Pope Prep seniors accept athletic scholarship offers

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Pope John Paul II Preparatory School in Hendersonville recently hosted a signing ceremony for eight seniors who will participate in college athletics. The seniors are:


• Scout Chaffin who has signed to play women’s lacrosse at Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina.

Last season, Chaffin led the team with 33 draw controls and scored 31 goals.

“Scout has had a crucial role on this team on and off the field,” said Pope Prep Lacrosse Coach Grace Lascara. “She deserves to go onto the next level, and I have no doubt that she will succeed at Barton College.”

Chaffin is the daughter of Jason and Katherine Chaffin.

The Barton Bulldogs compete in the NCAA Division II as a member of the Conference Carolinas.

• Emerson Clausen has signed to participate in track and field at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky.


Clausen started competing as a thrower for the Pope Prep track and field team in the spring of 2022. During the season, he improved the distance on his discus throw by 37 feet. He also competes in the shot put.

“Georgetown College in Kentucky is getting an athlete and a teammate that will show up ready to grow and improve every single day and is not afraid of the hard work to achieve his goals,” said Pope Prep Track and Field Coach Kim Childress.

Clausen is a graduate of St. Joseph School in Madison and is the son of Matthew and Evelyn Clausen.

The Georgetown Tigers compete in the NAIA as a member of the Mid-South Conference.

• Colin Cook has signed to play football for Columbia University in New York City.


Cook, a wide receiver, led the Knights in receptions for three straight seasons and for his high school career had 191 catches for 2,939 receiving yards and 39 touchdowns. He was twice named an All-Region player, and after his junior season, Cook was named to the Tennessee Football Coaches Association All-State team. Cook was recently named a National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete.

“Colin is another great example of a student athlete taking advantage of his time at Pope by pursuing excellence in both the academic and athletic arenas. So much so that he has given himself the opportunity to play collegiate football while at the same time obtaining an Ivy League education,” said Pope Prep Football Coach Brian Sneed.

Cook is the son of Gary Cook.

The Columbia Lions compete in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Series as a member of the Ivy League.


• Gavin Sellers has signed to compete in cross country and track for Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

Sellers is a four-year member of both the track and field and cross country teams at Pope Prep. In track he ran a variety of events from middle- to long-distance. He was also part of a school record setting relay team that qualified for the state meet. In cross country, Sellers qualified to compete in three state meets.

“During his time at Pope, Gavin has put in countless hours of running. He exemplifies the mindset of the miles of trials and the trials of miles,” said Pope Prep Cross Country Coach Caleb Childers. “This led him to being one of the 10 fastest runners to come through our cross country program.”

Sellers is the son of Chad and Bridie Sellers.

The Lewis and Clark Pioneers compete in NCAA Division III as a member of Northwest Conference.


• Ellie Shaver has signed to play women’s lacrosse at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, in Huntsville, Alabama.

“Ellie managed to pick up 51 ground balls last season and ended with 20 caused

turnovers,” Pope Prep Lacrosse Coach Grace Lascara said. “For those that don’t know lacrosse well, that’s a pretty great achievement.”

Shaver is a graduate of St. Joseph School in Madison and is the daughter of Lane and Kim Shaver.

The University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers compete in NCAA Division II as a member of the Gulf South Conference.


• Kathleen Smart has signed to play volleyball at the State University of New York at Cobleskill, in Cobleskill, New York.

Smart stepped in as a starter for the Pope Prep volleyball team as a sophomore and helped propel the team to its most successful season ever. She served as team captain her junior and senior seasons, playing multiple positions.

Smart has also been a member of the Pope Prep softball team.

“Always leading by example, Kathleen gave maximum effort regardless of the circumstances,” said Pope Prep Volleyball Coach Kim Shaver. “Her new coaches and teammates will love her team-first attitude, her work ethic, and the steady, calming nature she has in all situations.”

Smart is a graduate of Holy Rosary Academy and the daughter of Steven and Michelle Smart.

The SUNY Cobleskill Fighting Tigers compete in NCAA Division III as a member of the North Atlantic Conference.


• Annslee Ware has signed to play women’s lacrosse at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

While playing for Pope Prep, Ware has played both as an attacker and a defender. “Annslee is a leader by example,” said her coach Emily Clavin. “She supports her teammates with positivity and kindness, and she teaches teammates both by word and action.”

Ware is the daughter of Mark and Laura Ware.

The Kalamazoo Hornets compete in NCAA Division III as a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.


• Ansley Ware has signed to play football for the University of Tennessee-Martin in Martin, Tennessee.

A three-year starter at linebacker, Ware finished his Pope Prep career with 254 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, and two defensive touchdowns. He also played offense as a hybrid tight end and running back. Ware led the team in tackles for three consecutive seasons and was selected a captain by his teammates.

Ware was twice named All-County and All-Region, and after his senior season was selected for the Tennessee Football Coaches Association’s All-State team. 

“We will miss the way Ansley prepared during the week and played on Friday nights, but even more importantly, we will miss the way he built meaningful relationships with his teammates,” said Coach Brian Sneed.

Ware is the son of Angela and Vester Ware.

The UT-Martin Skyhawks compete in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision as a member of the Ohio Valley Conference.

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