Shining on Signing Day

Liberty student athletes make their futures clear in official signing day ceremony


Alix Queen

Senior Tess Roberts speaks at the College Athlete Signing Ceremony. Roberts will be attending Concordia-St. Paul (Minn.) to play soccer.

Kaylee Clay

Gavin Block, Reporter

Nine student-athletes, along with their families and coaches, gathered at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 10, in the main gym to announce their collegiate commitments.

This was the first time in over two years that a signing day congregation was organized; the last one was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cary Eldredge, Liberty’s athletic director, opened the ceremony by recognizing the students and the people who have supported their journeys along the way.

“Today is an opportunity to celebrate these student-athletes who have done whatever it takes to continue on athletically and academically at the collegiate level,” Eldredge said. “These students are before you as a testament to the hard work and dedication needed to sharpen their skills and the perseverance to make it at the college level.”

Eldredge provided a microphone and each student-athlete took turns in a Q&A to give further insight to student-athletes and their collegiate choices.

Athletes celebrated amongst each other and their families, LHS Publications took group pictures and breakfast was provided for the attendants.

Of the nine athletes, three were playing soccer, two were playing softball, and two were for baseball with one athlete each for archery and track/cross country.

A total of nine student-athletes, some going to local colleges and others out of state, signed on commitment day. (Alix Queen)

Senior Hailey Jolliff was one of the soccer athletes at the college signing. She will be attending the University of Central Missouri.

When asked about the recruiting process at UCM, Jolliff noted, “It was very short. UCM was one of my first options. The school, the coaches, the people, I knew immediately it was the right pick for me.”

Senior and track/cross country state champion Ally Kruger is heading to the University of Kentucky.

“Start early,” Kruger said in advice to those looking to become student-athletes. “Take all of your official visits in the recruiting process because you never know what you love until you see it.”

Senior Riley Laws is the sole athlete competing in archery and will be going to Lindenwood next year.

“When I went to Lindenwood, I could just tell after I left that it was the right spot,” Laws said. “The atmosphere was just amazing.”

When asked what aspects of archery instilled his love for the sport, he remarked, “I get to do it with my family, and I want to stay close to home. I have always loved the accuracy part of it as well.”

The colleges are sure to gain quite some talent next year as the student-athletes will look to make a name for themselves at an even higher level of competition.

The following athletes participated in the signing:

Ella Evans – Belhaven University (Softball)

Hailey Jolliff – University of Central Missouri (Soccer)

Amira Khayyat – Quincy University (Soccer)

Ally Kruger – University of Kentucky (Track, Cross Country)

Riley Laws – Lindenwood University (Archery)

Kylee Orf – Southwest Baptist University (Softball)

Tess Roberts – Concordia University, St. Paul (Soccer)

Cooper Swift – Moberly Area Community College (Baseball)

Cole Vance – East Central College (Baseball)