With their families sitting close behind them, eight students at Cleveland Heights High signed letters of intent today.
Lacrosse players Kelly Jones and Olivia Lash will move west to San Diego State University. Coach Terry Saylor spoke before they made their announcements.
Six football players also made their decisions today. Emmanuel DeBramaletta and Cedric Gardner will play at Malone University. Ryan Bounds chose Robert Morris University, Richard Daniel decided to play at Glenville State College, Diontre Delk will attend Bowling Green State University and Charles Hill is going to Iowa Central Community College.
Athletic director Kristin Hughes spoke at the event, and said she can't wait to see the students when they visit the school as freshmen in college.
As players stepped up to the lectern to make their announcements, students in the audience cheered for their friends and chanted their nicknames. Some parents and family members walked with the athletes to the microphone. One football player took his mother’s hand and escorted her. Families and coaches hugged the athletes after speaking.
Football coach Jeff Rotsky announced special guest speaker Steve Cargile, who is a Heights High grad. He went on to Columbia University and played for the Denver Broncos, and said that academics and getting a degree was "at the forefront" of his college decision.
"If you're good enough, the NFL will find you. Trust me, that piece of paper in your hand will last you a lifetime," he said.
After Cargile spoke, Rotsky moved from behind the lectern to address students sitting at a long table on stage.
"Most people go to school, go to college ... you're being sent. … When you go someplace, it's just about you and it's about nothing else. When you are sent, you are sent with love and the fire and the passion of your parents behind you, and people that you know would give their shirt off their back for you.
"We will always continue to have your back. … You aren't going, you're being sent, and with that comes a responsibility."