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:

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, it’s something I’ve always dreamed of having. I’m very excited.

It’s kind of crazy that you’ll be vaulting against Katie Lightfoot for four more years.

Yeah, I’m excited. It’s gonna be interesting, but I love Katie and it’s so fun to compete against her. I’m excited that we’re gonna be at a lot of the same meets.

What are you most looking forward to?

I’m 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. That’s what I want to do; I just want to get better, and I’m just excited for the atmosphere to be in with all these competitive people. It should be a really good time.

You’re leaving a really unique legacy at Niceville, considering the school didn’t 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 it’s turned into something so big now and there’s all these people doing it, it’s a really good feeling for me. It’s kinda cool to start something like that and have it grow from the ground up. I’m just really happy it’s gonna continue on after I’m gone.

Madalyn Kish
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