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 schools 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 schools history
and helped get Nicevilles pole vaulting program off the
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, Scholzs 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.
Heres what each had to say about his or her special day:
Jayda Brooks Jacksonville, cross-country/track
What was today like?
It was actually really unreal. Its
nice to come out and see everybody encouraging everybody else
to go out into the future. Its crazy. Its just really
encouraging, and I appreciate everything that theyve done
Jacksonville, theyve been with me
since the beginning of cross-country. Theyve been around
and encouraging me with PRs and stuff. Theyre always asking
me whats up. The campus itself is just really beautiful.
Coach (Diego) Vela and coach (Ron) Grigg are really nice people,
amazing people. They know what theyre talking about, and
it just really drew me to them.
What are you most looking forward to?
Just the competition. Its just really
unreal that Ive been able to commit to a D1 school in the
first place. It would just be amazing to me to just be there.