Ten Durant High School athletes signed alongside the coaches and administration that supported them on their journey.

Durant High School hosted a spring signing day event for its 10 student athletes who committed to play their sport in college following their graduation.

Four basketball players, three football players, two softball players and a lacrosse player signed letters of intent to seven different colleges.

The signing day took place on February 1. All 10 athletes gathered in the Durant High School auditorium with their family, friends and teammates who supported them. Principal Gary Graham also attended to congratulate his students for their athletic accomplishments that have opened the door for a playing career past high school.

“Signing day was great. It was nice to have a large group of athletes from different sports come together to celebrate all that they have accomplished on and off the field,” said softball coach Olivia Cuellar.

Girls’ basketball athletes Maggie Lauber, Miani Mejia and Ki’ajanae Gordon signed to play at Hillsborough Community College.

Gordon and Lauber reached 1,000 points at Durant this season. Gordon was the team’s highest scorer and Lauber, a four-year veteran, will be the team’s honor graduate. Mejia was in the top five for steals and one of the team’s main contributors on the court.

Cory O’Hehir signed from the boys’ basketball team, committing to play at Flagler College.

“He transferred to Durant at the start of his junior year and hasn’t stopped working since. He has battled through adversity with some injuries and has always responded in a positive manner and not let it slow him down. He could have given up multiple times but instead decided to stick to the course,” said boys’ basketball coach Jacob Baer.

Amy Bak and Emma Chisholm both signed to Lake Sumter State College. Cuellar described Bak as a quiet leader who showcases her skills on the mound and Chisholm as a vocal leader who brings energy to the entire softball team.

Football coach Clayton Varnum had three athletes sign, including team captain Greg Smith, who signed with West Virginia Wesleyan College. Son of two Durant alumni Ajai Brown committed to Benedict College, and Ty Merkle signed with Valdosta State after only two seasons of playing football.

Lacrosse Leah Gainer signed with Warner University in Lake Wales. Gainer was named Player of the Game for Durant’s team in 2021 as a freshman on the varsity team.

For more information on Durant’s athletics, visit the website at www.hillsboroughschools.org.

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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.