Day one of the early signing period came to Southwest Georgia

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Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 11:11 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Wednesday was day one of the early signing period and it did not disappoint, from hoops to golf to equestrian, a little bit of everything.

It was a special day for many of our southwest Georgia athletes as they put pen to paper to take their talents to the collegiate ranks.

Tiftarea Academy

In Chula, this day is years in the making for one Tiftarea Academy pitcher. Hayden Murphy had his sights set on Auburn University since his middle school years.

The senior officially inking the dotted line today to join the Tigers in the fall. The 2021 Co-Region Player of the Year couldn’t say enough about Auburn’s head coach Butch Thompson and his soon-to-be team.

Murphy has dominated on the mound in three seasons, pitching 216 strikeouts in 145 innings with a 21-3 record. Now, he looks to bring this success to the SEC.

”It means the world. Honestly now the work begins, because I’ve worked to get to this point but there’s so much more you have to do. It gets hard now, honestly. Just going to Auburn and enjoying it there and winning a couple of national championships, that’s the main thing we have on the mind and just growing as a person,” said Murphy.

Before he leaves, Murphy and the Panthers look to return the state title to Chula for the first time since 2014.

Terrell Academy

Over at Terrell Academy, the Eagles celebrated one of their own heading to the division one level. Jay Murdock is taking his talents on the diamond to the SEC and to Starkville to join the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

For Murdock, this day has been one he has been waiting on for quite some time. He’s excited to be heading to the next level, and the goal of course is to put his hometown on the map.

”I like to call it my town, it’s a small little town but I love it here and I think if anyone came they would love it here too I mean, they’ll know where Dawson is whenever I’m done. I’ve thought about it a lot, looking up the SEC history and all, I’ve grown up watching SEC baseball, SEC football, I mean and they’re just the best and I mean I couldn’t, I have big shoes to fill going to State and I really hope I get to start as a freshman and continue my way up,” said Murdock.

And this spring Murdock will look to assist the Eagles in building off their final four-run from a year ago.

Brookwood Schools

The Warriors celebrated the signings of three athletes.

Ella Grace Squires will play basketball at Covenant College. Jay Sanders will golf for Berry College. While Katherine Cook is headed right down 319 to play golf for Florida State.

Cook said, “It’s awesome and I’ll still have a big support group up here in Thomasville and I’m close to home so I’m really excited now that I’m a Nole. They have some great coaches down there, great facilities and that’s really hard to find nowadays. Throughout the journey, I was just looking for that and that’s what’s so special about being down at Florida State and I look forward to it.”


Whit Wetherington inked his official commitment to Troy University to play baseball for the Trojans.

A decision that’ll keep him relatively close to home for family and friends to watch the next chapter of his career takeoff.

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