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Five South Johnston seniors sign to play at next level

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FOUR OAKS — South Johnston had five seniors sign their letter of intent to play sports in college on Thursday. Jacob Thornton signed to play basketball at Pitt Community College. Thornton was a key member of South’s 24-4 team that won the Greater Neuse Conference tournament championship. Aubrey Pollard and Jacob Norris both signed to play baseball at Lenoir Community College. Pollard was the staff ace for South this season, posting a 7-4 record with a 2.22 ERA. And Norris was the starting shortstop. He batted .339 this season and drove in 12 RBIs.

Logan Blackmon signed to play at William Peace University. She missed out on her senior season due to a knee injury, but she was still an important member of the team and helped lead South to the Greater Neuse Conference regular season co-championship. Malaki Benton signed to join the track team at UNC-Wilmington. Benton finished second in the high jump at the NCHSAA 3A State Championships this weekend. He finished fifth in the high jump and third in the long jump at last weekend’s NCHSAA 3A East Regional. South Johnston athletic director Brody Massengill had high praise for all five seniors prior to the signing. “All five of these kids are great examples of what a student-athlete should be,” Massengill said. “They’ve all been an important part of South Johnston athletics, and I’m happy to see that sports have helped them further their education.”