Wednesday was a big day in the lives of area high school student athletes taking advantage of the first day of the early signing period for winter and spring sports.
One of those is Cade Parker, a senior baseball player for Jeff Patton's Bozeman Bucks. Parker signed with Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, becoming the first Bozeman baseball player to ever sign D1 and just the third D1 signee in Bozeman history (Chandler Burkett and Jacob Martinez signed football scholarships with with Maryland and Buffalo in 2013.)
In his junior season, Parker hit .417 with two homers and 33 RBI as a shortstop and racked up five wins on the mound with an 1.97 E.R.A.
"It's a surreal feeling being able to sign a baseball scholarship," Parker said. "It's been one of those goals for my entire life and it's just unbelievable."
Being the program's first D1 signee is also the realization of a dream for Parker.
"That was one of my goals, to become a senior and be able to be the first D1 player. It's unbelievable really, just knowing that I'm the first one maybe can inspire some other kids to be baseball players and brighten their future."
Parker's signing is a huge deal for the Bucks program.
"You know, it means that we're we've got good players here," head coach Jeff Patton said. "For Cade to be our first D1, it's special. He's a good kid. If it's going to happen to somebody to be our first, I'm glad that it's him. It's a pretty special moment. Hopefully we'll have a few more come through the doors, but right now we're going to enjoy this one."
Mosley celebrated the signings of eight student athletes Wednesday; one in volleyball, two in soccer, one in golf and four in baseball.
Golfer Noah Zediker, fresh off a solid performance at the state championship, signed with Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi.
Olivia Whittle signed a volleyball scholarship with Gulf Coast, staying local.
Blake Vineyard heads west to Coastal Alabama Community College for baseball, while teammate Brayden Gainey signs with Gulf Coast, Clete Hartzog heads north to Wallace Community College in Alabama, and pitcher Ryan Pettys (who transferred this fall from Arnold to Mosley) signed with Florida State.
Soccer standout Abbie Legg signed with Trevecca Nazarene University, while star teammate Maddie Flammia goes D1 to Southern Miss.
"It's a great day to be a Mosley Dolphin and for the Lynn Haven community," Mosley A.D. Josh Vandergrift said. "What we've gone through, with the hurricane, we had this date on the calendar before and we decide all these kids wanted to continue with their signing and everything, so we decided to make it happen."
Two more student-athletes took advantage of the early signing period at Marianna, as softball players Chole Temples and Deanna Holland both made the D1 deals official.
Temples is the Bulldogs ace signs and will move on to play with Stetson. Last season, she racked up 190 strikeouts in 131 innings as a junior and has totaled 50 wins in three seasons with a batting average of .420.
Holland, an infielder, signed today with Alabama State. She's also a three year starter, compiling a .350 batting average with 85 stolen bases in three seasons.