Jess Stephens is a first for McCracken County.
The senior – the final remaining member of the inaugural Lady Mustangs golf team – is the team’s first collegiate signee, at any level.
On Friday afternoon, Stephens signed her National Letter of Intent to continue her career at Bellarmine University in Louisville, as a member of one of that school’s first Division I signing classes, after making the jump earlier this year.
“It’s really exciting,” Stephens said. “A couple of years ago, I was actually wondering if I’d even make it D-I or to college. After sophomore year, I grinded really hard and I’m really glad I got there.”
As a show of support, several of the First Region’s girls’ golfers, including St. Mary senior Margaret Butts, Marshall County sophomore Savannah Howell and soon-to-be McCracken varsity golfer, seventh-grader Madison Glisson, were on-hand at McCracken for Stephens’ signing.
“It’s awesome,” Stephens said. “Everyone thinks that we’re competitors and everything, and maybe we are (on the course), but we’re not (in life). We’re all friends. We all hang out with each other. This is just a snapshot (of that). It’s great. All of them are my best friends and it’s really nice to have that kind of support.”
Meals to shoot at Murray State
Noelle Meals has taken a unique approach to the continuation of her career as a student-athlete.
She’s a precision shooter. Not with a basketball, soccer ball or a softball.
Meals’ preferred method is with a small-bore rifle.
She starts at Murray State in the fall, where the Racers have a nationally-ranked rifle team.
“I’ve been doing it since I was about 12-years old,” said Meals, who had collegiate rifle offers from Texas Christian University and the University of Kentucky. “It’s individual. You’re competing against yourself and you want to improve yourself. It’s so disciplined and I like discipline.”
Grogan to continue in family footsteps at Morehead
Wes Grogan is a standout runner on both the cross-country and track teams at McCracken.
Both of his older siblings run at the Division I level. Grogan’s sister Sophie is at Murray State, while older brother Josh runs at Morehead State.
Wes signed on Thursday his NLI to join Josh as an Eagle.
“It’s really cool because we all run track and cross-country at D-I schools,” said Wes Grogan, whose mother Maria is McCracken’s girls’ cross-country coach. “I’m really looking forward to the next few years, where we’ll all see each other at races. I’m looking forward to it.”
Reeves to play football at Thomas More
Kolton Reeves, a safety for the Mustangs on the gridiron and a three-year member of McCracken’s baseball team signed his NLI to play football at Thomas More University.
“They gave me the best offer and I had to take it,” said Reeves, who fielded several offers from the junior college ranks.
Douglas to continue at John A. Logan for softball
Alli Douglas, a four-year starter for McCracken’s softball team and a member of the 2019 All-Purchase Team, made official her intentions to continue her career at John A. Logan Community College.
“I really wanted to play softball in college,” Douglas said. “I just figured John A. Logan would be the best school to go do that.”