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The North Sports Report: Signing Day

by Mark North, President of The FANS, Inc. (Foundation for Athletics in Nashville Schools)

National Signing Day… Sign, Sign, Everywhere Sign

Antioch Bears football players Christian Molina and John Ekundayo signed with Carson-Newman and track star Shaina Johnson signed with MTSU
Antioch High School
Maplewood Coach Arcentae Broome is proud of the four Panthers heading to the state of Kansas to continue their education
Maplewood High School
All-State Defensive Tackle Michael Cain of Whites Creek signed with Tennessee Tech
Whites Creek High School
The television in the Whites Creek lobby shows Alexis Lang who signed with Cumberland University
Whites Creek High School
Joseph Occhipinti of Hillsboro, the son of Metro teachers, will be kicking in Bowling Green for Western Kentucky
Hillsboro High School
Parents and Coaches celebrate when Hume-Fogg's Sarah Morris signed to play soccer at UAB
Hume-Fogg High School
Cane Ridge Ravens Darrius McKibbons signed with Carson-Newman on national television - CNN Headline News show Raising America
Cane Ridge High School

The North Sports Report hit the road Wednesday and logged more than 120 miles to see student-athletes sign their scholarship papers on National Signing Day.  While college sports fans debate which college is landing the best crop of new talent, the North Sports Report enjoyed seeing the joy of student-athletes who will continue to play the sport they love at the next level and the pride of coaches and teachers who guided the student-athletes to the threshold of a successful college experience.

Congratulations are especially due to the parents and families who lugged these athletes to practice; hauled equipment, uniforms and teammates to games and practices; sacrificed time and energy; shared an ice cream after a big win; dried a tear and shared an ice cream after difficult losses; emphasized academics; helped with homework; encouraged and boosted the student-athlete for years to reach this day.

It’s a long road, and behind every student-athlete who signed on Wednesday is a widespread network of supporters, teammates, family and friends.  The party is for all of them.

The North Sports Report started the day at Antioch High School where Christian Molina and John Ekundayo signed to attend college and play football at Carson-Newman, and Shaina Johnson signed to attend and run track at MTSU.

Next stop was Maplewood High School where Coach Arcentae Broome joined four Panthers on stage while they signed to continue their education and football careers.  Cortez Adams, Ladarious Malone, and Ronald Wilbert will attend Highland Community College in Highland, Kansas; and Nick Franklin will attend Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kansas.

Then to Whites Creek High School where basketball star Alexis Lang signed to attend Cumberland University and Michael Cain signed to attend and play football at Tennessee Tech.

Next stop was Hillsboro High School where kicker/punter Joseph Occhipinti signed to attend and play football for Western Kentucky.

The last stop was downtown to see Hume-Fogg High School soccer great Sarah Morris agree to take her fancy footwork to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Cane Ridge High School’s Darrius McKibbens will continue his education and football career at Carson-Newman.  His signing was carried live on national television.

From Pearl-Cohn High School,   Datarreis Richmond will continue his studies and play football at Eastern Arizona Community College; Darius Hooten will take his education and football to the next level at Alabama A&M; and Porche’ Hannah will play basketball and study at Grambling.

I must say – while displaying my mastery of the understatement – “it was a good day.”

MNPS: The First Choice for Guiding Students to the Threshold of a Successful College Experience