Two Greenwood athletes who have made names for themselves in their respective sports made their college decisions official Wednesday, with Katie Howard signing to play volleyball at Western Kentucky and Luke Shourds choosing to remain in state and swim at the University of Louisville.

For Howard the decision was easy, continuing a family tradition of playing on the Hill.

“My dad played football there,” Howard said. “(WKU volleyball coach Travis Hudson) and my dad are friends and his wife is friends with my parents, too. It’s nice to go somewhere familiar. Hopefully (younger brother) Lofton will follow.

“It’s just home. I’m very thankful that I have the opportunity to go there and play.”

Howard just wrapped up a stellar career at Greenwood capped with an all-tournament selection in the state tournament. She was also named KVCA Region 4 player of the year.

Howard said she is happy that she is now officially signed with WKU.

“I’m just very relieved, knowing I will have a few months to play club ball a little bit and get into a rhythm to prepare for Western,” Howard said.

Shourds said he chose Louisville over LSU and Yale, getting the chance to swim at a pool that has hosted a couple of state meets he participated in.

“It feels like it has taken forever to get here, but I am super excited,” Shourds said. “I can’t wait to get there, see all my friends and train with the team.”

Shourds is coming off a junior campaign in which he won the Region 2 titles in 50-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke – both in record time. He went on to finish second in the 50-yard freestyle and fifth in the 100 breaststroke at the state meet.

He said it’s nice to make his college choice official and he is ready to turn his attention to his senior season at Greenwood.

“It’s nice to get this out of the way,” Shourds said. “I am super excited this next season. I am locked in and ready to go fast this year – hopefully do some big things.”

Abbie Lee signs with Middle Tennessee

Glasgow’s Abbie Lee signed to play golf at Middle Tennessee on Wednesday, choosing MTSU over Western Kentucky and Morehead State among other schools.

“Playing collegiate golf has been a dream of mine since I was about 10 years old,” Lee said. “It’s insane that this day is finally here. MTSU has been on the top of my college list for as long as I can remember, so it’s a dream come true to end up at that school with a great coach and great teammates.”

Lee said she chose MTSU because they offered her major – mechatronics engineering – as well as her love for the coach, the school and the team. She also joked she loves trading the blue and white from Glasgow to the blue and white at MTSU.

Lee just wrapped up her senior season at Glasgow where she finished second at the region tournament and tied for 10th at the state tournament.

“It is a little bit of a weight off my shoulders that now I know where I am going to end up,” Lee said. “Now I really make my parents proud, make my college coach proud, and do well for Middle Tennessee. I’ve got a new team to perform for, so I am really excited to get to put the work in for them now, too.”

Logan County’s Newman signs with Tennessee

Logan County’s Kruise Newman signed to play baseball with Tennessee on Wednesday.

The Madison Southern transfer who will join the Cougars this season said he considered Kentucky, Louisville and Xavier but he couldn’t pass up the chance to play for the school he has cheered for since he was a little boy.

“Growing up as a kid, you sit in your parent’s lap and tell them you want to play baseball here or you want to play there or you want to go to MLB,” Newman said. “I guess this is just one more step towards the end goal, which is to obviously play (in the majors), but it feels incredible to know I am going to be headed to Knoxville, to know I am going to be playing some baseball.”

Newman added he is happy to make it official and looks forward to playing with Logan County this season.

“It’s such a relief to know that I can just go out there and have fun and play baseball like I’ve always wanted to when I was a little bit younger,” Newman said.{&end}

– Follow prep sports reporter Micheal Compton on Twitter @mcompton428 or visit bgdailynews.com.

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