By: Ashley Ricks
From soccer to softball, Oak Grove has always excelled in athletics. The talent in this year’s senior class has colleges around the south impressed. On February 3rd, 13 athletes signed to take their talents to the next level. “Playing college football has been a goal of mine since I started playing,” Layton Holcomb said.
The soccer players have made quite an impressive mark for Oak Grove with seven of them signing to Jones County Junior College (JCJC) and Pearl River Community College (PRCC). “I’m most excited about next year, meeting new teammates and having a chance to hopefully improve my soccer skills,” Millie Barr said, who will continue to play soccer at PRCC. “I’m most nervous about getting used to playing against tougher teams and more skilled players. It’s going to be an adjustment, but I think I’m ready for the challenge,” Blackwell said.
The football players have shone their talents as well. Four football players will be continuing their careers to the collegiate level. Layton Holcomb and Dillon Fedora will really be pushing themselves out of their comfort zones traveling to other states. Fedora will be on the road to Oklahoma State, while Holcomb travels to the University of Memphis. “I’m excited about playing on the next level and that I get to play at one of my favorite places,” wide-receiver Dillon Fedora said. Among other players, Oak Grove will be represented at Itawamba Community College by Derrick Cunningham and East Central Community College by Cornealous Mitchell.
The only player to sign a softball scholarship, Whitney Waits will be playing center field in fast-pitch softball for Pearl River Community College. “I’m nervous about the intense training and conditioning, but I know it will all be worth it,” Waits said.
Meghan Petersen is the only swimmer to sign for next year. She will be traveling all the way to University of Arkansas at Little Rock and is excited about the journey.
The college experience will be exciting, but high school experiences will be missed. “I’m going to miss my team the most. We grew so close this year and consider each other family,” soccer player Presley Stiglets said.