Nitro's Korey Dunbar and Scott's Makenzie White will see all of their hard work pay off today.
Dunbar, a catcher and first-team Class AAA all-state baseball player at Nitro, will sign with North Carolina while White, a Class AA all-state girls basketball guard, will ink with West Virginia University.
Today marked the start of the initial NCAA early signing period for men's and women's basketball and other sports, which runs through Nov. 16.
"It's kind of hard to believe,'' said Dunbar. "I'm excited and glad it's happening and glad to get it over with, too.
"It's been stressful. Then again, it's a lot of fun. All these schools you try to impress and you've got to pick one of them and you've got to disappoint the other schools.''
Dunbar helped the Wildcats reach the state tournament for a fifth straight year last spring, hitting .533 with 11 home runs and 43 runs batted in.
Dunbar said most of the stress comes from trying to pick the right school.
"I think you kind of get it when you get on campus and talk to the coaches,'' he said. "It's like turning a new page to a story. It's kind of like starting your freshman year again and working for a starting position and that's what I'll do.''
Dunbar said the North Carolina coaching staff said he could compete for a starting position as a freshman.
"I told them I want to start my freshman year,'' he said. "They told me, 'We think that's a very real possibility.' They told me a lot of it depends on how I do. You've got to get back to the basics, get in the weight room, get in the classroom and do your schoolwork.''
The 5-foot-9 White averaged 21.4 points, 10 rebounds and 7.0 assists in leading the Skyhawks to the state championship game for the second straight year, where they lost for a second time in a row to Summers County.
White surpassed 1,000 career points last season and enters this year with 1,556 points and barring injury, should eclipse 2,000 points this season.
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at 348-4811 or tatkin...@wvgazette.com.