LYNN HAVEN — Childhood dreams became reality at Mosley High School on Thursday.
Five Dolphin athletes signed letters of intent to continue their careers on the collegiate level. Three, Michael Duderstadt, Logan Quimuyog and Selena Estrada, solidified futures at Division I schools. Lauren Corbin and Alexis Ware will continue on at Division II programs.
Duderstadt was the most decorated of the group, having just won two individual titles and one relay championship at the Class 2A swimming meet last week. He also continued his remarkable improvement, shaving 26 seconds off his breaststroke time in earning automatic All-American consideration at the state meet. He chose Auburn over Alabama, LSU, Tennessee and Florida State.
He found few equals on the high-school level, posting times that placed him well ahead of his teammates, other competitors from Bay County and beyond the borders of neighboring states. He said being pushed more will help him improve.
“There will be better competition, as far as teammates and other teams go,” Duderstadt said.
He has sights on more than collegiate championships and said Auburn gives him the opportunity to challenge for Olympic berths.
“They have one of the best programs in the country,” Duderstadt said. “They’ve produced Olympians every year and as far as those goals go, they share them as a team. We’ll see what the future holds, but with more hard work and dedication you make it to another level.”
Duderstadt’s high-school career is over, save a Panama City Swim team event here and there, but Quimuyog and Estrada have one more full season before taking the next step in their journeys.
Quimuyog signed with James Madison, an up-and-coming program located in Harrisonburg, Va., that advanced to the championship game of the Chapel Hill, N.C., Regional in 2011. He said he chose the Colonial Athletic Association-based school because of the commitment to compete on a high level and academics, as he will major in sports management.
Quimuyog’s baseball career started as a batboy for the 2002 Mosley state championship team. He had big dreams, but at the time couldn’t fathom what was ahead.
“You always have that dream, but you don’t know if it will actually happen,” Quimuyog said. “Without my teammates, my family, the school I don’t think it would have happened.”
Quimuyog expects to be used as a first baseman/outfielder for the Dukes, who slumped to 16-35 in a rebuilding year in 2012. Quimuyog said he will look to enhance his skills in his final year for the Dolphins. The same is true for James Madison, he said, which hopes for a quick turnaround.
“We want to go to Omaha,’ Neb., the site of the College World Series. “And we want to win it.”
Estrada and her future Southern Mississippi teammates hold the same goals. She also echoed Quimuyog’s sentiment in that she believed she could get here, but it took much work to do so.
“I always hoped it would happen,” Estrada said. “I knew with hard work that it would come and it’s exciting.”
Estrada, who is eight hits away from 100 for her career, will play middle infield with Southern Mississippi. She plays there as well as produces in the pitcher’s circle for the Dolphins. She said her drive to be better isn’t complete, though she did admit having the decision behind her would ease the pressure.
“It’s good to finish off the process, but I have to keep working hard,” Estrada said. “My next goal is to play as a freshman.”
Corbin, Ware sign on: Corbin signed to play volleyball at Columbus (Ga.) State, while Alexis Ware will be headed to the University of South Carolina-Aiken to continue a stellar basketball career.
Corbin is Mosley’s career leader with 1,015 digs and she set a single-season mark with 542 as a senior. She helped Mosley to three straight regional tournament appearances as a libero/defensive specialist on the varsity team and will represent the Dolphins in the FACA All-Star Game in December. She was lauded for her leadership and toughness, as evidenced by her playing through shoulder and knee injuries over the last month of the season.
Ware is a scoring machine for the Dolphins, having already put in 918 points in three varsity seasons. She also is potent from long range with 108 3-pointers, which is 16 shy of the school record. She also has 300 career rebounds and has placed herself among the area’s top players.
Columbus State and USC-Aiken play in the Peach Belt Conference.