Viera High honors a record 12 athletes on signing day
Viera High soccer players Malia Brock (left) and Hollyn Knight were two of the school's student-athletes who were honored on National Signing Day.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
National Signing Day at Viera High continues to get bigger and better.
For the second year in a row, a record number of Hawks took to the stage to announce where they will be furthering their athletic careers while excited friends and family members looked on.
Among 12 athletes were Cameron Barber (gymnastics) and Lyana Thomas (girls lacrosse) who became the first Viera athletes in their respective sports to receive athletic scholarships.
Barber has received an appointment to attend the United States Air Force Academy. Thomas will be headed to the Tennessee Wesleyan University Bulldogs.
Also signing on Wednesday were Viera softball players Kaitlyn Jensen (UCF) and Haley Hinz (Seminole State College); soccer players Malia Brock (Lee University), Hollyn Knight (UNF) and Ian Spradlin (Harding University); football players Will Champion (Albany State), Marco Foreman (Stetson), Connor Kaminski (UCF) and Jaylin Wilson (Southern Illinois) and golfer Samantha Brimhall (Seminole State).
Of all the students who addressed the crowd packing the school’s auditorium, the most emotion appeared to be Spradlin.
“I’m very excited,” the boys soccer senior captain said. “I think that’s the biggest emotion I’m feeling right now.”
Spradlin, who plans to double major in Spanish and Health Sciences, said family connections were biggest reason Harding stood out.
“It’s a school that has a bit of legacy with my family and family friends, so it was on the radar, even if I didn’t play soccer,” he said “Playing soccer there is just … the cherry on the cake.”
Kaminski, meanwhile, said he will head to UCF as a preferred walk-on after a chance to attend Colorado fell through. He also isn’t worried about not getting a scholarship right away because he plans to “earn” one.
“I’m excited about it,” the Hawks linebacker said. “I’m blessed.”
Foreman, who chose Stetson over other offers from schools like Valparaiso and Jacksonville University, had a quick answer when asked what stood out about the Hatters.
“The coaching staff by far,” Foreman said. “The coaching staff is amazing. I already feel at home and I’m not even there yet.”
He plans to major in Biology with a goa of becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
A connection with the coaching staff was also mentioned by Knight and Jensen.
In addition to the coaching staff, Knight said she was impressed with the University of North Florida campus, the atmosphere in Jacksonville and the fact that it’s not too far from home so she can stay close to her family.
“I get homesick easily, so that will be good,” she said.
Having a few players from her club team playing for the Ospreys, including Satellite High’s Caroline Larsen and Viera teammate JJ Bryant – a junior who recently committed to UNF -- should also make Knight feel right at home.
And talk about feeling at home, Jensen already knows who her roommate will be at UCF.
She plans to become a physical therapist.
“I can’t be more excited to go there,” Jensen said. “Right when I stepped on campus, I knew that’s where I wanted to go.”