Six athletes from T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal sign college scholarships
Five athletes from T.R. Miller and one from W.S. Neal all recently signed college scholarships with various schools.
T.R. Miller’s Dominique Jackson signed a football scholarship with Alabama State last Wednesday while Kameron Colemansigned with Miles College.
Also Wednesday afternoon, sisters Katie Nelson signed a cross country scholarship with Montevallo while Karisa Nelson, signed with Samford.
On Monday, W.S. Neal baseball player Tyler Joyner signed a baseball scholarship with JDCC.
On Tuesday, T.R. Miller football player Kieon Smith
Jackson and Coleman sign football scholarships
T.R. Miller football players Dominique Jackson and Kameron Coleman joined other football players across the nation Wednesday as they signed football scholarships and National Letter of Intents to play college football.
Jackson signed a scholarship with Alabama State while Coleman will play at Miles College.
Jackson, who made the Alabama Sports Writer’s Association first team all-state, finished with 146 carries for the Tigers and rushed for 1,528 yards and had 25 touchdowns. He also caught five passes for 58 yards and scored twice. Jackson will play linebacker at Alabama State.
“It feels really great to sign a football scholarship,” Jackson said. “I have been wanting this for a while now. My brother has been pushing me ever since he didn’t get one. He has pushed me to go hard and do everything. I really like the environment around Alabama State and I really liked the facilities. I want to go to college and get a good education.”
Coleman also played offense for the Tigers this past fall and finished with 82 carries for 645 yards and scored eight touchdowns. He also caught 14 passes for 296 yards and scored twice.
Coleman was among 100 prep seniors from across the nation recently to take part in the 10th annual Max Emfinger All-American Bowl. The game was played at Tommy Oliver Stadium in Panama City and Coleman’s East team defeated the West 30-0. Coleman will play running back at Miles.
“It feels really good to sign a scholarship today,” he said. “I feel really accomplished, like I got something done. I am just overwhelmed. Miles College was just really close to home and it didn’t feel to big. I didn’t want to go anywhere where the professors wouldn’t know my name. I want to be able to be seen. I just want to be able to get a good education. That is what I am there for and this is why I am there and that is what I am going to do. Hopefully I can pursue my marine biology degree.”
Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs said he thinks both players will do great in college.
“First of all, both of them were really good practice players,” he said. “In addition to both being good practice players, they are also really good students. They set good examples for all the other players and that has been the most important than anything they have done. I really, in particular, think Kameron was a great leader for us. He certainly, as I have said before, has been one of the most important players I have had here in my 25 years. He really set the tone for all the success that we have had.”
Riggs said Dominique had a really good year for his team and did so many things for the Tigers.
“He kicked off for us, returned kicks, rushed the passer and ran the ball for us this year,” he said. “It is like we are going to miss three different players because of that. They both contributed in so many ways and I am just really proud of them to get this opportunity. I really think that they will be highly successful because in addition to be being really good athletes, they are both really great kids.”
Nelson sisters sign cross country scholarships
While the Scott and Pauline Nelson family has slowly seen their children run their final cross country races as a T.R. Miller Tiger, they will now have two extra children to see run races on the college level.
On Wednesday afternoon, daughters Katie and Karisa signed college scholarships to Montevallo and Samford respectively. The twins already have siblings Brandon and Amber running cross county at the University of West Alabama. Sister Allie is the lone sibling left to run cross county at T.R. Miller next season.
T.R. Miller cross country coach Rob Atkinson said Katie and Karisa have meant a lot to his team over the years.
“It is hard to put into words just how much Karisa and Katie have meant to the cross country and track programs at T.R. Miller,” Atkinson said. “Their work ethic, character and dedication to the team have been tremendous. Not only have they been great runners but they have also taught our younger runners how to practice and compete. This is a bitter sweet day for me, because I am sad to see them go, but I am also happy that all of their hard work has allowed them to attend two great schools on scholarship. I know that both will be successful at the next level and their best races are still to come. It has truly been a blessing to have coached and watched these young ladies grow up over the past six years.”
