About 100 people gathered in a large room at Lakewood High School Wednesday afternoon to hear Piners football standout Tyrice Beverette announce his college choice on National Signing Day.

(Kevin Williams, Townsquare Media NJ)

The room was filled with members of the school’s administration, Board of Education, teachers, staff, fellow students and family members. Before the gifted Beverette made his choice known Athletic Director John Craddox spoke about what a proud day this was for a school and community that’s more likely to be in the news for negative reasons than what was taking place yesterday.

Craddox was beaming as he spoke about Tyrice and was emphatic when he called him a true student-athlete who sets a great example for classmates and teammates. The same tone would be echoed later by Piners football coach L.J. Clarke who extolled the virtues of Beverette, an All-Shore football and basketball player and just as important: member of the National Honor Society.

Tyrice then put on a red hat that said Stony Brook on it and announced he was heading to the school on Long Island’s North Shore with about 20,000 full-time students. While pondering offers from Navy and Rutgers it came down to Stony Brook and Delaware and after an official visit Beverette decided to go north instead of south.

He’ll play safety for the Seawolves and could see action as a freshman where he would join a defensive backfield that includes friend and former Neptune standout Jaheem Woods.

Brad Helson signs agreement with the University of North Carolina as his family looks on.(Kevin Williams, Townsquare Media NJ)

Earlier in the day Monsignor Donovan’s Brad Henson signed his letter of intent with the University of North Carolina in a ceremony at the high school. Henson, one of the top offensive lineman recruits in the northeast, originally chose the University of Virginia but had a change of heart following his recruiting visit to Chapel Hill in December.

Brad’s parents both attended East Carolina University and the family has many friends in the state so UNC is a logical location for Henson, who helped the Griffins win their first division title in 20 years last fall.

Like in the case of Lakewood, Henson’s signing was a proud moment for the school as well as football coach Dan Duddy.