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Area student athletes take part in National Signing Day

Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 11:47 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Wednesday marked National Signing Day, traditionally a day for college football signings, but several area student athletes in our area, in a variety of sports, took advantage of the day.

Let’s begin our recap in Blountstown where four student athletes took to the stage. First up, John Hughes, a tackle for the Tigers, headed to the University of Saint Mary’s an NAIA school in Kansas.

Colton Ryals, a centerfielder for the TigerS baseball team, signed up to play at Pensacola State College he will be playing in the Panhandle conference. Cydnee Eubanks, a softball and volleyball player for the Tigers, but she is headed to Santa Fe State College, she’ll play volleyball there Gainesville. And the fourth Blountstown signee, Brody Hall, another linemen for the Tigers, is headed to Cumberland University a NAIA school in Lebanon, Tennessee.

“It’s a huge deal. Huge deal and a huge help for these parents.” Blountstown football coach and A.D. Beau Johnson told us. “We think it’s great, but grades have big thing to do with it too. A lot of these people signing today, it’s not only athletic scholarship. There’s some academic scholarship involved. We push that and think that’s a big deal around here too, so we are excited for them and they’re families. That’s the most important thing.”

Up to Sneads and a big day for a big lineman! Zach Thomas, the son of Laura and Bill Thomas, the latter, the head coach at Sneads, signing a scholarship offer with Stetson University. Thomas a 6 foot, four inch, 300 pound lineman who played on both sides of the ball for the Pirates. He is headed to college ball as an offensive lineman. Zach a big part of a team that made three straight state playoff appearances, and this past season won a district title with a 9-3 record overall.

Over to Defuniak Springs and Walton High School. Another large athlete moving on to college ball is Tre’Joun Brinson. He’s a 6 foot four inch 305 pound offensive lineman who today signed with Georgia Military Academy. Brinson a big reason why the Braves were able to top 11 hundred yards rushing this season in just 8 ballgames. Congrats to him.

It was a big day Wednesday at Mosley where three more athletes signed scholarship offers. The first of those three is Kassidy Hutchins, who’s going into her fourth year as a starter behind the plate for coach Katie Lopes and the Dolphins. Kassidy signing an offer with Andrew College in Cuthbert Georgia. Next to sign was baseball player David Hudson, who plays outfield and first base. Was off to a hot start last season when play was halted. He signed today with LaGrange College, a D-III program that plays in the USA South Conference. And the final signee at Mosley today, a 6-6 330 pound offensive lineman who played for coach Brown the past few seasons. A bit of an odd twist to his signing. Adrein was a Florida commit for over a year. He says just this past Sunday the Gators withdrew their offer. That left him and his coaches scrambling, and they landed him an offer with South Alabama, which he signed Wednesday. So it ends well for Adrein.

“This is a special day.” Mosley Athletic Director Doug Lee said shortly after overseeing the signing ceremony. “Just to see three student athletes who have given their whole lives, up to this point to the sport they play in. To get the opportunity to extend their careers for say another two to four years, it’s just incredible. I’m just excited to see, I think this is our 11th or 12th athlete this year getting the opportunity to move on.”

Over at Bozeman, the Bucks were cheering on one of their own Wendesday. Jackson gay, a tight end, signing with the University of Tennessee-Martin, a program in the Ohio Valley Conference. Gay a 6′3″ 243 pounder following in the footsteps of his coach, Jason Griffin, who played quarterback for the Skyhawks!

“Very grateful that we were able to play football this year,” coach Griffin told us after the signing “and for a couple of guys that we had to be able to find opportunities at the next level to go on and play college football, what a blessing. It was such a crazy year with NCAA waving eligibility and giving everybody an extra year. There’s so many guys in the transfer portal that there’s not a lot of opportunity for high school kids this year, so for a couple of our guys to be able to do that, it’s such a cool thing.”

Bay senior CJ Campbell also among those signing Wednesday. He’s headed to the Florida State football program. You may recall the feature story with did with CJ, the 5-11 running back who in his first year as a tailback for the Tornadoes ran for 1,351 yards and put up over two thousand yards from scrimmage with 25 td’s. He’s choosing to sign what’s called a preferred walk on offer with FSU over some other scholarship offers. So he’ll take his shot at earning playing time with the Seminoles.

Finally over to Vernon High School as running back K’wan Powell makes his commitment to the University of South Florida official. K’wan signing in front of friends and family at the VHS Media Center. Powell started his career at Freeport, but then moved over to Vernon where he spent the last three seasons running wild over opponents. 876 yards and 11 td’s rushing, another 369 with 8 touchdowns receiving, one special teams td.

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