Two Riverside High School senior student-athletes are headed to West Virginia State University after their prep careers end.

On Friday, Jan. 21, Warriors senior Tyler Perdue signed a national letter of intent to enroll at West Virginia State University and play baseball for the Yellow Jackets. Among others during a special ceremony at the school, he was joined by his father, Freddie, and his mother, Sherri, as he signed his paperwork.

Perdue's primary position for the Warriors' baseball team is catcher, and he also plays some first base. He says playing at the next level was always in his plans.

"Since I started playing when I was three or four, I've always dreamed of playing in college," Perdue said after signing in front of family and friends in the Riverside auditorium. "I like State. They have a historic program. Coach (Cal) Bailey built a real nice program, and now he's passed it on to Coach (Sean) Loyd.

"It's close to home (and) a good program."

Perdue, who lives in Smithers and attended both Valley and East Bank middle schools before moving on to RHS, said he will likely pursue a business/marketing degree in Institute.

"It's been a nice three years," he said of his time so far with the RHS program. "This year I think we've got a real good team that can win some games. Our goal is the state tournament."

"I want to thank all my friends and family and coaches that got me to this point," Perdue added. "A lot of support and help to get to this."

• • •

Perdue's classmate, softball player Emma Pauley, signed with WVSU last fall.

She said last week she was excited about her college prospects. Playing at the college level was something she had always considered, she said.

To get better to be successful in the Mountain East Conference, she said, "I just need to keep doing my lessons. I go twice a week for hitting and fielding."

The Chelyan resident is undecided of her plan of study, possibly pursuing a nursing or business degree.

Pauley plays third base and some shortstop for Riverside, and she bats around .500.

Playing at West Virginia State will allow her to be "close to home and all my friends and family," she said.

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