Men’s Golf Inks Four To National Letters Of Intent
PEMBROKE – UNCP men's golf coach David Synan announced his 2012 signing class on Thursday morning as Aaron Abts, Kendall Dunn, Jay Ealley and Bryce Young each inked their names to national letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers in Pembroke.
The class includes a trio of instate products in Dunn (Greensboro, N.C./Vandalia Christian HS), Ealley (Greensboro, N.C./Northern Guilford HS) and Young (New Bern, N.C./New Bern HS), as well as Abts (Danville, Va./Ledford HS) who hails from Virginia. The quartet is expected to push immediately for playing time with the Braves.
"I am very excited about reloading with this freshman class," Synan said. "These four guys are all talented golfers, leaders in their communities and good students. With hard work and a complete dedication to being a strong student-athlete, there is no limit to what they can accomplish in the next four to five seasons. Our coaching staff has worked hard on this class and we are excited about adding them to the UNCP Golf family."
Abts treks to Pembroke on the heels of an outstanding prep career that watched him earn four all-conference laurels, as well as a pair of county player of the year honors. Abts collected his first individual medalist honors as a freshman when he shot rounds of 75 and 70 en route to championship honors at the High Point Junior Championship, and also turned heads with a third-place finish at the 2011 Duke Holiday Classic with rounds of 77 and 77.
A standout in the classroom as well, Abts currently ranks 12th in his senior class at Ledford High School, while also maintaining his spot on the A-Honor Roll. A member of the National Honor Society, he also served as his class marshall as a junior and regularly volunteers his time in the community with the Special Olympics of North Carolina.
"Aaron has the potential to be a very solid student athlete in the true sense of the word," Synan said. "He is an excellent student and has a strong work ethic in everything he does."
Dunn will make the move to UNCP with impressive athletic credentials as well, including a plethora of accomplishments over the past year. A six-year varsity starter at Vandalia Christian High School, he finished in second place at the 2011 AAU National Tournament with a three-round 219, while also participating in both the AAU state (two-round 141) and American Junior Golf Association qualifier (68). He shot a two-round total of 139 in winning the North Carolina state AAU championship, and carded a 73 en route to finishing second at the TYGA One Day tournament at Stoney Creek. He has also participated in the 2011 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links, as well as the 2011 Senior Tour SAS Pro-Am and 2011 Hickory National Championship tournaments.
A well-rounded individual, Dunn is a two-year captain and four-year starter for the Vandalia Christian boys basketball team and also secured first-char percussion with the Vandalia High School band. He also serves as both a participant and volunteer for the First Tee of the Triad organization.
"Kendall is a very well-rounded young man," Synan said. "Along with his high level of golf and strong academics, he is also very active in volunteering in the Greensboro community."
A two-time all-conference and academic all-conference selection at Northern Guilford High School, Ealley will bring a strong golf resume to Pembroke as well. Currently toting a state ranking of 28th in the AJGA with a 76.6 stroke average, he shot a 74 at the 2011 AJGA qualifier and shot a two-round 153 (77-76) at the 2011 NCHSAA state championship. The recipient of the 2011 McConnell Junior Golf Scholarship helped his team win the 2010 state championship with rounds of 79 and 75, while also shooting 74-75 at the High Point Junior Tournament and 72 at the Tarheel Golf Foundation One-Day Event.
Ealley volunteers his time with both the First Tee of the Triad and Guilford County Soup Kitchens, while also working heavily with the Precision Golf School Summer Junior Camps.
"Jay has a very fundamentally-sound golf swing and, with hard work, could possibly develop into a top NCAA Division II player in the future," Synan said.
A three-time all-conference selection, Young's impressive credentials include maintaining a 75.7 stroke average during his final prep season at New Bern High School, as well as a head-turning showing at the Coastal Plains Junior tournament in which he carded a two-round total of 147 (72-75). Young shot an impressive 150 at both the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifier (75-75) and the 2010 TYGA State Championship (76-74), while also carding a 70 at the NCHSAA 4A Mid-East Regionals and a 153 (74-79) at the 2010 Jimmy Anderson Junior tournament.
Young has been lauded with both Coach's Award (2010) and team Most Valuable Player laurels (2011). He has also volunteered for two seasons with summer junior golf camps as well.
"Bryce is very athletic and comes from a successful high school program," Synan said. "He has a very high golf ceiling and I am excited about him joining the team."