VILONIA — Six Vilonia High School students signed letters of intent Friday during a group signing party for three sports in an event akin to a holiday with a gathering of family, friends, cake and balloons.
Four athletes, Baylee Daves, Alex Ebmeyer, Lydia Gordon and Jerrie Piacentini signed track scholarships. Daves and Ebmeyer signed with UALR; Gordon and Piacentini signing with Harding University.
Daves said track was a ticket to unwind and will use the sport to help with her college education to become a nurse.
Ebmeyer credits the sport and his coach, Michael Stout, for "teaching me life’s rules. I know to do the right thing and to not give up on my goals."
Piacentini, who has been running track since the seventh grade, said, "I never thought I would get here but here I am. I have had a lot of encouragement from everyone even my teammates. The encouragement, that’s really how I got here."
She plans to become a dietician after college.
Gordon has also been running track since seventh grade. Her goal is to go into the medical field after college.
Trevor Martin signed with Lyon College on a basketball scholarship in what he considers a slam dunk. "(Vilonia) coach (Lance) Davis, early on, told me if I worked hard I could make it happen," said Martin, who plans to attend pharmacy school after college.
Whitney Price signed to play softball for the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, on a softball scholarship. Playing since the age of five, she said "she feels her best on the field."
She also plans to major in education with a goal to become an early childhood teacher.