On to the future… Signees smile as they celebrate their upcoming next level sport. Athletes signed to 26 different colleges.
On to the future… Signees smile as they celebrate their upcoming next level sport. Athletes signed to 26 different colleges.
Madeline Piazza

FHS athletes sign for next level

by Ann Clark-Smurda 

Fairhope High School hosted its Signing Day for athletes on Thursday, April 25, at 9 A.M. 

Signing Day is when athletes who have been offered scholarships or intend to walk-on for sports officially sign to their designated school. 

The signees consisted of athletes from Baseball, Basketball, Football, Softball, Swimming, Soccer, Track, Tennis, Lacrosse and Cheer. 

Signing Day started off with Assistant Principal Josh Howell giving a speech about what an amazing accomplishment it is to get this far in a sport. 

“Work like a captain, play like a Pirate,” Howell said. 

Each signing athlete had a coach from their sport speak on their behalf. 

Coach Ben Monk from girls soccer spoke on signee Aidyn Hagan’s behalf. 

Monk touched on Hagan’s first failure with the team to show how far she has come. 

“We were in the elite eight and Aidyn was a freshman. We needed a PK to win, nobody offered to take it but her, and she missed. Aidyn never gave up and since then has been our go to for almost everything,” Monk said. 

It is hard to imagine what a life changing moment this is for young athletes. Nolan Philips has signed to play at University of West Alabama, in Livingston, Alabama.

“I’m excited to be able to continue playing and have the opportunity to pitch and hit at the next level. I’m excited to play underneath a great coaching staff and team that will ultimately continue to grow me and make me an even better player,” Phillips said.

The signing groups were divided into two since there were so many athletes. After the first group finished introductions, Howell told the athletes to pick up their pens and sign their name on the sheet in front of them, indicating that they just signed to their selected schools. The second group repeated the entire process. 

Division 3 schools cannot give out scholarships by law; therefore, a player is still committed to the school,  just not receiving scholarship money based on sports, but possibly academic merit.  FHS wanted to give every player the chance to sign regardless of which level he or she was planning to attend. 

With players signing to a variety of athletic programs ranging from NAIA, which is a college athletics governing body for small colleges, NCAA Divisions 1,2 and 3 schools and community colleges, all athletes were recognized and given the opportunity of limelight associated with signing to the next level of competition.

The day concluded with a group picture, individual interviews given to the signees from the Broadcasting students and fellowship among fellow signees with a cake.  

With over 30+ plus signees this is one of the biggest classes in school history.

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