By Chris Chaney
Milford High School announced their trio of early signees on Nov. 14, which included hoops big man Garrett Mayleben, baseball hurler Zach Cook and United States gymnast Amanda Jetter.
Mayleben will be attending Bowling Green University to continue his basketball career, Cook will be attending Winthrop University and Jetter will continue her gymnastics career at Alabama.
The three Eagles all took advantage of the Early Signing Period designated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association with all three signing on Nov. 14. The early period was open until Nov. 21. The regular signing period will take place from April 17 until Aug. 1.
Cook, a right-handed pitcher, was First Team All-Fort Ancient Valley Conference East Division selection following his junior season. He boasted a 5-2 record with a 1.76 earned run average. Cook struck out 54 batter s in 47 innings pitched.
“Zach has very good velocity, an outstanding breaking pitch, and improving command of all of his pitches,” Milford head baseball coach Tom Kilgore said in an e-mail. “Zach is still improving and works extremely hard to be the best pitcher possible. Winthrop will benefit from Zach’s work ethic and excitement for the game.
“From a Coach’s standpoint, it is very satisfying to see one of your players go on to compete at the Division I collegiate level.”
During his time at Milford, Cook was a letter-earner during his junior season where he played alongside fellow signee, Mayleben.
Mayleben, a 6-foot-8 senior, has been a consistent force on the Eagles hoops squad for the last two seasons.
Playing on varsity as a sophomore, Mayleben appeared in 21 games and averaged 2.8 points per game to go with 3.0 rebounds. During his junior year, Mayleben stepped into a bigger role that saw him see action in 22 games.
Mayleben played primarily as an inside-out swing man which highlighted his ability to go down low and play with other team’s big men on the blocks while also creating matchup problems with his ability to step outside and hit jump shots.
Mayleben upped his points per game average to 7.6 to go along with 4.7 rebounds and 0.6 assists.
He showed his ability to dominate a game, scoring in double figures seven times, including scoring a career-high 19 points in a 55-41 win over Anderson last season.
Coach Joe Cambron will look to Mayleben to be one of the leading scorers on an Eagles team this season that will dress nine seniors.
Jetter, the third and final early signee, has become one of the nations premier gymnasts in the past decade. She has been competing for the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy for 11 years and she has represented the United States for the last five years as a member of the national team.
Jetter has traveled all over the world with her teammates, including four competitions outside of the United States. She won the Level 10 Junior Olympic Nationals at the age of 13 and hopes to continue to add to her already impressive résumé at the University of Alabama where she plans to major in special education.