MILTON — Milton High School celebrated two of its own April 24 when seniors Tavian Williams and Riley Kirby signed to play football at Dodge City Community College and lacrosse at University of Huntsville Alabama.
MHS Athletics Director Murry Rutledge said it's always an exciting day when the school can honor one of its athletes.
"Today, it's a little bit different," Rutledge said. "We are very proud of both of these people for their accomplishments, both on the field and academically."
Rutledge said Kirby's signing was special, because it was the first time any lacrosse player has signed on to play for college from the school. Lacrosse Coach Mary Pryor said Kirby is skilled with the ball and impressed her with her endurance and "never give up" attitude.
"I know after her first day that she was going places," Pryor said. "The coaches and I knew that defeat was not an answer for her."
Kirby said she is excited to be playing on the college team next year and looks forward to enhancing her skills.
“Be confident in yourself and give it 100 percent all the time,” Kirby said.
Rutledge said that Williams, whom he first met during his 9th grade year, impressed the coaches immediately during his first game. Head Football Coach Harry Lees said when he first came to MHS, everyone told him that Williams was a skilled linebacker. He said last year he led the county in tackles and that in his opinion, he was a "phenomenal talent."
"This is one of the best days of my career," Lees said, "to see one of your players play in a sport that he loves go off and better his education."
Lees said Williams had a great family that he considered William's voice of reason. He said if he ever needed to get a point across to Williams, he could always count on his family.
Williams said he was proud to be able to go to DCCC and play. He said he was concerned that he would not get any offers at first and was excited when he did.
"I felt so blessed," he said. "I am so thankful."
His decision to try for community colleges instead of going for universities immediately was his desire to build up his skills on the field. He said he might try for a university team at a later point.
He said he was grateful for the encouragement his friends and family have given him. The only piece of advice he said he can give to his fellow students is to continue to work hard in school.
"Just focus on your grades," Williams said.