By BRIAN CUNNIFF
They may not have been on the court, field, pool or golf course, but the hard work put in by a group of local athletes was on shining display today.
Ten athletes from Cape May County signed National Letters of Intent to accept college scholarship money to play their respective sports at the Division I or II level next scholastic year on the first day of the national early-signing period on Wednesday.
Five athletes from Middle Township, three more from Wildwood Catholic and two others from St. Augustine Prep who reside in Cape May County each signed today.
The most prominent signees were the two standout boys basketball players from Wildwood Catholic who led their team to a Cape-Atlantic League championship and a berth in the South Jersey Non-Public B title game last season — Taj Thweatt and Jahlil White.
Thweatt signed with West Virginia of the Big 12 Conference, while White inked with Temple of the American Athletic Conference.
Also signing from Wildwood Catholic was girls basketball standout Gabby Turco, who will play at St. Anselm College, a Division II power in New Hampshire.
Middle Township featured three Division I signees. Lacrosse standouts Kira Sides and Maddie Barber signed with LaSalle and Temple, respectively. Also officially committing to LaSalle was top swimmer Sophia Bosacco.
Inking Division II commitments from Middle Township were golfer P.J. Schulte (Chestnut Hill) and field hockey defender Ava Karimalis (New Haven).
In addition, two Cape May County residents who attend St. Augustine Prep will play Division I sports. Erma resident Brayden Steere inked with Wagner College for lacrosse, while Middle Township resident Kyle Bartleson signed with St. Joseph’s University for soccer.
Also, basketball player Jordan Hall, a Cape May County native who played his freshman season at Middle Township High School and is now at Neumann-Gorettti, signed with Division I St. Joseph’s.