Spring Signing Ceremony Center Grove seniors commit to play athletics in college

In late February, seniors Gleason Mappes and Sarah Kempf saw their high school wrestling and diving careers end at the state finals. And while the baseball team is currently in the midst of its spring season, seniors know they only have 5-6 weeks left before their high school careers also come to a close.

However, for six Trojan athletes, today marked the next step in their athletic career, as they signed to continue competing at the collegiate level.


Daffron waits in the outfield during a game at Grand Park against Roncalli.

Corey Daffron signed to play baseball next year at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne where he plans to major in sports marketing and management.

For Daffron, Ivy Tech was his top choice because of the coaching staff. "It was great because of the coaches and the opportunity for me to play as soon as I arrive on campus," Daffron said. "I'm looking forward to facing new competition and playing for a national championship."

This season, Daffron is batting .347 for the Trojans, including seven RBIs, four doubles and a homerun. As leadoff hitter, Daffron has an on-base percentage of .525, including 9 walks.

As his high school career winds down, Daffron can still remember his favorite moment: "My favorite memory is going to regionals as a freshman and having that experience."


Grider fields an infield hit during the first round of the Johnson County Tournament against Greenwood Christian. CG defeated GCA 27-1. photo by Jamison Taylor

Shawn Grider signed with Cincinnati Christian University where he plans to study sports marketing or secondary education.

"I chose Cincinnati because the city and campus were really nice. The coaches and the staff and the students were really welcoming," Grider said. "I've been playing for so long; it's a dream to keep playing as long as I can. I treat every game like it could be my last."

This season, Grider has appeared in five games for the Trojans, batting .333 with a double and 5 RBIs.


Gilcrest bats during the first round of the Johnson County Tournament. photo by Jamison Taylor

Jacob Gilcrest signed with Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio where he plans to major in business.

"I chose Wright State because it's not too far from home," Gilcrest said. "I liked the coaches and the campus, and I couldn't pass up the scholarship I got."

Gilcrest, a pitcher for the Trojans, has pitched in four games so far this season, giving up two hits while striking out three batters.

While Gilcrest has enjoyed his senior season, he can still remember his sophomore year. "My favorite memory was playing in Semi State in 2016," Gilcrest said. "Roncalli was our biggest rival and we beat them 3-2 earlier in the year and everyone knew everyone on both teams. It was the biggest attedance of any game I've ever played in."


Michael Wyman waits for the pitch in an early season game against Greenwood Christian. photo by Jamison Taylor

Michael Wyman signed with St. Leo University, which sits just north of Tampa, Florida.

St. Leo's location was a key factor in Wyman's decision. "It's an amazing campus, and I wanted to get out of the Midwest and not have to practice inside," Wyman said. "I'm looking forward to seeing the competition and getting to play on the weekends more."

In his senior season, Wyman is batting .408 and leads the team with 26 RBIs and seven doubles. He's also hit six home runs this season.


Sarah Kempf executes a dive at the state finals at the IUPUI Natatorium this past February. photo by Rachel Kraus

Sarah Kempf signed with the University of Evansville this afternoon to continue her diving career.

"The main pull was when I spent time with the swimmers and divers at Evansville," Kempf said. "They were very close knit as a team. The divers are incorporated into the team well instead of feeling like an individual sport."

The two-time sectional champion finished as the regional runner-up as a junior and senior, qualifying for the state meet. Kempf's highest finish in the state finals came as a junior when she qualified for the semi-finals before finishing 18th.


Gleason Mappes wrestles against Cascade's Thomas Alvarez at the Mooresville wrestling sectional. photo by Riley George

Gleason Mappes signed to continue his wrestling career at the University of Indianapolis this afternoon.

"I know the coaching staff at UIndy really well," Mappes said. "It was the best of both worlds for me as far as wrestling and academics. I'm a direct admit into the Nursing program. It was a good fit for me."

Mappes, Center Grove's only four-time state qualifier, finished his career third all-time in wins with 146. His 45 victories in his senior season rank him second in CG history for single season wins.

After advancing to the state finals his first three seasons, including back-to-back fourth place finishes as a sophomore and junior, Mappes capped off his wrestling career as the 160-pound state runner-up in February.

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Jamison Taylor Rachel Krause Riley George Jordan Boyd, Reporter

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