Six sign at Rock Hill High’s winter signing day

Rock Hill High School had six signees at its winter signing day event held Monday morning at the school.

Those signees were:

  • Julia Karnilowicz (track and field) — Lenoir-Rhyne

  • Isaiah Palmer (track and field) — Clemson

  • Landon Armstrong (football) — Winston-Salem State

  • Ray Barber (football) — St. Andrews

  • Zamari Copley (football) — Ferrum College

  • Zy English (football) — Gardner-Webb

Choosing where to spend your future as a collegiate athlete can be a daunting decision, but finding comfort and opportunity in a new environment serve as driving factors.

“I chose this school because it’s a place I felt like I could grow as a person both on and off the field,” said Copley, who plans to major in psychology and played both wide receiver and defensive back for the Bearcats. “All the coaches believed in me, and it’s a place where I can compete for a starting job as a freshman.”

The signees spoke Monday about the community of Rock Hill that nurtured them into the athletes that they currently are and are going to be.

Despite going to places hours away from home, that foundation they built during their time there is invaluable and something they will always carry with them.

“The number one thing that I’ll be taking to Clemson is the hard work and effort, which I’ve learned a whole lot here,” said Palmer, an all-state pole vaulter at Rock Hill High. “I’ve grown a whole lot here, and I’m just excited to bring what I’ve learned from Rock Hill to Clemson to help represent myself more but also represent Rock Hill and eventually representing Clemson.”

The school will always be a home to the signees no matter how far they go, Rock Hill athletic director Eric Rollings said Monday.

He spoke of their integrity as athletes, students and children becoming adults and encouraged them to consistently set and raise the bar for themselves.

“This place is a special place,” Rollings said. “And that’s one of the reasons why I’ve never left Rock Hill High School; it’s a special place to me. I feel like it’s a special place to our alumni. Our alumni are certainly dedicated to this place, and they want to see success, and I don’t think you can have that unless you leave the door open for our student-athletes who have gone on to play to come back at any time they want and be a part of what I feel like is so special about Rock Hill High School: the family atmosphere.”

Armstrong, English and Palmer will all be majoring in business, while Karnilowicz will major in nursing, Barber in sports management and Copley in psychology.