By Drew Terhall
GREENVILLE — Greenville senior Avery Ernst is signing on to the Wilmington College football program to kick for them this upcoming fall. He signed his National Letter of Intent on Mar. 15 to make it official.
Ernst said the campus and the coaching staff made the college seem like the best fit for him.
“I really liked the coaching staff. They were friendly and the campus felt like home to me,” Ernst said.
Ernst handled the kickoff and field goal kicking duties for the Green Wave the last two seasons. He totaled 51 points in his two years as the kicker. He also played soccer for Greenville.
Greenville football head coach Bart Schmitz said Ernst has the qualities a college coach looks for in a student athlete, a great teammate and a hard worker.
Schmitz believes once the coaches at Wilmington start to fine tune Ernst’s mechanics, Ernst will thrive as the team’s kicker sooner rather than later.
“He’s already got a great leg. Once he starts focusing on that, he’s going to have a heck of a career down there kicking for them,” Schmitz said.
Greenville athletic director Aaron Shaffer said he believes Ernst will do a great job on and off the field at Wilmington. He knows Wilmington is looking forward to bringing Ernst on this upcoming season.
“The guys down there, they’ve got a good kicker coming their way. I know their head coach is excited to have him,” Shaffer said.
There could be a chance Ernst sees the field early in his career. The kickers on the roster are seniors this upcoming season. Ernst said the coaches could have him punt for them as well. They also told him he has a shot at winning the starting job.
“Coaches said I have a great opportunity to go in and start as a freshman. So, I’m going to take that opportunity,” Ernst said.
Ernst said he is thankful for his family, friends and mentors for their support during his journey to becoming a college athlete. He also thanked his coaches for giving him the chance to kick for the team and for believing in him.
While at Wilmington, Ernst plans to study to become an athletic trainer.
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]