Signing Off

Athletes sign to continue their athletic careers with their future colleges

Samantha Vojslavek, Feature Story Editor

Occurring three times a year, National Signing Day is offered to students who have committed to the college of their choice to continue and pursue their sport they have participated in. On Wednesday, Feb. 3, senior athletes gathered in Wildcat 1 surrounded by support from family, friends, coaches and several staff members from Millard West. Each athlete signed a letter from their choice of college to signify their commitment to that particular school. 

The event began with each athlete introducing themselves, announcing their chosen school, what sport they’ll be involved with and a potential major they will pursue. Each athlete received a cookie with their college/university logo on it provided by the school and had time to socialize and take pictures with their peers and family.  

“One of the major factors of choosing this school for me was the culture of the team and the ability to be coached by some of the most amazing coaches I have ever met,” senior Sadie Millard said. “I ended up having to choose between volleyball and track, and I think that decision wouldn’t have been possible without the constant support of my parents as well as my coaches believing in me.” 

Although these events are mostly centered around the student athletes and their success, signing day also has a significant effect on the coaches who have impacted the athletes. 

Coaching Sadie was extremely enjoyable,” coach Michael Bowker said. “I’ve coached a lot of fast girls and some great runners but she is the best athlete that I have ever coached. While she is an incredible athlete, she is a hard worker. I have no doubt that her work ethic combined with her natural athletic ability will propel her to be successful in track and whatever career path she chooses.”

Ever since he began teaching and coaching in 2008 Athletic Director Lance Smith has been a part of Millard West’s celebration for the future collegiate athletes and has watched as these Signing Days evolve over the years to morph into what signing day is today. 

“Everytime I speak on signing day I always compare it to how a principal feels on graduation day,” Smith said. “It is an opportunity to celebrate what they have accomplished in their time at West but also make a commitment to continue their pursuit. I get a great sense of pride from it. I think that one of the most important things we do in high school is prepare students for the next level. I love seeing students come back to events and talk about their experiences and cheer on their former teams.”

For these athletes, signing day signified the first big step into their transition to college. Additional athletes will also experience this day and continue this tradition and sign later this spring.