WARNER ROBINS -- The wide reach of the Warner Robins football program extended a bit farther during the early hours of National Signing Day. Four Demons accepted scholarships to play football and continue their educations at institutions of higher learning near and far.
Offensive lineman Brian Cornish signed with Fort Valley State, but the other three will travel in pursuit of their dreams. Cornerback DeAnthony Mack will attend Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College while linebacker Bryson Bagley and safety Shane Bowie are headed to the College of the Redwoods in Eureka, Calif.
During a morning signing ceremony in the schools media center, Warner Robins head coach Bryan Way commended all the players, but especially those headed to distant locales.
I dont think Id have the guts to do that, Way said, but I dont think anyone would have asked me to.
Bagley, Bowie and Mack each spoke of the tight family bonds that will help them when theyre away from home.
Ill be responsible out there and keep in touch with my family, Bowie said moments before making his decision official.
Originally from Philadelphia, Bowie said he has experience being away from home for extended periods of time. He has visited for months with cousins who still live in the Northeast. One of them played basketball at Penn State so he has a baseline understanding of balancing athletics with schoolwork at the collegiate level.
Bowie said hell study education with an eye toward becoming a coach.
Bagley has less experience away from home, but hes confident he can make the transition. He and Bowie have been friends since middle school.
Im from a big family, and theyll always have my back and support me, Bagley said. But Im glad Im taking Shane with me.
A defensive end at Warner Robins, Bagley said he expects to play linebacker in college. He said Redwoods coaches were impressed with the way I hustle and get after it.
Bagley plans to study sports management.
Responsible for more than 1,000 yards of total offense and 10 touchdowns during the 2012 season, Mack distinguished himself as an offensive threat.
An honors graduate, Cornish said he chose to stay close to home in part because both his parents graduated from Fort Valley State. He said hes eager for the opportunity to move forward, but will miss time spent with his Demons teammates.
Just getting to play with the group of guys I played with (is special), Cornish said.