A talented crop of McKinney Boyd athletes readied themselves for the next step, signing their letters on intent to play collegiate athletics Wednesday at Boyd.
Headlining the signings was the volleyball duo of Parker Shepherd and Baylee Bingaman.
“This is the biggest signing we’ve ever had,” Boyd volleyball head coach Kelly Arbabi said.
Shepherd signed her letter to attend the University of Cincinnati while Bingaman finalized her decision to attend Harding University in Searcy, Ark.
Arbabi said she was blessed to coach the two girls, noting it was never about them, but instead the team came first.
She added it would be hard to find girls that are “in the same realm” of Shepherd and Bingaman.
Jamie Shepherd, mother of Parker Shepherd, said she was very proud of her daughter, and gave praise to all the coaches her daughter had to get her to this point.
While her mom said her daughter’s pending departure to Ohio is sad, being her last child to leave home, Parker Shepherd, dressed in her red “U of Cincinnati” shirt, said she can’t wait to get on campus.
“I’m speechless; everything I’ve worked for has been for this moment,” Parker Shepherd said.
She said that while excited to get her college years started and getting her degree in Business, she said its hard to imagine not playing for Arbabi and her teammates at Boyd.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do without them by my side,” she said.
Sitting next to Shepherd at the podium at Boyd was Bingaman, who said she relishes the opportunity that is facing her at Harding University.
“I’m going to take it and never look back,” Bingaman said.
Tami Bingaman, Baylee’s mother, said her daughter was fortunate to have several offers, but said Baylee’s desire to work in the community and help others was a perfect fit for Harding.
Baylee Bingaman said she plans on studying education, hoping to help people who are less fortunate.
From a volleyball sense, Baylee Bingaman said the school “spoke to me,” saying the volleyball program felt like home, with the coaches running the program similar to the way Arbabi ran Boyd – someone who pushed her to get better, but kept a friendly, comfortable feel.
Along with volleyball, softball, lacrosse and softball announced their signings Wednesday.
On the diamond, Jill Nicklas and Maddie VonHagle signed their letters to play collegiate softball, with Nicklas signing to play for the University of Illinois and VonHagle committed to join Houston Baptist University.
VonHagle said is ready to get started and contribute at HBU, while planning on studying Psychology.
Nicklas, said she “wanted to go big” when deciding where to play college softball, and felt Illinois gave her the best chance to do so. She said the chemistry the softball program had made a great impression on her during her trip, and hopes to contribute her freshman year. She is planning to major in Psychology.
Head softball coach Tara Sneed said she is excited to see Nicklas and Vonhagle move on to the next level, and expects both to make and impact their freshman year. She added both signings are great sign for Boyd softball, adding Wednesday’s signings “set the standard.”
The singing day was capped off with John Santos committing to Virginia Military Institute to play lacrosse.
Santos said he knew he wanted to join the military, and once he settled on the Marines, VMI had everything he wanted in a university.
He added that while VMI has a Division-I program, the lacrosse program isn’t a national power, but still offers him the best chance to play softball while starting his military career.
“Lacrosse is the icing on the cake,” Santos said.
Boyd baseball standout Francisco DeJesus signed with TCU. For a separate story on that signing please click here or see the TSB Sports section.