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:
Madalyn Kish Mississippi State,
track and field
What was today like?
It was very exciting. I was really excited
to represent my school and the coaches who have worked so hard
to get me where I am. It was really fun.
Why Mississippi State?
I love the coaches there, and the people
there are so down to earth. Just amazing facilities. SEC, D1 school,
its something Ive always dreamed of having. Im
Its kind of crazy that youll be vaulting against
Katie Lightfoot for four more years.
Yeah, Im excited. Its gonna
be interesting, but I love Katie and its so fun to compete
against her. Im excited that were gonna be at a lot
of the same meets.
What are you most looking forward to?
Im really looking forward to meeting
a lot of new people and learning new coaching techniques and things
that could possibly help me and grow me as an athlete more. Thats
what I want to do; I just want to get better, and Im just
excited for the atmosphere to be in with all these competitive
people. It should be a really good time.
Youre leaving a really unique legacy at Niceville, considering
the school didnt have a pole vaulting program before you
got here. What does it mean to you that your ability has created
a whole new avenue for athletes in this community?
When I got here, nobody really knew what
pole vault even was. The fact that its turned into something
so big now and theres all these people doing it, its
a really good feeling for me. Its kinda cool to start something
like that and have it grow from the ground up. Im just really
happy its gonna continue on after Im gone.