Kenwood hosts National Signing Day for varsity sports athletes

The athletes from Kenwood Academy who signed national letters of intent to play sports at the next level. (Photo by Joseph Phillips)

By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
Sports writer

The Kenwood Academy High School staff, led by athletic director Danae Russell, celebrated the school’s fifth annual “National Signing Day” event on May 30.

National Signing Day, is usually celebrated the first Wednesday of February. It is the first day that a high school senior can sign a binding National Letter of Intent for college football with a school that is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Although all NCAA sports have at least one National Signing Day, and most have two, college football’s version is by far the most widely followed by fans and sports media.

The King Room at Kenwood was filled Thursday evening with family, teachers, coaches, students and friends from the community, who were in attendance to honor the 16 seniors who earned athletic scholarships in the areas of basketball, baseball, and football from Division I and Division II schools.

As each athlete took their place at the table to sign letters of intent to their prospective schools, they expressed their gratitude for the love and support from the community.

“Coach Andre Lewis told me if I wanted to get better I had to keep improving myself,” said Tamara Nard, former all state center of the lady Broncos basketball team who will be attending Butler College (KY) in the fall on a basketball scholarship. “And my dad, he was like my coach. I could be sleep in bed and he would encourage me to do push-ups. It was like I was in a gym.”

All the Bronco athletes who have also made commitments to university sports teams are:

Basketball:
Artese Stapleton, Lewis University (MO)
Tamara Nard, Butler College (KY)
Lamond Johnson, Wabash Valley Community College
Kimeira Burks, University of Illinois Chicago (UIC)
Shania Jackson, Chicago State University
Jayda Grady, William Penn University (PA)
Nuri Knighten, Technical School

Baseball:
Brandon Green, Southern University (LA)
Jonathan Butts, Ripon College (WI)

Football:
Denzel Stephens, McHenry County College
Jackson Charlton-Perrin, College of DuPage
Emanuel Lindsey, Millikin University

Track and Field:
Zakiya Johnson, Eastern Illinois

Volleyball:
Kamryn Brown, Xavier University (LA)

Bowling:
Kaia Gray

Cheerleading:
Marissa Hatter, Illinois State University

herald@hpherald.com