Newsome High School had seven of its students sign National Letters of Intent in November.

The Newsome High School softball team had a school-record number of student-athletes sign National Letters of Intent from one team at the beginning of November. All seven of its senior girls committed to a college team, with five staying in Florida and two moving out of state.

Maria Brooks and Ava Wells will go out of state to pursue their college dreams at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and Converse University in Spartanburg, South Carolina, respectively.

Samantha Walz and Olivia Feldman will move to Tampa, planning to play for the University of South Florida and The University of Tampa, respectively.

Emma Edwards committed to Florida National University near Miami and Ashley Grieser and Mia Sanchez will both play at Eastern Florida State College in Brevard County.

“All of the seniors on the Newsome softball team signed, and I am actually going to the same college as one of my best friends since sixth grade, Mia Sanchez,” said Grieser. “… It felt incredible to be surrounded by my closest friends, family and coaches on the most special day of my life.”

Newsome’s varsity softball team is very competitive, and few freshmen earn a spot on the team. However, four of the signees earned that spot on the team four years ago because of their skill and passion for the game.

While each of the signees is dedicated and skilled, the guidance of coach Allyson Ledenham played a significant role in their success.

“Coach Ledenham has supported me since my freshman year at Newsome. She is always encouraging me to push myself to be a better player than I was yesterday,” said Grieser.

Ledenham is a former Newsome softball player and is able to relate to the players while correcting and encouraging them on and off the field. She gave each of the athletes the opportunity to showcase their skills and earn the attention of recruiters.

“We can’t wait to see all the great things these ladies will do at the next level and are excited to get their senior season started,” Newsome’s softball team said in a Facebook post.

For more information on Newsome High School’s softball team, visit or the Newsome High School Softball Facebook page.

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Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.