Six Midlo Athletes Sign Letters of Intent

Spring Signing Day, 2019

Photo by: Sophie King
2019 Signing Day: Noah Smith – Hampden-Sydney Football, Zoe Hammond – Mary Washington Field Hockey, Aaron Vardell – VMI Football

Throughout the years, the Midlothian High School athletic program has produced numerous athletes who have moved on to play the sports they love in college. On Wednesday, April 17, 2019, six of Midlothian’s students athletes signed National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and athletic journeys at their prospective schools: Noah Smith, Zoe Hammond, Aaron Vardell, Abbi Leeper, Baylea Botello, and Abby White.

During Midlo Morning in Midlo’s auxiliary gym, Activities Director Mrs. Shea Collins welcomed friends and families to celebrate the athletes’ accomplishments. Then, the coaches shared kind words about the athletes and wished them well in their athletic journeys.

Senior Noah Smith has played football since he was in first grade. Smith’s passion for the game has grown over his time playing the sport, but he knew he wanted to play college football since he was young.  After attending camps and clinics, Smith committed to Hampden-Sydney College to continue his football career.  “[I] enjoyed seeing family, friends, teammates, and everyone who supported me at the signing,” describes Smith.  Click HERE to read more about Noah Smith’s journey.

Zoe Hammond started playing field hockey during her fifth grade year because she “hated soccer, softball, and basketball.” After attending camps and going on visits, Hammond eagerly committed to the University of Mary Washington to fulfill her academic and athletic career.  “It was really exciting to see everyone there supporting me, and I am excited for the next four years,” exclaims Hammond about signing to UMW.  Click HERE to read more about Zoe Hammond. 

Aaron Vardell has been a rock for the Midlothian football program during his years as a Trojan.  Vardell began playing the sport in his freshman year of high school and has never stopped kicking. This drive forced the coaches at Virginia Military Institute to notice Vardell, and he committed to VMI in February of 2019.  “It was good seeing family, coaches, and friends; it got me more excited for the next four years,” says Vardell.  Click HERE to read more about Aaron Vardell.

Senior Abbi Leeper has led the Lady Trojans Volleyball team to multiple state tournament appearances and has proved a valuable leader on the team.  Leeper started played volleyball just six years ago, after switching from gymnastics. Leeper committed to the University of Lynchburg Hornets, where she looks forward to continuing her academic and athletic career. “[I] has happy to see all of my friends there supporting me,” exclaims  Leeper.  Click HERE to find out more about Abbi Leeper.

Baylea Botello started playing volleyball in her freshman year of high school and has dreamed of playing in college since she stepped onto the court. After attending camps, Botello eagerly committed to spend her next four years at Belmont Abbey College in December of 2018.  Botello, the record-holder for most blocks in a season at Midlo, looks forward to becoming a Crusader and growing relationships with each of the players.  “[I] am thankful for everyone who came out and supported, and [I] am excited for what’s going to be accomplished in the next four years,” expresses Botello.  Click HERE to find out more about Baylea Botello.

Senior Abby White has played softball since she was five years old, and her passion for the game has grown ever since.  After deciding she wanted to play college softball when she was 12 years old, White started to attend camps and clinics to hopefully fulfill her dream. During the summer before her junior year, White committed to play softball for the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.  “[I] am really excited for the next four years and feel really accomplished about my softball career so far,” explains White. Click HERE to find out more about Abby White.