Area Signing Day wrap-up: Several local athletes earn NCAA scholarships

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Wednesday marked the first day of the NCAA's 2016 early signing period, and it was a busy day for local high school athletes across the Chattahoochee Valley.

The Columbus High School volleyball program has become one of the best in the state of Georgia under the guidance of head coach Donna Flemming. The Lady Blue Devils had a full table on Wednesday as three players signed scholarships to play at the next level.

Skylar Blackmon is heading to Charleston Southern University. Jha'Meishia Griffin will play at Georgia State University. And Alisi Motu'apauka fell in love with Bryant University during her visit and will play for the Bulldogs next season in Rhode Island.

The CHS volleyball team has had 17 players sign scholarships since 2006. The latest group was happy to share the big day as teammates and make their friends, families and their coach very proud.

"That's amazing. We never thought that we would all be up here and be and be here together," said Blackmon. "And if we think back on our freshman year and just playing volleyball as a hobby, and now we're here and we get to continue our career," she added. "It's amazing to share it with them two as well," Blackmon finished.

"They're great role models for all of our student athletes. Because if you take care of business in the classroom then you have a lot of options available to you if you do want to go on and try to play college sports," said Flemming. "So we're proud of these three young ladies and all that they've accomplished," she continued.


At Auburn High School, four-star basketball prospect Garrison Brooks chose Mississippi State over offers from North Carolina, Auburn, LSU and others. Brooks said family played a big part in his decision. His father, George, is an assistant coach with the Bulldogs.

Carver High School's Mya Milner earned a full scholarship to play basketball at Alabama State University. She was joined at her signing by her parents, teammates and current and former coaches.


Central High School's baseball team had a big early signing day, as four Red Devils inked paperwork to continue their playing careers. Dalton Wilder and Gage Dollar will play together at Alabama State University. Tanner Belcher is heading to Wallace State. And Evan Baber will stay close to home to suit up for Chattahoochee Community Valley Community College.


At Marion County, softball pitcher Madison McPherson made it official as she heads to Athens, Ga. to play for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Beauregard's Baili Barnes also signed to play softball at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

Smith Station's Airen Brooks will get to play right in his backyard as he signs to play basketball with the hometown Columbus State Cougars in the Peach Belt Conference.

If you have any signings to report, please email Brendan Robertson at

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