Two First Presbyterian Christian Academy athletes signed college letters of intent last week.
Lady Highlander Asyria Daniels signed with the track program at The Citadel, and Highlander Stanford Graham penned his name to play soccer at Middle Georgia State College. They signed their letters Feb. 21 amid family and friends at First Presbyterian Christian Academy.
Daniels, a multi-sport athlete, said The Citadel was her first choice of colleges since her freshman year. Daniels started participating in track at the age of 6 when her dad formed the Southeast Elite Track Club for the CYS on Fort Stewart.
“For now, this was my goal and I met my goal,” she said. “As a little girl, I have wanted to go to the Olympics, and this is my first step in getting better and making my dreams come true.”
Daniels, who plans to study exercise science, said her college coach is looking at her for the triple jump, long jump and 300-meter hurdles. Daniels said she wants to compete in the heptathlon.
Last year, Daniels hit a personal best in the long jump at 17-feet-1-inch, the triple jump at 34-3 and finished the 300 hurdles in 52 seconds. Daniels said she checked some of the current records posted for track at The Citadel and already has hit or exceeded many of them. She said she wants to put The Citadel track program on the map.
Her mom, Alexandria Daniels, said she was thrilled for her daughter and hopes to make as many track meets as possible during her daughter’s college career.
“Education is priority one, however. Her gift is a means to an end … her scholarship signing was a good thing but not her purpose,” Alexandra Daniels said, saying it was just one piece of advice she gave to her daughter.
Graham said he picked Middle Georgia because he liked the team and coach Vinny Gil. He plans to major in English and will play his favorite position in college — midfield.
“I have great vision, and I feel like I can pick out a really good pass,” Graham said, explaining why he loves being a midfielder. “I just plan on doing my best and making sure that I can be an impact not just with my team but with my senior class.”
Gil said Graham will make an immediate impact on the team and could develop into a starter.
“He has great technique, and he is very quick,” Gil said. “He comes from a good program, and he fits our type … he wants to be in school, work on his four year program, be a good student and be a good athlete.”
Graham started playing soccer when he was 8, his mother, Marcia, said. She said that Highlander soccer coach Tom Sukaratana his guided him.
“We are so grateful to coach Tom, who has trained and mentored Stan from a young age,” Marcia Graham said. “Tom has been Stan’s only coach, and the result of his training is evident. Tom has been such a blessing for our family and a good friend to all of us.”
Sukaratana said he watched Graham play at the Liberty County Recreation Department and knew he wanted the young standout on his team.
“We’ve been together a long time and he has developed excellent technical skills,” Sukaratana said. “I’m glad he got it … He worked hard for it and has been playing at FPCA since middle school and he has done great all those years. I am very happy for him.”