Nearly a dozen student athletes from around the area made their commitments official as they signed national letters of intent to continue their playing career.
Anna Rogers, a Greenland guard, helped the Lady Pirates and coach Alan Barton win back-to-back state championships in 2012 and 2013. Wednesday she signed with Missouri Western in St. Joseph, Mo.
“It’s really a great opportunity because basketball has always been a part of my life,” Rogers said. “It’s really good my hard work has paid off and I’m going to get to play four more years of college. I plan to lead the team just like I did here. I have high standards for myself and I plan to reach those.”
Rogers will be joined by graduating Northside forward Olivia Hanson with the Griffons. Hanson has yet to sign.
A pair of Elkins Lady Elks also signed letters of intent to continue their basketball careers. Andrea Wilson signed with UAFS while Skyler Johnson signed with North Ark College in Harrison. Har-Ber’s Marleeya Montgomery will join Johnson at North Ark as she also signed on Wed.
“It is bitter sweet because I played with these girls since I was in third grade and now I’m moving on to bigger and better things,” Wilson said.
Northside’s Joe Dye signed with Mid-South Community College in West Memphis to continue his basketball career while fellow classmate Leilani Ocasio signed to play volleyball at Lyon College in Batesville.
“It’s means a lot,” Dye said. “I got to develop my game going on from sophomore to junior year. As you see, I got better as the year went on so it was good he threw me in the fire at that time.”
Ocasio helped the Lady Bears reach the 7A state semifinals during her senior season.
“I’m so excited that I’m able to play the sport that I love for another four years,” Ocasio said. “It’s a great opportunity and I honestly couldn’t ask for more for my season and I hope to continue that all in college.”
Greenwood had a pair of athletes sign over the past two days as Maddie Gilliam inked with UAFS for volleyball coach Jane Sargeant while Grady McCain signed with the UAFS men’s tennis team.
Sallisaw’s Jaden Davenport may be known on a larger scale for his football skills but he signed with Central Oklahoma on a wrestling scholarship.
Paris’ Jakyra Austin capped her high school volleyball career by signing with UA-Monticello.
Heritage’s Sam Schaefer also signed on Wed. as he’s heading to William Jewell College to join the men’s swimming team.