PROSPER — Aside from winning a State Championship, National Signing Day is the ultimate reward for high school athletes looking to compete at the collegiate level. It is a sign that all their hard work, countless hours of practice and dedication to the sport they love has paid off in the biggest way.
Prosper High School had a total of 24 athletes from various sports sign their National Letter of Intent to play at their respective colleges and universities across the country, which is the largest number of athletes to ever sign at PHS.
The number was so large that the school had to move the festivities to the larger auditorium to accommodate both the athletes and their friends and family supporting them on their special day.
“I think it says a lot that college coaches are noticing how hard our kids work,” Athletic Director Valerie Little said about the increase in athletes. “We always know they work hard, but when the next level realizes that they can compete with other kids in other states across the nation, and that we are as good as some of them because we’re getting the scholarships, that’s huge.”
There are quite a few large schools in the mix of colleges and universities announced on signing day, including a variety of D1 schools and community colleges. Most notably, senior soccer midfielder Kat Rogers signed with the University of Alabama on a soccer scholarship. She currently leads the team with ten goals this year.
Blake Harrington, one of the safeties for the football team, is also going D1. He will be playing at the University of Wyoming.
The full list of signees is as follows:
Justin Benvie - Morehead State
DJ Love - Evangel
Grayson Winters - Southern Nazarene University
Blake Harrington - Wyoming
Jevin Jackson - Howard
David Alvarez - Morehead State
Brooks Coffman - Texas Wesleyan
Kevin Simes - Southeastern Oklahoma
Bailey Zornes - Oklahoma Wesleyan
Skylar Phillips - Concordia
Avery Colclaser - Hendrix
Maycie McDougal - Louisiana Tech
Kat Rogers - Alabama
Peyton Jefferson - University of Chicago
Cole Fedorczyk - Oral Roberts
Chris Nayler-Gress - Trinity University
Joe Vannette - University of Texas - Dallas
Kendall Foster - McClennan Community College
Cory Lewis - Missouri Valley College
Dawson Zey - Richland Community College
Cameron Marchant - Cameron University
Zach Wrightsil - Loyola New Orleans
Emily Patterson - Duquesne
With most of the sports still in season, many of these athletes still have a little more time to show off their Prosper pride in their final season — something that Little believes is good for the community.
“It’s a huge accomplishment for our community, its good for our school, and it will hopefully bring more people to Prosper, because why would they not want to be a part of the success?” she said.
During the 2017-2018 calendar year, the athletic department has put on quite a show in their final year as 5A contenders. The volleyball team claimed the State title, while both wrestling and swimming will have a chance to secure the championship trophy in the upcoming weekend. Additionally, football had one of the most successful seasons in program history, both boys and girls basketball are crushing district competition, and although soccer season is in the early stages of district, both are 3-0 after almost two weeks of play.
While all these accomplishments are great, Little hopes the athletes take away more than just the trophies, and cherish the opportunities they’ve been given.
“We just hope that they realize that it wasn’t just about sports, it was about the family they made while they were here,” she said. “The fact that they get that chance to go play at the next level. Not that many do, so it’s very exciting to see them play at whatever level they will be in.”