Smiths Station athletes talk signing day
A total of 14 athletes — six football players, five baseball players, two softball players and a soccer player — all took part in a signing ceremony on Wednesday at Smiths Station High School.
Linebacker Vada King headlined the football team’s class of six signees, inking with Arkansas State of the Division I Sun Belt Conference. King was an honorable mention selection to the All-Bi-City team as a senior and a first-teamer as a junior. He was named to the pre-season Dandy Dozen. As a senior, King finished the season with 74 tackles, a fumble recovery and 17 tackles for loss.
King credits the rapport he built with assistant coach Trooper Taylor as a big part of his decision to sign with Arkansas State. Taylor, who was previously on former head coach Gene Chizik’s coaching staff at Auburn, currently coaches the Red Wolves’ cornerbacks.
“(Taylor) told me how he’d treat me when I got up there, and I felt like he was sincere about it,” said King. “I talked to many players who told me how he was towards me is how he genuinely is. It’s a great relationship.”
Jacob Faver also signed with a Division I school as he committed to Northern Arizona in the FCS.
“My family is moving out to California, so I’ll be close to them, plus I love the campus,” said Faver.
King and Faver were joined among football signees by Quandarius Holt (Kentucky Christian), Khaliah Johnson (Point University), Harrison Jones (Reinhardt University), and Blake Murphy (Huntingdon College).
In baseball, Max Newton signed a Division-I scholarship with Troy. He was the All-Bi-City player of the year as a junior last season.
“To be Division I at Troy is great,” said Newton. “It’s not far down the road.”
Newton signed to the Trojans as he sported his ring for helping the Panthers win the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 7A state championship last year.
“It’s great,” said Newton. “It never gets old. Hopefully we can add another one this year.”
Aly Smith inked her Division I commitment to the University of South Alabama in Mobile.
“It’s awesome to be able to do what I love at the next level,” said Smith. “I think (South Alabama) is a perfect fit for me academically and athletically.”
Smith became the first player from the Smiths Station softball program to sign to a Division I school.
“It’s definitely an honor. I hope my teammates can take this as a learning experience,” she said.
Other Smiths Station signees on Wednesday included Tripp Jones (Huntingdon College), Blake Rivera (Wallace State-Hanceville), Devin Brown (Northwest Florida-Niceville), and Dalton Sinquefield (Wallace State-Hanceville) in baseball; Allison Moore (CVCC) in softball; and Christian Howell (Point University) in soccer.