Signing day is special for senior athletes

Colin Rogers, Staff Writer

Many high school athletes dream and strive to take their skills to the college level. For high school athletes, signing their letter of intent is the mark of this next step forward.

“In the moment I realized that I’m signing the thing that dictates the next couple years of my life. I was pretty nervous but excited too… All the years of running and hard work paid off. When I signed that paper it was a sigh of relief. Choosing a college was pretty stressful, trying to know what the right decision was and knowing if I was ready or not,” Senior Zachary Dunn said.

Committing and signing your letter of intent to a school for your athletic career brings a lot of emotions.

“It was stressful, I was getting a little irritated because well I had NHS pictures beforehand and my coach told me she was going to be 20 minutes late and it was already pushed so it was a little frustrating,” Senior Azariah Crosby said. “Everyone was calling my phone and asking where to go… Most of my [immediate] family was there. There were probably over 20 people. It was a little hot and a little stuffy. I was getting nervous at first, I don’t know why. I was happy and excited to see my friends and teammates there and everyone there supporting me and everyone that has been there for the entire journey.” 

Visiting different colleges and being persistent with contacting coaches to get an idea of what is available from college to college helps progress your commitment journey.

“I contacted a lot of schools and sent out my film. Then the schools I really wanted to look into like the HBCUs I wanted, I harassed them. The coach I signed to I harassed her for three months straight and when she finally got back to me, we had a phone call and she said ‘I would have been so upset if I would have missed you, you’re awesome you’re a great player, we really need you here. After I went to visit I was pretty much sold. I just needed my athletic aid after that to see what I was working with.” Crosby said.

College visits for high school athletes help them get a taste of what college life is like and what they can look forward to.

“So the first one, it was actually the first day visit, was my first college visit ever. So I thought my first college visit was pretty cool. And Lewis is a pretty nice school in comparison to some other ones too… And it has an airport too, which was kind of cool. Then my overnight visit, it was kind of the icing on the cake because Lewis has some really nice running areas.

They have a bunch of trails and there’s actually a trail where you run next to a canal and a river and it was just really beautiful. Yeah, seeing how beautiful it was at Lewis, really made me want to go there.” Dunn said.

During Crosby’s visit, she was able to get a taste of her future college life.

“We also got lost on the campus trying to find out where we were supposed to meet. It’s not too big or too small either; it is at that perfect median. We met up with three other recruits and girls that were currently on the team there. We talked and ate in the cafeteria, they showed us the campus and the dorms, it was really cool to actually see inside the dorms. It was a little bit different from my other visits. We talked to admissions staff. We also went to a basketball game too which was really fun and cool. Being able to experience the day in the life of a college student was really cool.” Crosby said.

For Dunn, he really didn’t have an ideal college until she was able to experience Lewis and actually put some thought into college.

“I wouldn’t say I really had a dream college because I really didn’t start thinking about college until like my junior year. So I kind of went into a little blind and I think that also kind of influenced my decision because I was kind of open to whatever was given to me really so that’s kind of why I’m really happy. I took Lewis as my first visit because I had got college offers before, but I really didn’t think much of it. but Lewis was the college that actually called me, because I always had gotten letters, but it was the first one where the coach actually called me and [we] had an hour and a half talk and it was pretty cool.” Dunn said.

Crosby is looking forward to her college athletic experience and the new level of play going forward.

“Playing with other people that want to play, in high school it is just a little different, some people play just for fun, some people do it because their parents are making them or whatever it may be, or just to get a letter. Actually being there around people who want to show up and give 110% everyday just brings that different caliber of competition on a competitive level. I’m always challenging myself. Especially that first year, it will be different and I am looking forward to that the most.” Crosby said.

Among Crosby and Dunn singing their commitments are Saniya Spalding (Edward Waters), Lavarion Logan (Illinois State), Kenneth Grant (Michigan State), Davina Smith (IU East), LaVonta Ash (Glen Oaks), Deeon Franklin (Ancilla College), and Zachary Lucious (St. Francis University).