Record number of Hawks take part in National Signing Day


Viera High seniors (from l-r) Emily Bodi, Brooke Walsh, JJ Bryant, Sydney Lau, Madison Headley and Jordan Kaplan were among the 15 Hawks honored Wednesday on National Signing Day.


Jordan Kaplan has always loved playing baseball. But there’s something else he has always wanted to do, too.

Now, after signing to play at the United States Air Force Academy, the Viera High senior will get that chance.

“I’ve always wanted to fly,” Kaplan said. “I want to be a badass, go serve my country.”

Kaplan was one of 15 students (a record number) to take part in Viera’s National Signing Day celebration on Wednesday in the school’s auditorium.

Some students, like volleyball’s Maddie Day (Caldwell University); softball player Madison Headley (Georgia Southern); diver Sarah Rousseau (Missouri) and football players Brandon Mays (Army); Tim DeMorat (Fordham) and Trey Schaneville (who will also play basketball at Florida Tech) had previously signed with their respective schools.

Among those celebrating their signings on Wednesday were girls soccer players Brooke Walsh (Lipscomb); JJ Bryant (University of North Florida); Emily Bodi (Eastern Florida State College) and Sydney Lau (LSU).

Volleyball player Ali McLoughlin signed to play at Keene State.

The list of Viera football players signing with colleges also grew as Jaren Lewis (Lindenwood University); James Klaas (Stetson) and Miguel Rodriguez (Garden City Community College) also established where their futures are headed.

“I’d been talking to them for a while,” Klaas said. “I was excited. Honestly, when they told me (they were offering me a scholarship), I was shaking. I couldn’t believe it was happening at the moment.”

Kaplan, a pitcher/outfielder for the Hawks, said he was also considering signing with High Point. But in the end, the urge to fly was too hard to resist.

“After I toured it on my official visit, it was just unbelievable,” he said. “I’m really excited. But the main part is, I always wanted to fly. If baseball doesn’t work out, I have a backup plan.”

Bodi, who was a part of two state championship girls soccer teams at Viera, said she was unsure whether she wanted to continue playing or simply pursue a degree in nursing.

By choosing EFSC, she gets to do both.

“I wanted to have the best of both worlds,” she said.

Walsh, who was also part of two state championship teams (the 15-16 team was also named national champions by TopDrawer, is excited to get to Lipscomb, where she will be reunited with her older sister, Jordan.

“That’s what makes it even more exciting, because that was always our goal,” Brooke Walsh said. “Whatever college I was going to, she was going to try to go there so we could play together.

“We love playing together. We play well together. I can’t wait.”