Calvary Christian seniors sign up for CSU cheer and basketball teams
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – It was a momentous afternoon for three Calvary Christian School (CCS) athletes. Seniors Regan Hutchinson, Jacob Romo and Malachi Chestnut have all signed up to join the NCAA Division II teams at Columbus State University (CSU).
“It’s really exciting. I didn’t think I would sign a year ago and now I’m signing for a sport that I didn’t want to do a year ago,” said Romo, who joined the cheering team in his senior year.
The athlete said he wants to try every sport he can during his senior year after serving on two state championship teams as a CCS baseball player. On a friend’s recommendation, he decided to enter the jubilee tournament and the rest was history.
“I enjoyed it so much that I stopped playing baseball my senior year and wanted to progress, cheer and get as far as I could,” Romo said.
Hutchinson, also a cheerleader, was also excited about a collegiate cheering career.
“It feels really good,” Hutchinson said. “I really wanted to do this.”
A founding member of the CCS celebration team, Hutchinson was part of two state champion and two runner-up teams. According to CCS cheer coach Maegan Loyd, Hutchinson has always been a hard worker.
“She was always willing to learn and try anything I put in front of her,” Loyd said in her remarks, before the students officially enrolled in their respective teams. The coach described how Hutchinson quickly became one of CCS’ frontrunners after joining the program, despite never trying before. Loyd also said that Romo’s leadership skills are unparalleled.
Chestnut’s basketball coach Jay Sparks also had nothing but praise for the athlete.
“Malachi is more than a good player, he’s an exceptional player,” said Sparks, who joined CCS that school year as head basketball coach. He told the audience that this year Chestnut hit an unprecedented career milestone of 1000 points and is exceptional at all phases of basketball, including dribbling, rebounding, vaulting and passing.
Previously, Sparks was athletic director and coach at CSU and Brookstone School. Sparks was also a key component in the founding of the CSU women’s basketball team more than 30 years ago.
According to Chestnut, he wasn’t sure about collegiate athletics until three years ago, so today’s signing was especially meaningful. He also knew exactly who he owed his success to.
“Definitely my family. You have always encouraged me. He’s been at every game,” Chestnut said. He added with a smile, “I don’t think there’s a single game they haven’t been to.”
Looking to the future, student athletes have a variety of potential careers ahead of them. While Hutchinson said she wants to be a doctor, Romo told WRBL he wants to pursue a degree in communications with a goal of eventually becoming a sports spokesperson. Chestnut announced that he plans to study engineering.
Chestnut’s advice to others?
“Just do what you’re passionate about.”