Christiansburg state champs sign with Hokies
Three Blue Demon state champions made the official decision to keep their college-moving costs to a minimum Wednesday by signing national letters of intent to attend Virginia Tech.
Christiansburg High School wrestlers Zach Epperly and Joey Dance, along with senior diver Leah Piemonte, set their future plans in stone by inking their signatures in front of the trophy case, many of which the three athletes were responsible for placing there.
While each student-athlete will be taking a step into a new program this fall, that step will come with much familiarity.
Epperly, the three-time Group AA champ, said he got to know the Hokie wrestling program well from his brother, Matt Epperly, who won two ACC titles during his time on the mats at Tech from 2006 to 2011.
Zach Epperly said his brother was able to help him weigh the pros and cons of the school, but eventually his decision came down to being able to do what he loved close to home.
Likewise, Epperly’s teammate, Dance, said he was also very familiar with Tech’s wrestling program.
Dance, also a three-time state champion, said that because he’d wrestled at Tech many times for club wrestling events and was familiar with Tech wrestling coach Kevin Dresser, he’d known the school was his college destination since his freshman year of high school.
“It’s just where I want to be,” Dance said.
Dance’s connection with the coach pales in comparison to senior classmate and three-time Group AA diving champ Piemonte, who plans to dive under the coaching of her father, Tech diving coach Ron Piemonte.
“I’m so excited,” Piemonte said about the prospect of diving for her dad.
Despite the family connection, Piemonte said she visited a few other schools before making her decision, however, she said it only made her final choice clearer.
“When I stepped onto [Virginia Tech's] campus again, I just said, ‘This school has everything,’” Piemonte said.
The Roanoke Times | 381-1643
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