PORTSMOUTH – While college football coaches across the country scrambled for the faxes they would be receiving from the nation’s highly-touted football prospects during this week’s early-signing period, two local student-athletes made history themselves.
However, this dotted-line history would take place for athletes whose interests are of the aquatic variety.
Brady Fannin, a senior at Portsmouth, and Hanna Fraley, a senior at Notre Dame, became the first two local signees with Shawnee State University’s new men’s and women’s swimming teams after their respective signing days this Tuesday.
Fannin and Fraley became the second and third signees with SSU’s new swim programs after Chapmanville, W.Va. senior Connor Marcum signed his letter of intent on November 27th.
“It’s crazy to say, I feel like I just started high school,” Fannin said at Tuesday’s signing. “This is only my third year swimming, but it’s become such a big part of my life, I figured why not take it past high school?”
“It’s unbelievable,” Fraley said. “I’m super excited. Being asked was unbelievable, but I’m very excited and glad that I have been given this opportunity.”
At the collegiate level, the pair of signees will be coached by men’s and women’s swimming coach Gerald Cadogan after he was named the university’s coach for both programs this summer.
Cadogan, a 2004 graduate of Portsmouth, has served as the Trojans swim coach for the last six seasons while winning four-county swim championships. Aside from his background as Portsmouth’s swim coach, Cadogan is also the head track coach at Portsmouth and an assistant football coach under Bruce Kalb. In his playing days, Cadogan was a first team all-Ohio lineman while completing his four year degree and playing at Penn State University followed by a playing career in the NFL and the Canadian Football League until 2012.
“My goal with taking this job is getting the best, starting with this area, and I have two great swimmers signing in Brady (Fannin) and Hanna (Fraley),” Cadogan said of Tuesday’s signings. “I’m super excited to be able to sign them both.”
Fannin’s signing marked the first local student-athlete to sign with SSU’s swim programs, and it also marked the first time a Portsmouth student has signed collegiately to swim in at least 15 years, according to Cadogan.
“He’s been a big part of my life,” Fannin said of his current and future coach. “I’ve always been a shy person, but his openness has really had an impact on me and I’m very thankful he’s given me this opportunity.”
Fraley, an opponent at the high school level of Cadogan’s, has already gotten used to the idea that someone who she’s participated against during her high school career will be her coach for the next four years after becoming the first local female student-athlete to swim with SSU’s women’s team.
“I’ve seen him at past meets where he’s coaching at Portsmouth,” Fraley said. “Seeing how he is in those practices and in general, I’m really excited to be a part of a program that he is leading myself.”
In the classroom, Fannin is still undecided on what area of study he plans on pursuing while Fraley has her heart set on obtaining a nursing degree as a Bear.
“I’ve always wanted to go into nursing,” Fraley said. “Shawnee State has a great nursing program, so I thought that swimming for SSU would be awesome, too. I told (Cadogan) that nursing was what I’ve wanted to do since I was a little kid, and that it was the No. 1 priority for me. I’m excited that I get to do two things that I love at the same time, and get to meet great people.”
Shawnee State University men’s and women’s swimming programs will debut in the newly renovated Warsaw Natatorium against opponents for the first time beginning in the 2020-21 academic year.
More information on Shawnee State University’s athletic programs or the swimming programs in particular can be found at http://www.ssubears.com/.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved