National Signing Day

Kalen+Barlow+signs+with+UT+Tyler+on+February+5%2C+2020+during+National+Signing+Day+at+SHISD%2C+Panther+Gym.

Photographer: Amy

Kalen Barlow signs with UT Tyler on February 5, 2020 during National Signing Day at SHISD, Panther Gym.

Story by: Dylan Murdick, Sports Editor

Today was a big day for athletes around the nation as colleges reached out and athletes reached up to accept offers on National Signing Day. Although thousands of students compete on the high school level, it is only a select few that have the academic ability and the athletic stamina to carry that competition on post-high school. Spring Hill is honored to join the ranks of the elite by recognizing four Panthers: Gage White, Zach Henry, Kalen Barlow, and A’Zaria Jones that signed on the dotted line to continue their athletic and academic careers with colleges. This is a brand new chapter for these student-athletes as they go on to continue their craft on a bigger stage.

“All of the hard work they’ve put in is why they’re here, and they have the God-given ability. And yes, this is an athletic scholarship, but more importantly,  it’s the academics that have gotten them here too.” Athletic Director Johnathan Louvier said. “These students are the definition of student-athlete. In my 12 years of coaching, Gage is absolutely one of the best kids I’ve ever coached,” Louvier said.   “He is also the best quarterback I’ve ever coached.”

Louvier added that Gage is an incredible quarterback, holding plenty of school records that will stand for a long time. Louvier reiterated that Gage’s character makes him admired by all of his peers.

Louvier was not the only proud coach present. Coach Andrew Harbison introduced A’Zaria Jones and bragged on her abilities on and off the court.

“All of the things she has done have just been great. Whatever I have asked her to do, whatever it was, she would do it,” said Harbison.

Harbison challenged A’Zaria to remain a part of this community and how young students need leaders by saying, “Remember to come back,  you’re representing this community out there and come back and help these younger athletes in the future”.

A’Zaria, according to Harbison’s accolades,  is an amazingly gifted volleyball player. This is not only credited to her natural given ability but her outstanding work ethic. Harbison told the audience full of parents and students that A’Zaria doesn’t just apply this ethic to the court but also the classroom, which is reflected in her grades, supporting Louvier’s focus on grades.

Additionally, Coach Michael Colvin took the mic to talk about his track stars, Kalen Barlow and Zach Henry, and their accomplishments.

“These two kids are the hardest working kids I’ve ever been around,”  Colvin said of his athletes. “Kalen has run more miles than I have on my Chevy Silverado,” Colvin added and the crowd responded with a chuckle. This was a common theme with both of the athletes recognized by Colvin. “Kalen is incredibly gifted with what most athletes don’t have, and that is dedication. He has continuously worked on his craft in running and grades in school and has made him an ideal student-athlete.”

Zach Henry is a multi-letterman, excelling in various sports from football to fishing. Colvin continued to boast of the honorable athletes that compete in track and field events by introducing Zach Henry.

“Zach is the hardest working kid I’ve coached in my 5 years of being here,” said Colvin. “That’s what is going to drive him to succeed in life. Zach is an extremely great kid, who is loved by all of his classmates. He has made his name known throughout Spring Hill, by not only his success in sports but his overall success in life. He will continue this on in college, and for the rest of his life”.

To end signing day, Athletic Director and mentor, Coach Louvier reminded Spring Hill student spectators of what rare company they were in and encouraged them to aim to be at these tables next year.

“There were over 3 million seniors who played sports this year, and less than 3% of them are doing what y’all are doing here right now,”  Louvier said.