Katie placed third in the state this past year at the class 3A state meet.
“It feels good to sign a scholarship,” she said. “I am really excited. It just had the small-town feeling and everyone was just really nice and pretty and it felt like the right place for me. It just seems like a good place to get an education. I am hoping to get in the low 18s or break the 18s like Karisa.”
Karisa has won many honors in her cross country days at T.R. Miller. Just recently the Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced Nelson as its 2013-14 Gatorade Alabama Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. Nelson is the first Gatorade Alabama Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from T.R. Miller High School.
The 5-foot-8 senior distance runner won the Class 3A individual state championship with a time of 17:55.18 this past season, leading the Tigers to second place as a team. Also the Runner of the Year as named by The Mobile Press-Register, Nelson finished 31st at the Foot Locker South Regional championships in 18:01.
She captured the Class 3A individual state championship in each of her final five seasons in addition to placing second as a seventh grader in 2008.
“It feels awesome to sign a scholarship,” Karisa said. “Especially because I have worked so hard. I love the people there and how pretty it was and I love Birmingham also. I hope to do as much as I can there and hopefully I can make it to nationals.”
Joyner signs with JDCC
W.S. Neal High School senior baseball player Tyler Joyner signed a baseball scholarship Monday morning in the school’s library to play baseball next season at Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton.
Joyner was joined by family members as well as W.S. Neal head baseball coach Coy Campbell and JDCC head baseball coach Darrell Blevins.
“This has been a lifelong dream of mine,” Joyner said. “I am just thankful for the opportunity to continue my education and play baseball at JD. Next year, I just want my presence to be known. I just want to help the team win. That is what I am there for.”
Campbell said Blevins is getting a good player out of Joyner.
“Tyler has been with our program since the eighth grade,” Campbell said. “He has been a great asset and has been one of the hardest young men that I have ever coached. He is a great kid. Coach Blevins is getting a fine player. There is no doubt that is work ethic there will be the same that it has been here. Whatever Tyler does, he is going to have success. I offer my congratulations to Tyler and to coach Blevins because he has a great player.”
Blevins spoke highly of his new recruit.
“We were able to see him several times last year and it was obvious he could pitch a little bit,” Blevins said. “We saw him during the summer as well and was very impressed then. I got to see him again in the fall and it was just a tremendous jump in just what he showed. His velocity had really increased and he showed even better command that I was able to see last year. I did my homework as far as checking into his type of character and everything and from everybody I have talked to, he is just going to be a perfect fit for what we are looking for from our student-athletes.
“I definitely look for him to come into our program and really compete for being our Nos. 1, 2, 3 or 4 next year and I think he has the background, the makeup, and the character to be able to do that. I am just very pleased as to having him come into our program.”
Joyner, Campbell and the rest of the 2014 W.S. Neal Eagle baseball team will begin their season Monday, Feb. 17, at home against Excel. Game time is set for 6 p.m. in East Brewton.
Joyner is the fifth local player to sign a college scholarship since Wednesday, but the first to sign a baseball scholarship.
TRM’s Kieon Smith signs with Stillman
T.R. Miller senior football player Kieon Smith became the third Tiger player to sign a college football scholarship as he signed with Stillman College Tuesday morning. Smith joins Dominique Jackson and Kameron Coleman who signed last week. Smith will play wide receiver.
“I am happy that the gave me this opportunity and I am going to try and make the best out of it,” Smith said. “First off at the college level, I want to get my education and do good there. I then want to go to a bigger school and transfer somewhere else. But I am going to make the most out of my opportunity at Stillman first.”
Smith played quarterback for the Tigers this past season and led T.R. Miller to a 10-0 regular season. The Tigers advanced to the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs before losing at Leeds—the eventual state runner-up—to finish their season with a 12-1 record.
“This is a great opportunity for Kieon,” Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs said. “Again, he got this opportunity because not only has he done a good job for us in football, but he is also a good student. So, they want him to play wide receiver and I think he will do very well up there. I hope he takes full advantage of this opportunity. I have no doubt he will get a good education and degree when he gets done.
“It is a great day.”