. “I blossomed at Eastern. Everyone supported me. When I did something right, they complimented me.”

As a senior, Rivas is passing on his knowledge to his teammates. When they ask him what they can do to play collegiate sports, he said, “Just learn. Stay motivated. Keep up the good work, and you’ll be in front of a college coach one day.”

Keidra Smith:
Keidra Smith heads to Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C. to study and play collegiate basketball next year.

Eastern Alamance High School head coach of the varsity girls basketball team Tim Krotish said at the signing last Wednesday, April 16,

“Keidra (Smith) is one of the best defensive players I’ve ever coached.”

Krotish said he noticed that when Smith played Mebane Recreation and Parks basketball, she could “shut down the boys.”

Krotish has been keeping stats for the past 20 years since he’s been coaching at Eastern and told the audience at the signing about Smith’s accomplishments in the history of EA basketball.

She ranks eighth in scoring, 842 points; fourth in assists, 259 points; 12th in rebounds, 368; 21st in steals, 105; 15th in blocks, 26; and fourth in 3-pointers, 67.

This year Smith made All-Conference, All-Region, and All-District.

At the signing, Smith thanked her family and coach Krotish “for keeping me going at it.” She said she has played ball since she was four years old and loved playing and being at Eastern.

Limestone was one of the Elite 8 this year in Division 2, said Krotish.

“They’re getting a steal here,” he said, about Smith.

Zach Dernbach:
Zach Dernbach heads to Guilford College to play football.

At the signing last Wednesday, April 16, Dernbach’s teacher and coach Patrick Stokes said the Guilford College signee has excelled at Eastern on and off the field. He has earned honors in the classroom in U.S. History and exemplified a strong work ethic in the classroom and on the football field.

“He leaves a blueprint,” said Stokes. “He’s been a full-time student, has worked almost full-time, played football and track and taken care of his little

At the signing, Dernbach thanked everyone, his family, and especially his mentor, his teacher and coach Patrick Stokes.

“Eastern football is like nothing else,” said Dernbach.

“The fans fill the stands every Friday night. I came into Eastern not having really played much football. I loved it. At Guilford, I’ll be back next year to see it.”

Eric Fenton:
Eric Fenton heads to North Carolina Central to play football, accepting a full academic scholarship. He wants to study nursing and hopes to someday specialize in trauma or orthopedics.

Eastern’s special teams coach in football, Zane Hendrix, said at the signing last Wednesday, April 16, “I’ve never coached a young man quite like Eric.”Hendrix said high school football kickers seldom get noticed unless they “mess up.”

Since Fenton didn’t mess up in his high school career, he wasn’t that noticed.

“I knew the potential was there when Eric (Fenton) came in as a freshman,” said Hendrix.

Fenton and his parents thanked head coach John Kirby and his coaches for being “great coaches” and for believing in Eric.

Fenton said he would always be proud to be a part of the Eagle football team.

While serving as the football team’s punter/kicker, Fenton also was the soccer team’s goalkeeper during the fall for all four years at Eastern. He earned All-Conference and/or All-Region as well as Academic All-Conference honors in both sports.

Bobby Webber.
Bobby Webber heads to Emory & Henry, located at Emory, Va. in the southwest part of the state.

At the signing last Wednesday, April 16, Webber was praised for his ability to prove himself as a leader on the soccer team at Eastern.

Bobby is the son of Bob and Andi Webber.

His father said, “You’ve benefited from our coaching. You’ve proven to be a leader off and on the soccer field.”

At Emory & Henry, Webber will be majoring in engineering.

He chose Emory & Henry after he fell in love with the campus, said Bobby’s mom Andi. “The campus is nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains. Bobby wants to play soccer and he likes the intimacy of the campus. He can get a good education with a small class size, one-on-one attention with his professors.”

Bobby Webber is an Eagle Scout.
(Russell David Lynch contributed to the reporting of this story.)