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Annual Fall 23 Signing

Signing To A Brighter Future

On November 8, 2023, West Lauderdale High School hosted its annual fall signing in the high-school gym. The signing highlights and celebrates students who are committing to playing sports at a college level. Colleges that the athletes signed up for include community, junior, and even division one schools.

Eleven athletes signed from West: Elizabeth Shirley and Katherine Bounds for tennis, Carsyn Mott and Breelyn Cain for softball; Hailey Duque for volleyball; Ian Herrington, Leeds Jenkins, and Caden Boswell for baseball; and Josh Deweese and Colby Epting for soccer.

Many factors played a role in what colleges the students choose.

In an interview with Hailey Duque, she states,”[Jones College] is far enough away from home that I have much independence, and it’s also close enough that if something happens, I can be home.”

When asked about the feeling of the college when she toured it, Duque remarks,”The college is big enough to give you the college feel, but it’s small enough that you’re comfortable. Jones also had the program I wanted to enter, so it was a perfect fit.”

Duque’s experience demonstrates the deciding factors of committing to a college that many incoming college students may face. 

These high school athletes went through many obstacles to achieve their goal of making it to the college level. When asked about her experience and the most challenging part of her journey, Mott replies as follows:

“Self-confidence, you lose it. If you don’t have a good day at bat one day, you may not believe in yourself. It comes and goes week by week. Getting over that mental block is a big one.”

Also reflecting on this topic, Elizabeth Shirley explains, “I just wanted to do athletics in college, and I loved tennis because it is a sport you could work on alone… I liked signing because I no longer have to worry about it. College, in general, is stressful, and signing and getting out over with has given me peace of mind.”

One may think the biggest struggle that athletes may endure is physical, but for most, the mental strain is most taxing, and Carsyn and Shirley shed light on this.

The road to becoming a college athlete is long and winding, and support from coaches, peers, and family can take some of the weight off. An interview with Katherine Bounds highlights her support team and how they’ve helped her make the best decisions and made her journey easier.

Sharing her perspective, Bounds states, “My family has been there since I started playing sports. Despite what I faced throughout my athletic voyage, they were always there to support me and my decisions.”

If many students who play on a college level from West Lauderdale go on even further than that and lead successful college careers, even professionally. As the years go on, we hope to see this trend continue. As a new generation of athletes steps up to the plate, they carry their hopes and dreams along with their goals and ambitions for success, just as their predecessors did. The legacy of West Lauderdale continues, inspiring not just the athletes but the entire community. As we look forward, we see the potential for athletic achievement and for these young people to shape the world.


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Preston Wilson
Preston Wilson, Reporter
Hello, my name is Preston Wilson I am a reporter for the WLHS squire. I am so excited to share the stories and news of our school with all of the Squire’s readers.
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