Ellison High School Athletics celebrated International Women’s Day in the best possible way Wednesday, celebrating with eight female student athletes signing letters of intent to continue their studies and athletic pursuits at the college level.
Ellison Assistant Athletics Coordinator Shirelle Givens said she was looking for a good date to celebrate females signing since National Signing Day is historically tied to football.
“We had eight, so that made it wonderful,” she said. “When I started planning it, I realized all the success we’ve had.”
To start the signing ceremony, she asked for district, region, and state champions to stand and for athletes connected to playoff teams to stand. Much of the audience of athletes stood.
There was only one state champion – wrestler Alexis Hanks, who signed to wrestle at Texas Women’s University.
Following the ceremony, Hanks downplayed her success.
“I just came to practice and did what coach asked us to do. When something was wrong, I fixed it,” she said.
When pressed, the state-champion wrestler said that last season when she finished in third in the state meet, she knew she could have won it.
This season, knowing she was capable of winning state gold, Hanks went undefeated. She was never even scored on during competition.
Happy to win the title, Hanks said it really just seemed like another match.
“I’m excited for college,” she said. “Getting ready for the wrestling season is exciting.”
She also praised wrestling coach Michael Christ for his persistence in building a strong program at Ellison and pushing her to get involved in national wrestling tournaments.
Kera Harvey, a three-sport star in cross-country, track and basketball signed as a middle-distance runner for Sam Houston State University.
A trio of softball players signed, including Elayna Goff, Black Hills State University (South Dakota), Elizabeth Eakin, Howard College and Sabrina Morgan, Briar Cliff University (Iowa).
Along with Hanks, Olivia Fischer signed to wrestle with William Penn University. She is ranked in the top 10 of Ellison’s Class of 2023.
Also, two volleyball players signed letters. Amyah Collings signed with Odessa College and Gloria Iosefo signed with Lamar (Colorado) College.