Liberty County High School soccer player Cortney Welch will play at South Carolina State after signing a letter of intent Friday at LCHS’ media center.
“It is Division I, so I am looking at it as an opportunity to challenge myself and to have the chance of playing high-quality soccer … I’ve been waiting for this,” Welch said.
Welch scored 10 goals for LCHS last season, the second-highest total on the team.
The Lady Panther said she liked the SCSU campus in Orangeburg during a visit and that the women on the team made her feel at home. Soccer is an outlet for her, she said, and she is looking forward to the chance to play as a freshman.
“As long as I do well at practice, then I can definitely start. There is that possibility,” Welch said, adding that she’s had conversations with the coach.
Welch plans to study biology but hasn’t picked a specialized field yet.
LCHS coach Jarvis McArthur said Welch will be an asset to the Bulldogs and knows she also will excel academically.
“Since she was a freshman, she has led the team and has been important in our midfield position,” McArthur said. “She works well with the younger girls coming up and has served well as a leader.”
The coach said he advised Welch and her teammate, Myesha Robinson, who signed to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, to get ready for the next level of play.
“When you get to college and that level, you are in a room with a lot of superstars … the competition is going to be stiff and you have to prepare yourself and work hard,” he said.
Her father, Ronald Welch, said it was a special day.
“It’s part of a parent’s dream to see that your child is going to go on to a good college and pursue her dreams,” he said.
Ronald Welch said she started soccer when the family was stationed at Fort Carlson, Colorado.
“We wanted her to get into sports and learn something, and soccer was something she really picked up and she’s done it ever since,” he said.
Her mother, Ramona Welch, offered some advice.
“Stay focused and remember the main reason is to get an education,” she said.