Kevin Martin is entering his first season as Notre Dame's boys' basketball coach, but he already has two players who should help make his year a success. This month, 6-foot-7 swingman Richard Flemming and 6-foot-8 forward Patrick Behan signed letters of intent to play at George Mason and Bucknell, respectively. They became the 33rd and 34th Notre Dame players to receive Division I scholarships in eight years.
"This school is used to having kids like Richard and Patrick in the program," said Martin, who was an assistant the past three years at Virginia Military Institute. "We play a tough schedule, and although we're not as deep as we have been, these guys are going to help take us places."
While Flemming is a newcomer to Notre Dame, having transferred from Milton Hershey High School in Hershey, Pa., this season, Behan has played for the Dragons the last two years. Martin said both players chose their schools over 10 to 12 others, including Patriot and Ivy League schools.
In other area signings, Heritage golfer Greg Brouse chose Longwood University after Brouse and his family had dinner at a Farmville Italian restaurant with Coach Kevin Fillman and his family.
"The atmosphere when I was down there was more than I had wanted," Brouse said. "It's a real young team, so I see myself fitting in well. I liked the town and the school as well."
The Lancers will be getting an aggressive golfer in Brouse, who averaged a 71.3 round for the season and finished tied for second in the AA state tournament. During that competition, he drove a shot early in the round behind a tree. Instead of laying up, he saw a small gap between the trees and asked his coach which club he didn't think he would need the rest of the round. Brouse hit the ball out of harm's way but broke his 3-iron in the process. He then saved par.
"It's just my style of playing," Brouse said. "You have to have confidence that you're going to make a shot like that."
Heritage had another athlete sign a Division I scholarship. Second-team All-Met catcher Kelly Haller has committed to play at the University of Virginia after she spent four hours during an official visit wandering Charlottesville with her future teammates and playing Trivial Pursuit at a team member's house.
"I felt like it was where I was supposed to be," Haller said.
Last season, Haller hit .528 and led the Pride in just about every offensive category.
Also last week, Dominion golfer Sara Hurwitch signed to play for Central Florida. Hurwitch is the reigning All-Extra Golfer of the Year and finished fourth in this year's VHSL girls' open championship. Hurwitch shot a two-day total of 147, four shots behind winner Jessica Hollandsworth of Floyd County.