By Grant Mollett, M.Ed.
East Ridge High School
On Wednesday, February 6, schools around the country had athletes participate in National Signing Day ceremonies. For student-athletes to sign a national letter of intent is both a day of celebration, but also a day to acknowledge the long and hard journey ahead. At East Ridge High School, six student-athletes signed their national letters of intent to participate in college athletics for the following year.
Alexis Hill: Florida Atlantic University – Cross Country
Bethany Cudnik: Oglethorpe University – Volleyball
Macey McGinnis: Lake Sumter State College – Volleyball
Norman Carreno Garcia: Florida Southwestern State College – Baseball
Angel Ortiz – Warner University – Football
Rayanna Taylor – Daytona State College – Soccer
Senior Alexis Hill signed her national letter of intent with Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. Alexis will join FAU’s women’s cross country and track and field teams in fall of 2019.
Alexis has been a four-year letterman in both Cross Country and Track and Field at East Ridge High School. She has also been a two-year letterman in soccer. Alexis’s individual accomplishments have helped lead her cross country and track teams to great accomplishments over the years. When asked about her accomplishments that she was most proud of as a cross country runner, Alexis responded, “I am most proud of receiving the MVP award three years in a row and having the fastest three-mile time in school history, and placing fourth in our district meet, qualifying for the regional meet.” Alexis’s senior season was by far her most successful season. Her senior season is what captured the attention of college coaches, including Coach Alex Smolka from FAU, who will be Alexis’s coach beginning next school year.
“I will miss the friendships I have made, and running with my best friends, including my little sister. We have made so many fond memories together that I will cherish forever,” Hill said in regards to what she will miss most about high school cross country. But Alexis is definitely looking ahead to her new journey at FAU, as she said, “I am looking forward to meeting new people and improving as a runner. I know becoming a Division 1 athlete will be difficult, but I am looking forward to the challenge, and hope it makes me stronger and helps me grow as an individual.”
Academically, Alexis will study exercise science at FAU, and she plans to either become an athletic trainer, or go into a graduate program for physical therapy.
Alexis did have some final words of wisdom to her underclass teammates that she will be leaving behind when she attends FAU, and that was, “Don’t give up. There are definitely difficult times when it comes to the sport of cross country. If you push through;’ and continue to work hard, everything will pay off.”