By Jeremy Stafford - firstname.lastname@example.org
QUICKSBURG -- The Stonewall Jackson class of 2010, parents and teachers have thought, is a rare class to come by.
But those parents and teachers haven't been able to put a finger on what, exactly, makes this class so resplendent.
"We had a teacher that talked about watching our class grow up together," Stonewall Jackson senior Caleb Golladay said, "and saying there was always something special about our class, but not knowing exactly what it was.
"I think the special thing about our class is that we have so many good athletes."
On Wednesday morning in the Stonewall Jackson multipurpose room, Golladay and Hayden Miller, both of the Generals' undefeated boys soccer team (15-0, 9-0 Shenandoah), as well as Amber Campbell and Heather Stout, of Stonewall Jackson's cross country and volleyball teams, respectively, signed letters of intent to continue their athletic careers at the college level.
Golladay and Miller will both play soccer at Division III Eastern Mennonite University in the fall; Campbell will run at Davis and Elkins College, and Stout will play volleyball at Glenville State College, both of which are Division II schools in West Virginia.
At Wednesday's signing, Golladay and Miller were joined by EMU coach Roger Mast, who graduated from the Harrisonburg institution in 1985 and has coached men's soccer there for 19 years. He coached Golladay and Miller for two seasons with Shenandoah Valley United, a local club team.
Golladay currently leads the area with 20 goals and ranks second with eight assists. Miller has 51 saves and five shutouts; the latter statistic is tied for most in the area.
"It was definitely neat to get some recognition for it, just to show everyone," Miller said of the ceremony. "A lot of people came out, and it was nice.
"It made me feel proud of myself, and it made me feel like I accomplished something."
Campbell capped her senior cross country season with a 25:45 performance in the Region B meet at Panorama Farms in Charlottesville. In 2007, Campbell finished the regional meet in 24:21, but her best time came this past year, when she posted a time of 23:00 earlier in the season.
A representative from Davis and Elkins College, out promoting the school, urged Campbell to visit the campus; she complied, sent her running times to Senators cross country coach Will Shaw, visited the school about a month ago, and spoke with Shaw about the program.
Campbell said she enjoyed the Davis and Elkins campus, and she enjoyed sharing one final moment of Stonewall Jackson athletics with her three classmates.
"It meant a lot because we have all grown up together and we've all had all our memories together," Campbell said. "It means a lot to be able to move on together."
Stout, a two-sport athlete for the Generals, averaged 17.4 points per game for Stonewall Jackson's basketball team this past winter, and led the area with 426 kills playing volleyball in the fall.
In a recent showcase with her travel volleyball team, an event which saw as many as 3,000 girls in attendance, Glenville volleyball coach Camai Roberson told Stout's parents she wanted the Generals' star to play for the Pioneers.
Roberson's immediate promptings, as well as the firm community focused around Glenville, sold Stout on the school.
"It's a community, family environment," Stout said. "It's a school with 2,000 kids, so it's something that I'll be used to. You go to the games and everyone's there, and the next day everyone's talking about it.
"So it's something that I've always lived with, having that around Stonewall Jackson, and to have that ... at Glenville, it's just great."