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Local athletes sign with college programs

MANATEE — The latest Division I signing is a first for Braden River.

Wide receiver Willie McNeal became the school’s first Division I football player to receive a scholarship when he signed with Western Kentucky this morning.

More athletes have signed letters of intent today, which is National Signing Day.

At Saint Stephen’s, defensive end Josh Breitwieser became the school’s first Division I football player when he signed with Army.

Also signing at Saint Stephen’s were soccer players Ariel Hughes (Bucknell), Kevin Peterson (Yale) and Alex Walters (North Carolina); golfers Rick Lamb (University of Santa Clara) and Megan Pak (Florida); and baseball player Conor McCarthy (Johns Hopkins).

Earlier this morning, athletes from Palmetto and Manatee high schools also signed.

At Palmetto, defensive end Kedric Johnson signed with Florida and wide receiver Damian Copeland inked an agreement with Louisville.

Running back Marva Carley signed with Western Illinois, and track star Alexis Love signed with Murray State.

An hour later at Manatee, running back Ben Axon signed with South Carolina, and wide receiver Eric Williams signed with Purdue.

Check back with for continuous updates.