Hammond signing

James Wood boys’ soccer senior forward signed to play for NCAA Division I Elon University in North Carolina earlier this week.

Another James Wood soccer player has signed up to play at the NCAA Division I level.

Seth Hammond — a forward that will be compete for the Colonels for the first time this spring — will play for Elon University in North Carolina. James Wood held a signing ceremony for Hammond in the school library on Monday.

Hammond — who previously focused on playing for his club team Virginia Development Academy in Woodbridge in high school — will have a guaranteed spot on Elon’s team in the fall and will have a chance to earn scholarship money after his freshman year.

“I’ve been playing soccer my whole life, so it’s kind of been a big goal of mine [to play in college],” said Hammond, the son of former Millbrook head coach Neil Hammond (2006-09), in a phone interview. “I think I’ve put a lot of effort in over the years. It’s nice to see that work pay off.”

James Wood had two seniors sign with NCAA Division I schools last year. Ethan Russell is at Mount St. Mary’s and James Cornwell is at George Mason.

Hammond said Elon saw him play at a showcase game in Florida in December of 2019, and then the Phoenix reached out to him shortly after that. Hammond said he’s kept in touch with Elon ever since. He gave them a verbal commitment in January.

Hammond never made an official visit to Elon, but he likes the coaching staff and the program as a whole. The Phoenix are led by Marc Reeves, who has guided the team to a 22-27-9 record in four seasons. Elon went 3-5 overall and 2-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association this spring and 7-9-1 (2-6 CAA) in its last full season in 2019.

Hammond said his Virginia Development Academy coach has a good relationship with Elon. Former VDA player Charlie Kurz is a freshman for the Phoenix, and Hammond said Kurz has enjoyed his experience with the team.

“I just thought it would be a good fit for me,” Hammond said.

Hammond said he also was recruited by Georgetown, James Madison and Yale.

Hammond will now get a chance to do what Russell and Cornwell couldn’t — play his senior year for the Colonels. Last year’s spring season was canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I know all the guys, and they’re nice,” Hammond said. “It should be a good experience.”

James Wood opens its season at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday against Handley.

— Contact Robert Niedzwiecki at

rniedzwiecki@winchesterstar.com

Follow on Twitter @WinStarSports1

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