3 Clay Athletes to Play College Sports

Article excerpt

Byline: Brent Beaird, Times-Union correspondent

Three Clay County athletes, one soccer player and two football players, have signed letters of intent to continue playing sports in college.

Tara Petrucci, a midfielder for the Orange Park girls soccer team, has signed a letter of intent with Division I Troy State.

Petrucci said she chose the school for several reasons, including its small-town atmosphere and opportunity for early playing time.

"They told me that I would probably start," she said. "I will play at center midfield. I am extremely excited and I am glad it is finally done."

Raiders girls soccer coach Rodney Kenney said Petrucci is a very skilled and unselfish player.

"There were times that I wanted her to take more shots, but she is a great team player," Kenney said. "She was selected for the captain's award, which stands for inspiration to the team." She was a first team Star Conference player."

Petrucci, who scored 13 goals and had 12 assists, enjoys dishing the ball to teammates.

"My strongest part of my game is passing the ball off," she said. "I enjoy an assist as much as scoring a goal."

FOOTBALL: Rodney Keller, a 6-foot, 208-pound fullback and linebacker at Clay High School, has signed a letter of intent with Division II West Virginia State University.

Last year, Keller had 104 total tackles, four quarterback sacks and scored one defensive touchdown. On offense, he had 96 carries for 361 yards and three touchdowns.

Keller said the West Virginia State coaching staff told him that although he will primarily be a linebacker, he will have a chance to try other positions. …