Naomi Washington
Staff Reporter
November 20, 2018

All-year-round, four seasons out of the year, day in and day out, some high school athletes work harder than their peers. Even though they’re just teenagers, they make sacrifices and make their sport the top priority in their lives, balancing their academics with their dreams. For them, it all comes down to one major goal they’ve had in mind for a long time- playing a division 1 sport in college.

On November 14, in front of their friends and families, five Atholton athletes signed their letters of intent to play a sport on the collegiate level.

These are just five of many students that have committed to a school to play a division one sport.

“Ever since freshman year when I started running, I didn’t quite realize that this would be a possibility in my future and over the past few years, it slowly became more of a possibility,” said the University of Memphis commit, Nick Weber. “Last year I really started reaching out to colleges because I knew running was something I wanted to continue past high school and it ended up working out very good.”

The process of getting recruited to a college sport is hard no matter how good an athlete is. There are so many high school athletes across the country and catching the attention of a college scout can be tough. It takes going to tournaments that are far away on the weekends, training every day, and writing emails to coaches. All the sacrifices made became worth it for athletes, Ella Farris, Alexandra Hargrett, Stephanie Gottwals, Camryn Strieb, and Nick Weber.

This was the first National Signing Day for the year that highlighted track, lacrosse, and field hockey players and later in the year, two more signing events will happen for more athletes to commit to a school.

“I’m proud of everything they’ve done both on and off the fields because getting to this level is very difficult. As I mentioned in the meeting, only 2 percent [of athletes] who want to play make it to this level,” said Mr. Senisi, Atholton’s athletic director.

The room was filled with family, teachers, and friends of the athletes who signed and each of them took that opportunity to thank everyone, especially their families, for helping them get to this point. University of Delaware lacrosse commit, Ella Farris, said her parents have been her “double checkers for everything through the process.”

On the other hand, track and field commit, Alexandra Hargrett, gave thanks to not only her family but also to Coach A, her track coach, for always pushing her to her highest potential and supporting her.

The papers have been scribbled with their signatures, but that doesn’t mean those traditional game-day jitters will fade away. This will only make them work harder, sweat more, and set the standard of what it means to be a phenomenal athlete with the help of their supporters cheering them on in the stands.

Atholton’s athletic department is looking forward to the upcoming signing days where more athletes will be able to sign their letters of intent.

But now that these five athletes know what their future holds, they can finally relax, until it’s time for their intense training to begin again. “It’s been a long time coming,” said Weber. And there’s still so much more left to come.

Posted by Naomi Washington

Naomi is a senior at Atholton High School. She is on the girl's varsity soccer team, loves to write, and is the Vice President of Black Student Union. Her all-time favorite thing to do is eat Chickfila and go sightseeing in the city!

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