Eight Cleveland Heights High School athletes gave impassioned speeches, thanked God and their coaches — and some wept — as they chose colleges at National Signing Day.
The most suspenseful speech was from Shelton Gibson, a standout wide receiver who waited until the ceremony to reveal West Virginia University as his school of choice.
Gibson’s career at Heights High is dotted with accolades, including being chosen to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl last month.
His speech was short and sweet: he thanked God, his family, his coaches.
“I feel extremely blessed, not only because I’m going to college, but because I have options,” he said.
Other students spent more time at the podium.
“My father has done a lot for me,” said Anthony Simmons, a guard and defensive end who signed with Morehouse College. “In my life he has taught me to push for success and for me to shoot for the moon, because even if you miss you’ll land amongst the stars.”
Coach Jeff Rotsky called Simmons a backbone to the football program and commended him for his high grades and dedication as a student.
“For those of you who don’t know me very well, I have ten brothers and sisters, Simmons said. "So for me to go to college, it’s bigger than for me to go to college. It’s for me to set the standard so they know what to expect and they know what to do.”
The following athletes signed letters of intent Wednesday:
- Kyra Schoonover, lacrosse: Marquette University
- Kyle Allamby, football: Glenville State College in West Virginia
- Shelton Gibson, football: West Virginia University
- Dorien Hudson, football: Notre Dame College
- De’Niro Laster, football: University of Minnesota
- Anthony Simmons, football: Morehouse College
- Bobby Upshaw, football: West Liberty University in West Virginia
Football player Braxton Gamble had not yet chosen a school Wednesday, but Rotsky noted that the school would hold a celebration for his decision at a later date.