With the way they've helped put their club soccer team and their respective high school soccer programs on the map, it should come as no surprise that the next step would be to put their names on some very important paperwork.
And when the time came for Nicki Gray, Rebecca Bohler, Anna Goolsby, Caroline Barrett and Erin Sullivan to sign letters of intent to attend college on soccer scholarships, it was another team effort.
The five friends played together for the past five years with the Columbia County Lady Patriots, and Friday they convened for a scholarship signing ceremony.
"I'm glad we're doing it all together," said Bohler, a Lakeside standout who signed with Samford University. "It means a lot more. I've been with these girls since the beginning. Now we're together at the end."
The five Lady Patriots are going their separate ways at the next level.
Bohler is headed to Alabama to suit up with Samford; Goolsby, a senior at Evans, signed to play with Jacksonville State University; Greenbrier's Gray is going north after securing a scholarship with Tennessee Tech; Aquinas stars Barrett and Sullivan signed with the University of Memphis and the University of South Carolina, respectively.
"It's definitely something they should be proud of," Lady Patriots coach Matt Kolinoski said of his five players all earning scholarships with Division I programs. "They all put in the time and the commitment. This is what they've worked hard for.
With one goal accomplished, the Lady Patriots will now hit the pitch with another agenda in mind - leading their high school prep squads to prominence during the upcoming season.
Goolsby will attempt to guide the Lady Knights to a second-straight berth in the Class AAAAA state playoffs; Barrett and Sullivan are poised to take Aquinas to the Class A final four for the second time in three years; and, Bohler's Lakeside Lady Panthers will battle Gray's Lady Wolfpack for supremacy in Region 3-AAAA.
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