Signing to a college and moving on


Lauren McElmurry, Staffer

Making choices that determine your future can be a difficult decision but is something that has to be done. As the end of the school year gets closer, seniors start limiting their options and making final decisions on what their plans for after high school are.

Seniors Bryson Gooding and Carter DeGondea, both varsity baseball players for the high school, committed to two different universities to continue their academic and athletic careers. Gooding will be going to the University of Michigan while DeGondea will be going to Missouri State University.

“I will miss my family and friends, especially my best friend Carter DeGondea. I’ll miss him a ton but you have to move on eventually,” said Gooding.

They will both be participating in signing day which is a day for seniors to officially commit to their college of choice. When making the decision to commit both boys weighed the pros and cons before deciding.

“They have really good academics and a winning baseball program so it was just a really good school for me,” said Gooding.

“Their baseball team has really good pitching, good staff and is known as a family program,” said DeGondea.

It takes time and thought to make a final decision on a school that will determine your future. There can be many other choices before deciding on the one that is the right fit.

“I thought about Nebraska and Arkansas but their academics weren’t as good as they are at Michigan,”said Gooding.

Balancing sports and academics is not always the easiest thing to do, and sometimes other things have to be left behind in order to focus on what is best.

“I have to really focus. My dad says you can only focus on three things at once. You can focus on school, sports, and a social life. I’ll probably have to mainly focus on school and sports and kinda leave my social life behind,” said Gooding.

Feeling inspired is always a great start to a successful future. With the support of family and friends students feel better about the choice they make regarding their future.

“My mom really inspired me to choose University of Michigan because she has always been very academically focused and I think that helps me a lot,” said Gooding.

“Missouri State University was the best choice for me financially and location wise,” said DeGondea.

There are many differences but also similarities between high school and college. There will be some difficult struggles that students will have to face. As students grow and get older, their mindsets inside the classroom and outside will change.

“I think traveling will be difficult because I won’t be in the classroom very often. Also staying on top of my grades. Baseball overall won’t be a problem and we’ll have practice everyday. The pace of play between high school and college will be different for sure. At this point in classics, we have guys throwing 95 mph and everything moves so much faster,” said Gooding.

“The drive will be different for me. All college guys are more serious about their baseball career rather than most high school guys which will be a change. Time management will be something different with the change in schedules,” said DeGondea.

Students will always receive feedback on the school they choose, whether that is from family, friends or teachers. Everyone’s reactions will be different based on the students’ relationships with them.

“People were definitely surprised. I signed right after covid had started to settle down and we had just started going back to school,” said Gooding.

“They were really happy for me, especially knowing that my journey to get where I am now was tough,” said DeGondea.

Students work hard to get where they are today, including making changes to their lifestyle and working to improve the best way they can.

“I definitely have improved over the years. I’ve had my rough patches but I have learned to overcome all of that and it has made me a better person overall. Grades wise I think it’ll be a really big challenge because I haven’t always had the best grades but I always get my work done. I think moving will be hard. I have to get a lot of winter clothes and I’m definitely not used to winter yet,” said Gooding.

Another decision students make is whether or not they want to continue their athletic career throughout college. Most people choose to continue and hope to improve as they play through college.

“It’s just something I’ve loved. I’m pretty good at baseball and I’m a really competitive person so I need to go head to head with some people in a constructive manner,” said Gooding.

“I’ve wanted to play professional baseball my whole life. Basically surround myself with baseball because I love it so much,” said DeGondea.

Athletic Director Kirk Hipple explains what signing day is like for him and how he prepares being in charge of the event.

“I work with Mrs. Moore, my assistant, and started preparing for signing day. We have to get in touch with the P.E. department ahead of time since we take over their classroom for this event. We also have to get in touch with coaches, parents, and the administration,” said Hipple.

Helping students is another big way that Hipple prepares for signing day.

“We have to identify the college the students are choosing, send communication out to families and staff and we send out a link for students to fill out information about their college,” said Hipple.

There are problems that may come into play with the responsibility of many other things around the school going on.

“Students could possibly show up late, they only get about two minutes to talk on signing day about their future and it can get emotional sometimes. Preparing to help students can be hard sometimes,” said Hipple.

While there may be potential problems leading up to signing day, Hipple and many others still find good moments that come from this event.

“Getting to watch students I have coached and taught get excited with their families and find out that they can be more than themselves is always fun to watch,” said Hipple.

With the end of the school year approaching fast, signing day brings more emotions from everyone at the high school, whether they are happy or sad emotions.