If you have opened up the sports section in the last couple of weeks, you’ll notice that we have had a flurry of signings in the month of November, and we have another whole page of them this week as we had four more send in their letters of intent.
I knew coming into this school year that we would have a lot of signings – most of these seniors had committed before the school year even began, and some had been for even longer than that.
I also told Deon at the beginning of the year that I still wanted to cover this year’s signees. After all, these are kids that I have seen grow up and covered for four or six years. It’s a special day for sure for our senior signees and their families, but it’s also special and fun for me to see all their hard work pay off in being able to play at the next level.
I’ve definitely spent a lot of time around all of them – on the girls’ side, I’ve been watching Macie Williams, Chloe Summerford, Bre Harmon and Emma Rose Thompson be key pieces in their sports since seventh or eighth grade. Even before then, I can remember seeing Macie with her family at Amory baseball games back when I first started working here and being around Chloe when she was a manager with the Smithville softball team.
It’s hard to believe six years with them has flown by because sometimes it still feels like they should be freshmen.
For the guys, all four of these guys have been incredible athletes across different sports for four years or more. One of the things I will remember most about them, of course, is watching them battle each other in one of the best playoff series I’ve ever seen last season when Amory and Nettleton played each other in the third round of the baseball playoffs.
Bo Rock, Ethan Kimbrough, Jackson Cheek and Evan Smith were all a huge part of the playoff runs both of those teams were on last season, and I know they are all already geared up to do it again next spring.
More than just baseball, all four of them have been multi-sport athletes going from the football field to the soccer field to the baseball field in some situations. Ethan is even a huge part of the Panthers’ football team that is gearing up for its first North half appearance in ten years on Friday.
I know for all of these signees, their coaches could probably speak for days on their talent, but if you read each of these signing stories, their journeys to the next level have taken more than just on the field talent.
Every one of their coaches has talked about their work ethic – getting to the next level takes more than just time in practice or in games. All of these seniors spent plenty of time working at their game this summer, after school, you name it.
Every coach has also talked about the leadership of all of these athletes, and I have been able to see that firsthand over the last several years.
We have already had eight signees from the Class of 2021, and I know there are several more ahead. It’s shaping up to be another special senior class.