Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

May 23, 2013

Signing day at VHS

Phillips, Smith headline group of signees

VALDOSTA — It was signing day galore at Valdosta High School Wednesday.

Six student-athletes signed national letter of intents to compete at the next level, while two VHS athletes both signed academic scholarships to Division I universities.

Headlined by the signings of Stormm Phillips, Valdosta’s highly touted athlete that competed in three sports, and basketball standout Clarence Smith, a large crowd packed into the Performing Arts Center at VHS to celebrate a large and successful day for the Wildcats.

“It is a wonderful day,” Valdosta boys’ basketball coach Antonio Haynes said. “I tell everyone, to me, this is better than winning a state championship any day. Of course you want to win, but to see kids go off to college and chase their dream, that is absolutely amazing.”

After four successful years of playing softball, dominating the basketball court and winning back-to-back state championships in Long Jump, Phillips, who posts one of the highest grade point averages at Valdosta High through the International Baccalaureate program, signed with Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Fla. on a track scholarship.

“The best thing about Stormm, it is the same thing as Donjae Jones last year, is they are very good students. They were International Baccalaureate students with outstanding GPA’s and outstanding test scores,” track coach Alan Rodemaker said. “But Stormm’s best track is in front of her. She has never devoted a whole year to track. I get her in March and she only runs track for about two months a year and she has won the state the last two years in the Long Jump....That is scary talent wise.”

Smith, who was named All-Region last year and was an Honorable Mention for All-State, signed to play college basketball at Winston-Salem State, choosing the Rams, a Division II program, over Valdosta State and Albany State, to name a few.

“Clarence, that is where he wanted to go,” Haynes said. “He went up there on a visit, he had a good showing and now he is going. Like I said, it is kids going and fulfilling their dreams. So it is wonderful.”

From the girls’ basketball team, Shaneika Smith and Keneshia Kimbrough each signed letters of intent to play at North Country Community College (N.Y.). They joined teammate Taylor Hauser as players that signed this year. Hauser signed with Fort Scott Community College (Kan.) two weeks ago.

“It feels good to get those kids, who have been working hard for you, signed up,” girls’ basketball coach E.A. Wilcox said. “It feels real good. They worked real hard for us....Every year we try to get all of our seniors signed. That is the most rewarding part of it. At the end, get them signed and they go off to college and stay there — that is the most rewarding part.”

From the boys’ team, Coy Roberts signed with Middle Georgia College and Jeharn Thomas signed with Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn.

Also from the boys’ team, seniors Colin Kirkpatrick signed an academic scholarship to Georgia Tech, while Pierce Wallace signed an academic scholarship to the University of Georgia.

“That is the key part; You graduate kids and you want to see them succeed and do well in life, and to have kids going to Georgia and Georgia Tech, is totally awesome,” Haynes said. “Basketball is one thing, but they are student-athletes and to have kids go to school for academics is wonderful.”

For Phillips, one of the most recognizable athletes at VHS in recent years, she says her decision to attend Jacksonville was based on academics and athletics.

“They have won eight consecutive indoor/outdoor championships and then they’re private,” said Phillips of her decision. “And my major, accounting, they are really good with accounting stuff.”

Once she gets to Jacksonville, Phillips will be training for track on a year-round basis, something she didn’t do in high school because of her obligations to other sports.

Her goal: Be the best and possibly make it to  the Olympics.

“I want to be the next Jackie Joyner,” Phillips said.

For Smith, he said his decision to attend Winston-Salem State came after a workout at the school, and once he had a chance to visit the city and speak with the team.

Not to mention, the Rams plan to build their offense around the three-point shooter that from Valdosta.

“It is real exciting,” Smith said. “The coaches, the team and everything, they are all real good....The city was real nice, it surprised me actually. And for basketball, they send a lot of players overseas and to the league. They have a good history in basketball.”

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • rachel.jpg Factor X Fitness holds Fitness Classic

    South Georgia is on the verge of muscling its way back into the national bodybuilding scene, ending a lengthy absence.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • No. 21 Blazer Softball faces Lee in regular season finale

    Expect Blazer Nation to be out at Steel's Diamond at Blazer Park in full force today and Saturday to watch their No. 21 Valdosta State softball team take on the Lee Lady Flames in the final series of the 2014 regular season.

    April 18, 2014

  • VHSsigning.jpg Goals Achieved

    The Valdosta High Wildcats hosted a scholarship signing ceremony for senior soccer player Dale Fulton Kent on Thursday afternoon in the schools’ Performing Arts Center.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • MLS.jpg Atlanta lands MLS expansion team for 2017

    Arthur Blank donned traditional soccer garb to mark his newest venture — an MLS team for Atlanta.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blazers try to garner momentum in GSC finale

    Valdosta State snapped its six-game losing streak a week ago. Now the Blazers are hoping to wrap up its Gulf South Conference schedule with some momentum ahead of next month’s conference tournament.

    April 17, 2014

  • Blazer barrage downs No. 23 Georgia College

    Valdosta State unleashed a season-high 19 hits and tied a season-best in runs as the Blazers defeated No. 23 Georgia College 15-8 in non-conference baseball action at John Kurtz Field Wednesday evening.

    April 17, 2014

  • 2014 Jump.jpg Showtime in the Down Under

    Just a junior in high school, Valwood’s Chandler Cargile has already seen things that most people don’t get to experience in a lifetime. Cargile recently returned to Lake Park from Mulwala, Australia, where he competed in the Barefoot Water Ski World Championships. The competition hosted participants from 15 countries and lasted for two weeks last month.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Valdosta State tennis gears up for GSC Tournament

    The Valdosta State men's and women's tennis teams are set to compete against the rest of the league in the Gulf South Conference Tournament, scheduled to be played this week in Montgomery, Ala. for the seventh straight season.

    April 17, 2014

  • Kaleb Whitfield against Crisp.jpg No Dome for Wildcats in Corky Kell Classic

    Valdosta High’s chance of playing in the Georgia Dome this year now depends on reaching the state championship game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140416-SGMC_Award002.jpg SGMC earns VISTA Award

    South Georgia Medical Center was awarded Wednesday with an American Society for Healthcare Engineering Vista Award.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

Blazers Blog
More