Five Viera student-athletes take part in National Signing Day


The five Viera High student/athletes who took part in signing day were, from left, Jackson Taylor (College of Central Florida); Corrin Flajole (South Florida State College); Andrew Brait (University of Central Florida); Mary Kate Smith (Lipscomb University); and Connor Leary (Eastern Florida State College).

Carl Kotala

Viera High’s Andrew “Bammer” Brait has wanted to play baseball at the University of Central Florida ever since he first visited the campus five years ago after moving here from Virginia.

Now, he’s going to get that chance.

Brait was one of five Viera athletes to take part in signing day in front of a large group of their classmates, coaches and families.

Joining Brait in signing to continue their athletic careers at the next level were baseball players Connor Leary (Eastern Florida State College) and Jackson Taylor (College of Central Florida), softball pitcher Corrin Flajole (South Florida State College) and golfer Mary Kate Smith (Lipscomb University).

“It was really exciting,” Brait said of signing day. “It was nice to see so many people come out. It was really awesome to have all that support.”

With Brait at shortstop and Leary at second base, the Hawks have perhaps the best double play duo in the county. The addition of Taylor (a transfer from Melbourne Central Catholic) at first base should only make Viera stronger. It certainly made signing day special.

“We played travel ball together when we were younger,” Brait said. “It’s nice to be signing with them.”

Although he considered Jacksonville University, UCF was always at the top of Brait’s list.

“I visited the campus when I was younger and I loved it,” he said. “I chose UCF (because) it was my No. 1 the whole time.”

Flajole, who helped Viera reach the final four for the first time in school history last season, chose South Florida State College after meeting coach Carlos Falla.

“I loved the campus and I loved the coach,” Flajole said. “He’s just really nice. He saw me at a tournament and was really interested and that meant a lot to me.

“I went on a visit and loved pretty much everything he had to say about the school and the program.”

After finishing up her career at Viera, Smith thanked Hawks coach Greg Ford for helping her become a better golfer and a better person. She also thanked her swing coach at Duran Golf Club, Justin Blazer, for helping her get into Lipscomb.

“It’s a small, Christian school and I really wanted to go to an environment like that,” Smith said. “It’s up in Nashville … I used to live in Charlotte … and it’s kind of similar. I wanted to get back to that. I’m really excited.”

Signing day is always a big deal. Now Viera has five more examples of how hard work can pay off.

“It makes it all worth it,” Flajole said. “To spend my first two years of college with a group of girls and playing the game I love is going to be fun.”