Newsome High School had 12 athletes who signed National Letters of Intent in November.

Twelve student athletes at Newsome High School signed letters of intent to play with Division I or II institutions following their graduation on National Signing Day. Newsome hosted the athletes as they signed their National Letters of Intent, committing to play their sport for a particular college following their high school graduation.

Around 300 people attended the event, as the athletes invited family, friends, teammates and the coaches they grew up with to celebrate with them. The gymnasium was decorated with school colors, cakes and balloons to celebrate each of the 12 athletes.

Sydney Warmbier signed with the University of Alabama for rowing. Warmbier swam for Newsome High School, but her passion was rowing, despite Newsome not having a rowing team. Her dedication to her sport drove her to join Plant High School’s rowing team after school while still a student at Newsome. She became one of the team’s best rowers and now has a future at the University of Alabama as a rower.

Samantha Swanovich signed her letter of intent to play lacrosse at Rutgers University.

“The signing day was such a fun and memorable experience. So many family members, friends, teammates and coaches were there to support me and all of the other student athletes. I was proud to be one of the athletes recognized that day,” said Swanovich. “Each of us were allowed to make a speech in front of a packed gym of supporters to announce our intent to play our sport in college.”

Kaley Kugler committed to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown to play volleyball. In her recruiting profile, Kugler explained it has been her dream to play college volleyball and to follow in her father’s footsteps.

“My parents were a significant part of my start to volleyball, as they pushed me to the best of my abilities. My father played volleyball and I aspire to follow in his footsteps, and maybe even farther than college playing the sport that I love,” she wrote in her NCSA personal statement.

Newsome’s baseball team had four ballplayers sign as well. Evan Dempsey signed with Florida Gulf Coast University after playing for four years as a pitcher and outfielder with the Wolves. Dempsey started with Newsome early, participating in its summer program to train before joining Newsome’s team in his freshman year of high school.

Brian Young, a pitcher, signed with Capital University in Ohio, and infielder and pitcher Reilly Kuhar signed with Thomas University in Georgia, where they both plan to continue their baseball careers. Pitcher and infielder Luke Peterson signed with Coker University in South Carolina as well.

Newsome baseball coach Dick Rohrberg said Peterson knew he wanted to play baseball and Coker, but, instead of waiting for them to come to him, he pursued the offer.

“Luke Peterson kind of came out of nowhere,” admitted Rohrberg as he applauded Peterson for his independence and ambition in pursuing a college baseball career.

Seven softball players signed letters of intent, setting a record for the Newsome team. Samantha Walz, Olivia Feldman, Emma Edwards, Ashley Grieser and Mia Sanchez all signed letters of intent with Florida colleges. Maria Brooks and Ava Wells will continue their softball careers in St. Louis, Missouri and Spartanburg, South Carolina, respectively.

For more information on Newsome High School’s athletics, visit their website at

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Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.