Pope Prep seniors sign to play sports in college

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Eight seniors at Pope John Paul II Preparatory School in Hendersonville recently committed to become student athletes in college.

They are:

• Fred Bailey has signed to play basketball at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville.

Bailey helped lead the Pope Prep basketball team to its highest region finish in school history and a state tournament appearance as a sophomore. 

He recorded the school’s first triple-double, as well as another 36-point triple-double as a junior. Bailey holds the school’s single game (41) and single-season scoring record. This winter, Bailey is expected to become the third member of the 1,000 point club at Pope. He has been honored as a member of the All-Region, All-Mid State, All-State, and All-Sumner County teams. 

Bailey is the son of Fred and Regan Bailey. He attended Brick Church Middle School before attending Pope Prep.

The Trevecca Nazarene Trojans compete in NCAA Division II as a member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.

• Katie Shea Collins has committed to play soccer at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.

Collins, a forward, started for the varsity team all four years at Pope and has captained the team for the past two seasons. She has led the team all four years in goals and chances created. 

Collins was named All-County four times, Sumner County MVP, All-Region four times, back-to-back DII-AA Middle Region MVP, All-State two times, and two-time All-American. 

She set the record for most goals in a regular season (30) her junior year and then surpassed that record her senior season (scoring 44 in only 15 games). She holds the record for most goals scored by a Pope soccer player in a career with 106 goals and is second all-time in assists with 31 assists. 

All of these records were broken in only 47 games due to some injuries sustained in her freshman and sophomore seasons. 

Recently Collins represented her country, playing for the United States National Women’s Soccer team Under 19 group at the Pan-Am Games in Chile, where she helped her team earn the bronze medal playing against other countries senior level teams.

Collins has also excelled academically. She currently carries a 4.2 GPA taking Honors and AP courses. She is a member of the National Honor Society, a Tate Scholar, and has been involved in house council. 

Collins is the daughter of Kevin and Nina Collins.  She attended St. Joseph School in Madison before coming to Pope Prep and is a parishioner at Our Lady of the Lake Church in Hendersonville.  

The nationally-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks compete in NCAA Division I as a member of the Southeastern Conference.

• Finn Donnelly has signed to be on the bowling team at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina.

Donnelly has been a four-year starter for the Pope Prep bowling team. This season, he holds a 224 average, the highest men’s average in the region. His play and leadership is expected to help the Pope Prep team reach the state tournament for the fourth straight year. 

“Belmont Abbey is getting a very good team player,” said Head Bowling Coach Tracey Lamberth.  “Congratulations to Finn, and we wish him the best of luck going forward.” 

Donnelly attended St. Joseph School in Madison before coming to Pope Prep and is a parishioner at St. Joseph Church.  He is the son of Steve and Tricia Donnelly.

The Belmont Abbey Crusaders compete in NCAA Division II as a member of Conference Carolinas.

• Alice Flippo has signed to play soccer at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, Tennessee.

Flippo is a four-year varsity starter in goal for Pope Prep and was a team captain her senior season. She has led the team three out of her four years in saves and shutouts. The only year she didn’t achieve that was her sophomore season where she had to  play on the field due to a broken thumb. 

Flippo has been named All-County several times. She capped off her career at Pope with a stellar senior season that included eight shutouts in 16 games with an average of 3.6 saves/game and allowing on average one goal per game. 

Flippo is the daughter of Nancy Blankinship and David Flippo.  She attended Ellis Middle School before coming to Pope Prep and is a member of GodWhy Church. 

The Columbia State Chargers compete as a member of both the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association and the National Junior College Athletic Association.

• Bethany Howard has signed to play basketball at Warner University in Lake Wales, Florida.

In three seasons with the Lady Knights, Howard has been recognized for her accomplishments on the court being named to the All-Region and All-Sumner County teams and earning MVP of the Sumner County All-Star game this past spring. She is on the pre-season Player-to-Watch list for this upcoming season. 

In three years, Howard has totaled 713 points, 351 rebounds, 168 steals, and 39 blocks. “Bethany is easily one of the fastest, most athletic players to wear a jersey here at Pope”, said Coach Kim DeMarigny. 

Howard is the daughter of Vernon and Karol Howard. She attended Knox Doss Middle School prior to coming to Pope Prep. She is a member of the Cornerstone Nashville Church community.

The Warner University Royals compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics as a member of the Sun Conference.

• Ava Skaggs has signed to compete in track and field for Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville.

Skaggs has been a member of the track team since her freshman year, and has excelled in the 400-meter dash, generally considered one of the most difficult races. 

Skaggs finished 11th overall in the competitive region meet this past spring. She is ranked 120th in the state of Tennessee and 7,710th nationally in the 400-meter dash. She also is a member of the 4×400 meter relay team, which currently holds the school record. Ava, along with teammates Isabella Calisi, Sarah Kopf, and Alexis Simino, broke the school record by seven seconds this past spring. 

Skaggs attended Merrol Hyde Magnet School before coming to Pope Prep.  She is the daughter of Jerry and Melissa Skaggs.

The Trevecca Nazarene Trojans compete in NCAA Division II as a member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.

• Morgan Thompson has signed to play women’s lacrosse at Presbyterian College in Cinton, South Carolina. 

During her years as a goalie for the Pope Prep women’s lacrosse team, Thompson has more than 440 saves, breaking the school record for saves as a junior last season. She has recorded multiple 20-save games in her career, compiled 105 ground balls, and caused 81 turnovers. She scored a goal last season. 

Thompson was named to the All-Region team both her sophomore and junior years and was nominated for the Tennessee Lacrosse Player of the Year last season. 

Thompson is the daughter of JT and Casey Thompson. She attended Ellis Middle School in Hendersonville before coming to Pope Prep and is a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Hendersonville.

The Presbyterian Blue Hose compete in NCAA Division I as a member of the Big South Conference.

• Antonio Wilkerson has signed to play basketball at Cumberland University in Lebanon.

Wilkerson came to Pope Prep from East Nashville Magnet School his sophomore year and has become a mainstay on the basketball court for the Knights. Wilkerson will leave Pope as the all-time block and rebound leader in school history. He has been named All-Region and All-Sumner County in his time at Pope. 

Wilkerson is the son of Demetress Shaw. 

The Cumberland Phoenix compete in the NAIA as a member of the Mid-South Conference.

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