Troy High School seniors Kirtley, Godwin, Murphy make college choices


TROY — Troy High School senior Ryder Kirtley is heading south.

Aiyana Godwin and Aubrey Murphy will be staying close to home.

All three made their college choices official Tuesday morning, signing their letters of intent in front of family and friends at the Trojan Activity Center.

Ryder Kirtley

Kirtley, the son of Tim and Jacki Kirtley, has been a highly looked at shortstop since before he made it to Troy High School.

He will continue his baseball career after he leaves Troy at Virginia Tech University — a member of the ACC.

“I never really thought about playing at a power-five conference until my eighth grade year when I started hearing from schools,” Kirtley said. “I really like the campus (at Virginia Tech). I felt comfortable there and like the coaching staff and players. The most important thing is I can get a good degree from there for my future.”

Troy baseball coach Ty Welker said Kirtley’s talent were well known early on.

“The recruiting rules were a little different then,” Welker said. “All the recruiting went on his eighth and ninth grade years. It was cool to be able to experience something like that with him.”

He immediately broke into the lineup as a freshman and already flashed the glove that makes him one of the top defensive shortstops.

He batted .276 with six doubles, three triples, 12 RBIs and 17 stolen bases.

As a sophomore he batted .396 with 10 doubles, a triple, 20 RBIs and 12 stolen bases.

Last season, he helped Troy to the district title game, batting .357 with five doubles, four triples, two home runs, 20 RBIs and 21 stolen bases.

“I am hoping to have a really big senior season this year,” Kirtley said. “After that, I will be looking forward to the challenge at the college level.”

Welker expects him to handle that just fine.

“I think it is a really good fit for him,” Welker said. “I think he definitely wanted to head south for college. This is a big signing. The SEC and ACC, those are some pretty high level programs.”

Aiyana Godwin

Godwin, the daughter of Brady and Krista Godwin, will continue her bowling career at Wright State University.

“I wanted to stay somewhat close to home,” Godwin said. “And I can’t think of a better team to bowl on in college than Wright State.”

Troy girls bowling coach Rob Dever said her best bowling is still in front of her.

“She has been bowling really well in practice and hopefully that will continue during the season,” Dever said. “Of course, the most important thing at the next level is your education. Bowling will come second to that.”

As Godwin prepares for her senior season at Troy, it will be tough to top last season.

At the Division I state tournament, she rolled a 660 series to finish second in the individual competition and led the Lady Trojans to the state semifinals as a team.

“I have high expectations for myself and for the team,” Godwin said. “Hopefully, I can do really well again and I think our team has the potential to do really well.”

Godwin averaged 170.3 as a freshman, 193.8 as a sophomore and 171.3 as junior before stepping it up in the postseason.

“Hopefully, I can improve on that this year,” she said. “I am looking forward to experience at the college level. Hopefully, it is a situation where I can help the other bowlers and they can help me.”

Aubrey Murphy

Murphy, the daughter of Scott and Jamie Murphy, will join Godwin as a Wright State Raider, playing for the women’s soccer team.

“I wanted to stay close to home where my family could see me play,” she said. “I really liked the coaches and players. I have just always loved the game (soccer).”

She has been a mainstay since stepping on the Troy soccer pitch as a freshman.

While playing defender, she has helped the Trojans to 33 shutouts during that time.

At the same time, she still has managed to be involved in the offense.

She had three goals and 11 assists as a freshman, two goals and five assists as a sophomore, one goal and seven assists as a junior and two goals and one assist this past season.

“Aubrey (Murphy) is an outstanding player,” Troy girls soccer coach Abby Manson said. “I expect her to do really well at the college level.”

Murphy looks forward to the challenge.

“I am excited about the opportunity,” Murphy said. “I feel like Wright State has a strong program and I am going to have to work hard to earn a spot (in the lineup).”

Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]

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