By Dan McWilliams
Four student-athletes committed to colleges Feb. 3 at Knoxville Catholic High School in KCHS’s second athletic signing day of the school year.
Luke Davenport committed to Middle Tennessee State University as a preferred walk-on in football. Emma Schaad signed with Tusculum University in softball. Kennedy Noe signed with the University of North Georgia in golf, and Landon Cox committed to Carson-Newman University in football.
Already signed in November during the early signing period was KCHS’s Cassie Kuerschen with Penn State University in volleyball.
And JT Quinones, a two-sport athlete at KCHS, has signed to play football for Carson-Newman.
Family, friends, and coaches joined the students Feb. 3 as they formally committed to their universities.
Knoxville Catholic athletics director Jason Surlas welcomed the gathering to the signing.
“Athletics at Knoxville Catholic involve way more than winning games,” he said. “Of course, we want our athletes to excel in the athletic arena and experience the highs of winning, but we also want them to learn from the times when we didn’t win.
“But, more importantly, we want them to learn all the wonderful things that come along with playing sports. Commitment, accountability, time management, good sportsmanship, and how to handle adversity and pressure, just to name a few.”
Mr. Surlas then introduced the four signees.
“Parents, families, and friends, but especially parents, close your eyes and go back in time,” he said. “I am sure you can remember the anxiety of signing them up for sports. Was he or she ready? Is it the right time? Would they have a meltdown? Would they get hurt? But then remember the first time they tried their very first uniform on. Their first practice. Their first game or match. My guess is all of these four had giant smiles on their faces.”
Mr. Surlas had a final message for the student-athletes themselves.
“Thank you for making that decision to take a game and turn it into a passion. Over the last few years, the sport you started playing at a young age for fun turned into something more complex,” he said.
“More time commitment, more preparation, and more sacrifice was required. You dedicated yourselves entirely to your sport.”