The Gulfport Admirals sent four athletes to the next level Wednesday, including two reigning Sun Herald players of the year.
Baseball standout Blake Johnson signed with Tulane, and Gabe Lacy signed to play baseball with Jones County Junior College.
Soccer player Alexis Arnoult signed with Louisiana-Lafayette, and Leanna Pittman signed to kick it at Pearl River Community College.
Johnson is the reigning Sun Herald Player of the Year after leading the Admirals to the Class 6A championship series.
As a junior last season, Johnson played all over the field for the Admirals but really stood out at catcher and as a right-handed pitcher. He ended up hitting .351 with 30 RBIs, 17 doubles, six homers, .483 on-base percentage and 1.158 OPS. On the mound, he was 9-1 with a 1.28 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 71 1/3 innings.
“It was just like home when I went over there this weekend,” said Johnson, who took an official visit to Tulane last weekend after committing in July.
Lacy was an important part of Gulfport’s talented infield, hitting .300 with 23 RBIs, 13 doubles, five homers, .413 OBP and .946 OPS.
During Wednesday’s signing ceremony at the Bert Jenkins Gymnasium, GHS baseball coach Jamie McMahon said seeing his Admirals sign to further their baseball and academic careers is almost more special than when they win on the diamond because of everything involved.
GHS soccer coach Chris Pryor praised his signees for persevering through injuries and grueling training regimen.
ULL lands the reigning Sun Herald Player of the Year and one of the most prolific goal scorers in the state. Despite being sidelined by a number of injuries, Arnoult still managed to score 38 goals as a junior last season in addition to 23 as a sophomore and 31 as a freshman.
“It just seemed like it was destined from when she was a little one,” Pryor said of Arnoult signing a college scholarship. “I have no doubt when the time comes and she puts on that jersey for the first time she's going to do us proud and continue to put Gulfport on the map.”
Pryor also recalled finding out that Pittman, who’s a team captain and a reliable center midfielder for GHS, was headed to PRCC.
“I could see the joy in her eyes,” he said. “This is a true accomplishment. Being able to play college soccer isn't something that's a given or promised.”