Oakleaf softball again fills college rosters

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ORANGE PARK – Oakleaf High softball continued its impressive roster at the college level with four more players signing top tier scholarships at Wednesday National Signing Day ceremonies with the Knights athletics program signing two volleyball players and one football player in the annual day of recognition.

For the softball team, under coach Christina Thompson, infielder Kaylee Lambrecht committed to North Carolina State, outfielder Jaeda

McFarland, University of Maryland; infielder Jaycie Brookshire, Pensacola State College, and super-fast outfielder Katie Kistler, University of Florida will join the ranks of Kelsey Sweatt, an All-American pitcher for University of West Florida with teammates Mika Garcia and Angela Agurkis; Rebecca Koskey, at University of North Florida; Bailey Goddard, at the University of Florida, and Alex Acevedo, at Syracuse University as Lady Knights stalwarts on the college scene.

“I really like the coaching staff, Coach Montgomery,” said McFarland of her decision to become a

Maryland Terrapin. “He just went there this year. I was originally committed to Lousiana Tech when he

was the head coach there, so when he moved, it was a big factor in me deciding to follow him to

Maryland. I’m really excited to go out and compete at the next level.”

Kistler, one of the fastest outfielders in the field and one of the most lethal baserunners for Thompson, will join Goddard as a Gator adding more Knights’ prowess to the Florida program.

“I just felt at home. It’s close to home and I just loved everyone involved in the decisions that went into

it,” said Kistler.

For the volleyball team, which had a breakout season in a very rugged district, senior hitter Bryanna Parrett will head to Pasco Hernando State College. Volleyball teammate Ariana Vera, a defensive specialist, will attend Keiser University in the Fort Lauderdale area.

“When I went on my visit, it just felt like home,” said Parrett. “Everyone was so welcoming. I felt like it

was a place I could fit in so easily. Everyone was super nice and it just felt like home.”

Finally, football player Donovan Thomas, a safety, announced that he would attend Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

“We’re definitely blessed here at Oakleaf,” said head football coach Frank Garis. “We’ve had four kids in

two years sign Division I [FBS]. Our kids are unbelievable. Take Donovan [Thomas]. He’s a 4.0 student,

and he’s student-athlete. There are programs like Nebraska, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest; he chose to

go to Lehigh instead. He’s seeking a certain degree in engineering and Lehigh’s one of the best in the

world.”

Oakleaf’s history of football scholarships included Shaquille Quarterman, who just finished as a four-year starting linebacker for the University of Miami where he set an NCAA record for most consecutive starts, 52, as he was a starter as a freshman, and running back Keshawn King, who got reps as a slashing running back for Virginia Tech. Others on the Knights college list history include linebacker Darrion Owens, a linebacker for Miami and University of Houston (graduate student), Aaron Duckworth, a standout running back at the University of Idaho, Je’Vionte Nash, an offensive lineman at Wake Forest University, and Rontrez Morgan, a standout wideout at Indiana State University.

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