Last updated 5/26/2019

‘ACTUALLY REALLY UNREAL’: 8 Eagles sign letters of intent Wednesday
By Sam Grubenhoff
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Apr 10, 2019

NICEVILLE — Their stories are all different.

Some are state champions. Some are trailblazers. Some have overcome terrible injuries. Some are fast. Some are strong. Some are simply so dedicated, they have risen above the rest.

Yet they all share two things in common: They are Niceville Eagles, and they are all bound for college on athletic scholarships.

Eight Niceville athletes signed letters of intent Wednesday afternoon in the school’s auditorium, including six bound for Division I schools. Friends, family and coaches past and present packed the room. There was cake, balloons, pictures and smiles aplenty.

A letter-winner in track, softball and cheerleading, Katie Lightfoot, is bound for Alabama as a pole-vaulter; she only took up the sport in the past two years.

Her teammates, Martin Bouldo, Jayda Brooks and Madalyn Kish are bound for Troy, Jacksonville and Mississippi State, respectively.

The reigning state champ in the pole vault, Kish is the only female individual state champion in the school’s history and helped get Niceville’s pole vaulting program off the ground.

Headed for Florida State, Quinn Scholz is a state champion in his own right, taking home gold in the 100-yard freestyle as a junior. Meanwhile, Molly Hansen, Scholz’s teammate for just a year, is headed to Montevallo to join the Falcons’ first swim team in school history.

On the hardwood, Jasmine Griggs is taking her court vision and killer jump shot to Point University in West Point, Georgia, after helping the Eagles secure a third straight district championship.

Rounding out the group, Connor Waltz is headed to Kansas Wesleyan to play football. The linebacker and long-snapper battled through two torn ACLs to get on the field and earn a scholarship.

Here’s what each had to say about his or her special day:

Jayda Brooks – Jacksonville, cross-country/track and field

What was today like?

It was actually really unreal. It’s nice to come out and see everybody encouraging everybody else to go out into the future. It’s crazy. It’s just really encouraging, and I appreciate everything that they’ve done for me.

Why Jacksonville?

Jacksonville, they’ve been with me since the beginning of cross-country. They’ve been around and encouraging me with PRs and stuff. They’re always asking me what’s up. The campus itself is just really beautiful. Coach (Diego) Vela and coach (Ron) Grigg are really nice people, amazing people. They know what they’re talking about, and it just really drew me to them.

What are you most looking forward to?

Just the competition. It’s just really unreal that I’ve been able to commit to a D1 school in the first place. It would just be amazing to me to just be there.

Jayda Brooks
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