Spartans Orton, Kirkland sign as student/athletes at Wittenberg, Tusculum

Marcus Orton, Webb School of Knoxville Class of 2021 defensive midfielder for boys soccer, and classmate Austin Kirkland, a pitcher/outfielder for the baseball Spartans, recently committed to universities as student/athletes.

Orton, who chose Wittenberg University, was co-captain while helping lead the 20-0 Spartans to the TSSAA Division II-A state championship late last month. He also was a member of Webb’s varsity cross-country team.

“Marcus is incredibly competitive and isn’t afraid of the big moments,” Webb varsity head coach Jared Ziegler said.

Kirkland, who signed with Tusculum University in Greeneville, was a three-year starter for the Spartans varsity baseball team. With a stellar career pitching record and an earned run average at 1.99 late in the 2021 season — and almost a four-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio — Kirkland was named to the All-District team.

“Austin has been a major part of our program’s success over the past three seasons, and his senior year has been one of his best yet,” Spartans varsity baseball head coach Jordan Wormsley said.