Dreams came true across the Coast on Wednesday, as dozens of area high school and junior college athletes signed on the dotted line to secure their collegiate futures.
In Long Beach, Destini Pickens is heading to the SEC, signing with Mississippi State for track and field.
“They really made me feel at home out of all the other schools, and they really made me feel like I needed to be there,” Pickens said.
Harrison Central’s Christopher Hudnall signed with Mississippi State track and field as well.
Over at St. Martin, Leo Harris made his Division I dreams come true, signing with UAB to play baseball.
“(It’s) extremely exciting," Harris said. “This is something I’ve always dreamed of since I was a little kid.”
D’Iberville standout Gracie Ferguson signed to run track at South Alabama, where she will be joining her sister Casey, who is on a basketball scholarship with the Jaguars.
“You can’t just sit there and watch the people who have greatness and just say ‘I want to be like that,’ you have to imitate what they do," Ferguson said. I had someone I imitated, my sister, and now I’m here where she is.”
It was a packed house at Ocean Springs Wednesday morning as ten Greyhounds sign their National Letters of Intent. Headlining the group was Mitch Murrell, an Ole Miss baseball signee, and Mikaila Fox, a University of Virginia softball signee.
“(I) definitely have to thank my coaches, my teammates and everyone that has helped me throughout my years," Fox said. "(I’m) definitely looking forward to college, it’s going to be a blast.”
Four Lady Greyhound soccer stars signed on the dotted line, including Kinsley Harmon, who made it official with Southeastern Louisiana.
“Really the coach, he’s just so nice that it just really made me want to go there," Harmon said. "Also the girls I’m going there with, they were there when I went there. They were really nice and welcoming.”
Everybody’s favorite field goal-kicking homecoming queen Kaylee Foster is hanging up the helmet, signing with Mississippi College to play soccer.
“I have missed quite a few soccer practices for football practices, but we’ve really worked that out," Foster joked. "Coach Neil is really understanding of how much football was a part of my life, but now that it’s over I’m full-time soccer so it’s really exciting.”
Ocean Springs SG/SF Mikyah Mack signed to play Division I basketball with Florida A&M University.
“Their basketball program is really (good), their cardio-pulmonary science program," Mack said. "I just wanted to be somewhere in Florida, so I chose FAMU.”
A handful of our local JUCO prospects took advantage of National Signing Day as well.
Over at Gulf Coast, Pascagoula product Alden Davis signed to play baseball at South Alabama.
“It’s a blessing," Davis said. "I’ve had so many people help me along the way and cheering me on. They just want to see me do good, so I just stay disciplined and do what I do every day.”
Fresh off winning NJCAA Division II Player of the Year, West Harrison product Brandon Parker signed on the dotted line with Dallas Baptist.
“Be that guy. Don’t be a guy that follows, be a leader," Parker said. "Step out of your comfort zone and be someone that’s gonna help lead the guys under you and the guys around you.”
It was standing room only at Pearl River this afternoon, as the reigning MACJC State Champions sent eleven baseball standouts to the next level. East Central product Colin Danley heads to Southeastern Louisiana to play for another PRCC product in Matt Riser.
“It’s got a lot of the same morals I grew up with," Danley said of the SLU program. "Hard working, blue collar, just seemed like the place that fit me best.”
Danley’s high school and JUCO teammate, Reis Trager, signed on the dotted line with Spring Hill College.
“It means the world to me," Trager said. "We’ve all went through the grind, the struggle, everything we’ve had to go through, it’s a blessing from God that we’ve all gotten to sign together.”
Picayune’s Trenton Lee saw his two older brothers Braxton and Peyton graduate from Pearl River and sign with four-year schools, and he kept the tradition going Wednesday, signing with West Alabama.
“It’s very helpful. I talked to Braxton so much about stuff like that, and talking to Peyton, too," Lee said. "They’ve just helped me through all of it, and it’s just awesome looking up to them.”
After a solid season on the mound for Pearl River, Our Lady Academy product Dallas Baker signed with with Belhaven College to play softball.
“It’s definitely lots of emotions,” Blaker said. "I’m so excited, but also there’s a lot of work to be done still.”
Just across Pear River County, PRC standout Hayden Dunhurst signed with Ole Miss to play baseball.
If we missed anyone, please email us at AllWLOXSports@wlox.com and we will add them to the list.