Blue Springs South sends large, diverse signing class to college

Bill Althaus
The Examiner
The 16-member Blue Springs South High School signing class poses for a group shot after putting pen to paper on National Signing Day Wednesday afternoon in the high school gymnasium. One of the largest and most diverse classes in South history, student-athletes who are continuing their academic and athletic careers in college range from softball and baseball to lacrosse, soccer and equestrian.

Wednesday afternoon the gymnasium at Blue Springs South High School turned into a land where dreams come true. 

Sixteen Jaguars signed their national letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at the collegiate level. 

"I don't know if this is the largest signing class we've had," said first-year activities director Jon Grice, who served as emcee of the event, "but it's certainly one of the most diverse." 

Signees included Jordan Austin, Missouri, baseball; Anaya Brady, University of Texas-Dallas, soccer; Bailey Brumley, UMKC, softball; Kelly Coonce, Oklahoma State, equestrian; Khaliana Garrett, Kansas State, soccer; Lauren Good, Rockhurst, softball; Kennedi Hooks, University of Missouri-St. Louis, soccer; Sofia Lamanno, St. Mary's, lacrosse; Jadyn McBurney, St. Mary's, soccer; Elle Smith, Indiana, softball; Marti Strickert, Johnson County Community College, volleyball; Maddie Rosenblum, Drake, soccer; Mya Trober, Iowa State, cross county/track; Gavin Williams, John Wood, baseball; and Amy Woolsey, Nova Southeastern, cross country. 

The signing ceremony capped a whirlwind week for Trober, whose fifth-place finish at state led the girls cross country team to its first state championship. 

"The championship at state, my signing today – none of that has really settled in," Trober said. "But I love signing day. It's such a cool tradition, and I think it's so cool that we had so many girls participate today. It was fun to share it with everyone – like Bailey, Elle and Lauren, who have always been so supportive of me and our teams, and of course my parents. The South sports community is very special and that was certainly evident today." 

Austin, like so many of his fellow signees, called the event, "A dream come true to sign with Mizzou. 

"I've seen my friends sign, and since I was a little kid playing T-ball, I dreamed of playing Division I baseball, and that dream came true today,” he said. “And to be able to share it with my family and friends makes it even more special." 

Coonce said the signing culminated a 10-year dream of being involved with equestrian in college. 

"I've been showing horses since I was 8," she said, "and I went to an OSU camp and received an offer to go to school there and be a part of their equestrian program. It really is a dream come true." 

The same could be said for Garrett and Rosenblum, two Division I soccer players. 

"Today is a moment in my life I will never forget," said Garrett, as she cut slices of a cake for her family and friends after signing with K-State. "And to share with my family, teammates and friends makes it even more special. 

"I attended a showcase in Phoenix and was on a very good team. That's when I was offered a scholarship." 

Much the same thing happened to Rosenblum, who adds, "I was at a showcase, I don't even remember which one, but I met the coaches at Drake and then visited the campus and fell in love with it. This is such a special day."

Blue Springs South softball teammates Elle Smith, top, Bailey Brumley and Lauren Good, bottom, pose for a photo after signing their letters of intent Wednesday at the high school gym. After helping lead the Jaguars to two state titles and a third-place finish in their four years, Smith signed with Indiana, Brumley with UMKC and Good with Rockhurst University.

The ceremony marked the end of a four-year softball legacy for Brumley, Good and Smith, who have been a part of two state championships, one third-place team and 92 victories. 

“Today is just surreal,” Smith said. “I’m officially a Hoosier, wow! And I get to share it with Bailey and Lauren, who have been with me every step of this high school journey.” 

Added Brumley: “I feel like a load of bricks has been lifted off my shoulders. I know where I’m going to school, and today, I got to celebrate that with so many great students from our school, including two of my best friends and so many great men and women athletes.” 

Good summed it all up by saying, “It’s time to celebrate the last four years and time to celebrate a new beginning at Rockhurst. This is a great day, one me and my family and all the kids who signed will never forget.”