First Presbyterian Christian Academy soccer star Cecilia Graham signed Wednesday to play collegiate soccer for Georgia Military College.
It was an emotional setting with words from Graham’s coaches and teachers on how proud they were of her for taking this next step. Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown, who was not able to attend the signing, sent a letter wishing Graham success.
Some have known Graham since she was a little girl playing soccer. Highlander head soccer coach Tom Sukaratana has coached Graham since she 5, playing club soccer. He said he has been proud to see her develop over the years into a great athlete.
"It’s hard to find a person like her," he said. "I think that Georgia Military College will fit her well."
Graham’s mother, Marcia, said her daughter has worked hard, not just to be a good soccer player, but also a good role model, leader and student. Marcia Graham said throughout her time at FPCA, her daughter has been a role model to younger students at her school and to young soccer players in the community.
Georgia Military College women soccer coach Courtney Morgan said she is excited for Graham to be a part of her team. With another athlete in Atlanta signing the same day, Morgan said this year’s recruiting class was one of the strongest she’s ever had.
Following the signing, Graham said she was grateful for the support and help she has received, saying that she wouldn’t be here without family.
"Family is everything," she said. "You can’t do anything without them and they are always there for you."
Her mother said she felt the same and that there has been lots of community support for her daughter.
Molding her into the athlete she is, Graham said she considers Sukaratana family as well.
"It would be a lot different without him," she added. "It’ll be different not hearing him scream my name on the field anymore, but I am so grateful for him and what he has done for me."
Now that Graham knows where she will be heading following graduation, she sets her focus to finishing this season with the Highlanders, saying she hopes to lead them to another state championship. Graham won a state title with FPCA in her 8th grade year on the varsity team.
"This is the year to do it," she said. "I am trying to do this for my team.