Stonewall trio signs to play sports in college
QUICKSBURG – Stonewall Jackson’s Hayley Gibson, Nathan Miller and Brittany Singleton made their collegiate dreams come true on Friday.
The trio of seniors signed to play sports in college in a ceremony held at the school. Gibson will run track for Radford University. Miller will play baseball at McDaniel College. Singleton will play soccer at Emory & Henry.
“It’s real exciting to have signed,” Gibson said. “I’ve been waiting to do this for a long time. It’s always been a dream of mine to be a college athlete, let alone a D-1 college athlete. I’m real excited.”
Gibson said she verbally committed in December as soon as her acceptance letter came in. She said she went on a visit to the school in August, and fell in love with it.
She said she was also considering James Madison University, but as a student only. Gibson said it’s exciting to know that she’s going to be a Division I athlete.
“I never pictured that I’d be able to go Division 1, and when I got the offer it was too good to pass up,” Gibson said. “… I really love the program at Radford just because it’s such a laid-back family atmosphere, rather than other Division I programs. My coach is really understanding and pro-academics, so it’s just a really nice program to be in.”
Gibson placed fifth in the 800-meter run at the Group 2A state meet last year, and she said she will be running the 400 and 800 at Radford.
“It’s kind of a comfort level that I’m not going to be trying something new when I get there,” Gibson said. “I’ve run these events for seven years now and it will be just the same thing.”
Miller said he considered going to other colleges just for academics, but he really wanted to play sports in college. He said he went there last weekend for a visit and made a verbal commitment.
“It was a pretty easy decision. I went down toured the school two times and met the coach. They were very high on me, and I’m very high on them,” Miller said. “It’s a very small school, but I wanted to go to a smaller school not a big school. I think I can get a better education with that. It seemed like a good mesh.”
McDaniel College is a Division III school, located in Westminster, Maryland.
Miller said that while it was important for him to play baseball in college, he also wanted to make sure it was a good academic school.
“In the long run baseball’s not going to carry me for the rest of my life, so you got to go to a good place where you think you’re going to get good academics along with it,” Miller said. “So I feel like I made a good decision with that.”
Miller is having a solid season for the Generals. He is batting .379 with nine RBIs.
The Green Terror are having a strong season. They are ranked No. 21 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association/D3Baseball.com poll with a 22-5 record. McDaniel coach Dave Seibert is in his 36th season as head coach.
“He’s been there for a while,” Miller said of Seibert. “He knows how to turn that program into a very competitive program. So I’m excited to go down there and be a part of it.”
Singleton will see a very familiar face when she attends Emory & Henry College — her sister Allison, who plays volleyball at Emory & Henry.
Singleton said it was through visiting her sister that she fell in love with the school.
“Once I decided that I loved the school I decided to look into the soccer program, because I’ve been playing ever since I could walk. So it’s just been my entire life, and to be able to continue it is all I’ve really wanted,” Singleton said. “So I looked into the program, and I love the program. I love the coach. I love the girls on the team.”
She said she made her verbal commitment in February, and is excited to play there next year.
Singleton said she’s gotten to know the players on the soccer team through visits and they already feel like family to her.
“Right now my team (Stonewall Jackson) is like my family. So getting to know them now reassures me that I will still have a team that’s like a family to me in the future, because that’s a really important part to me,” Singleton said. “With soccer it’s a team sport. Swimming or track, it’s individual and you’re running on your own. Soccer you’re a family — you’re one. It’s important to me that I’m friends with them.”
Singleton currently has four goals and four assists for the Generals this season. She also played volleyball at Stonewall Jackson, but said she didn’t really consider playing in college.
“Volleyball’s kind of her thing, and then soccer’s kind of my thing,” Singleton said. “So we’ll both be in the athletic program at Emory, but we’ll both have our own aspects of it.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org