National Signing Day celebrates athletes


Regan Munstedt

Seniors on signing day (top left to right) Dante Nicholson, Kaleb Macaway, Kentavious Bradley, Akanimoh Inyang, Timothy Langford, Dylan Peyton, Jarred Defrain, (bottom left to right) Megan Daleo, Allison Chang, and Maddie Weimer.

Regan Munstedt, Opinion Editor

On National Signing Day, Feb. 7, 11 senior athletes committed to playing sports at a collegiate level.
Students with hopes of signing are in constant contact with colleges throughout high school, trying to find the coach and team that fits them the best. By committing to a college, the student is accepted onto the team and is provided either a full or partial scholarship. The 11 seniors who signed have proven both their skill and their heart for the sport that they play.
Allison Chang signed for swimming at Cornell University.
“It’s great to see any swimmer continue on to swim in college, but it’s especially exciting to see our swimmers excel athletically as well as academically like Allison,” swim coach Steven Nelms said.
Chang sparked interest to her coaches and teammates as she committed to both her academic future at an Ivy League school, and swimming on Cornell University’s women’s swimming and diving team. Signing to such a prestigious academic school shows that Chang has balanced her school work and her swimming throughout her high school years. Student athletes, like Chang, can get overwhelmed by everything they need to do to be their best both in and out of the pool reported USA Today.
“It’s become second nature to plan my days around practice whenever possible so I can get my time in the pool and succeed in school as well,” Chang said.
Signing to college for girls soccer is Maddie Weimer (Austin College) and Tabitha Bishop (University of Chicago). Signing for boys soccer is Dylan Peyton (Rogers State University, Timothy Langford (Academy of Art, San Francisco), and Jarred DeFrain (Harding University).
Peyton began playing soccer when he was only six years old, but he has been working towards playing collegiately ever since. By sticking with one sport for so long, student athletes like Peyton prove their dedication and love for what they do.
“Being a student athlete is amazing because of all the opportunities it gives me and all the friends that I make,” Peyton said.
Students signing for football include Dante Nicholson (Henderson State University), Akanimoh Inyang (Cisco College), Kentavious Bradley (Angelo State University) and Kaleb Macaway (Northwestern Oklahoma State University). Signing for golf is Megan Daleo (Sonoma State University).
By signing to play sports at the collegiate level, student athletes are committing to a future of excellence. All around the country, student athletes are held to a higher standard, as they have to manage both their skills in their sport and maintain good grades in their classes in order to play. Also, students that play sports must follow strict conduct to keep their school’s reputation intact, which means sometimes giving up the typical college lifestyle. Colleges such as Louisiana State University, Oklahoma State, and Austin College all have codes of conduct that student athletes must sign to play. However, most students would give up the chance to be a normal college student in order to make their dreams come true.
“It’s honestly surreal to see all the years of hard work pay off,” Chang said.
While every student that commits to a college excels in their sport, it can sometimes be hard to make the transition of playing sports in high school to playing sports in college, Athletes USA said. Facing talented athletes who have played at the collegiate level for longer can put extra stress on signees to perform well.
“It’s going to be hard to compete with athletes in their 20s, but I’ll push through it and play like I do for the Wildcats,” Peyton said.