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St. John's Christian High School
Moncks Corner

Moncks Corner – For a high school athlete, few things can match the excitement felt when one earns the opportunity to play his or her sport at the college level.

November 8th was national signing day across the country. The day was the first official time that high school seniors could sign a letter-of-intent to colleges, putting their official stamp on where they would compete in college.

Among the thousands of athletes across America that celebrated the day was St. John’s Christian Academy senior softball player Claire Gilmore. Gilmore committed to North Greenville last July but made it all official with a signing ceremony at her school on November 8th.

“I love the coaching staff and fell in love with the campus when I visited there so it was an easy decision,” Gilmore said.

“It’s unbelievable all of the love and support I have received at St. John’s since I was three years old. The people here, my teammates, my family. It was really special to have everyone here to be a part of this because they all are a big reason why I have been able to achieve. Today, from the texts all day to those who came here today, it’s been amazing.”

Playing at a small private school made it difficult to get recruited so Gilmore spent her summers on the travel ball circuit. She initially played with the Carolina Extreme and then with the Carolina Fire. Travel ball definitely helped her develop and gain exposure, she says.

“Travel ball is a lot more challenging with the better teams and better players that you see every weekend,” said Gilmore, who batted .533 with five homers, 10 doubles and 23 RBI’s as a junior for St. John’s. “I love playing for St. John’s and with my teammates, but definitely playing travel ball helped me develop as a player.

“I played up with an older team when I was younger and I handled it pretty well. I saw I could compete with the older girls so I set my mind to working and trying to get an opportunity to play at the college level.”

Gilmore says getting the official signing out of the way will allow her to focus on the rest of her senior year. She also plays basketball, averaging 13.6 points per game last season.

“From the moment I committed, it has been like a weight off my shoulders,” she said. “I’m practicing basketball now and can’t wait for the season to come. I look forward to softball too. It’s a lot more relaxing for me.”

Gilmore also hopes that her success will show the younger players at her school that anything is possible through hard work. She enjoys being a strong example on her campus.

“Walking through the hallways and seeing all the younger kids congratulating me was so special,” she said. “It’s something I take seriously, being a role model. I had plenty of role models that I looked up to when I was younger so I want to set a good example for those coming behind me.”

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