Eight Winter Haven High School Athletes Sign College Letters Of Intent At Signing Ceremony
by James Coulter
Winter Haven High School will be sending off eight student athletes to participate in the college athletic programs of their choice now that those students have signed their college letters of intent.
During a student signing ceremony on Thursday afternoon, the eight students gathered within the school gymnasium, where they sat before their families and classmates to sign their letters of intent for their respective university.
By signing these letters, the students are signifying their intent to attend the university and college athletic program of their choice and thus will not be pursuing any other prospective university.
Of the eight students, two will be attending Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, NC; two will be attending Hillsborough Community College in Plant City, FL; two will be attending Warner University in Lake Wales, FL; one will attend Daytona State College in Daytona Beach, FL; and one will attend College of the Siskiyous in Weed, CA. Many of these students have been granted scholarships to pay for their tuition, with their scholarships totaling anywhere from $15,000 to $31,000 per year.
Not only have these student athletes exceled in their respective athletic fields, but also within the classroom. Nearly all of them have achieved an overall GPA of a 3.420, making them some of the best educated student athletes in the county, explained Randy Pritchard, Coach Athletic Director.
“You all have represented yourselves in the correct way,” he told the students during the ceremony. “We are so proud and so humble that we have so many kids here.”
As the school athletic director, Pritchard knows each and every one of these students and their families personally. He has seen them grow both physically and mentally during their school career, and he expects them to continue going strong when they attend college.
“It is unbelievable,” he said. “It is humbling in the same spirit. These kids that you’ve seen…all of them have the exact same frame of mind, which is work hard, be good people, and definetly do what it takes to be good in the classroom.”
Abbygael Ouellette has performed well on the basketball field during her athletic career in high school. With her $15,000 per year scholarship to attend Hillsborough Community College, she expects to continue doing well over there. Even then, she remains humble and acknowledges her success lies with her family and faith in God.
“It feels great knowing that I have somewhere to go where I am going to be used, and I can also get an education,” she said. “I expect to have fun and have a great time and get along with everyone.”
James Long will be joining two of his fellow classmates in attending Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount. He loves visiting North Carolina, and loves it the more that he visits it, which is why he made his decision to attend there.
“Not a lot of people get to do what I am doing right now, so I am just happy that I am doing it,” he said. “I plan to work as hard as I can and make use of my opportunity.”
Tucker Truehard, on the other hand, decided to remain close to home by attending Warner University in Lake Wales. After working hard to make it through high school, he hopes to keep up the good work going to college.
“It feels amazing,” he said. “I feel like I have achieved everything I have ever been doing for all my life, going to school all my life, and now I am finally going to college…I hope to be a better man, to grow up, and do good things.”
The eight student athletes and their colleges of choice are as follows:
- Jaylen Doles, Wesleyan College (Rocky Mount, NC)
- Abbygael Ouellette, Hillsborough Community College (Plant City, FL)
- Osheiauna Pfhifer, Warner University (Lake Wales, FL)
- Nisson Altima, College of the Siskiyous (Weed, CA)
- Jozhya Dopson, Hillsborough Community College (Plant City, FL)
- Tucker Truehard, Warner University (Lake Wales, FL)
- James Long, Wesleyan College (Rocky Mount, NC)
- Aliyah Woodside, Daytona State College (Daytona Beach, FL)