Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Damon Washington's DI signing ceremony was special

I've been to several Division I signing ceremonies over the years, but I have to say Damon Washington's ceremony this afternoon at Kirtland was one of the most memorable.
His grandparents, Smith and Nancy Owens, were in the library when I arrived a little before 1 p.m. I had never met his grandmother before, but when she saw me, she got out of her chair and gave me a big hug. She was so sweet. I asked his grandfather about his playing days at Chardon High School and we talked about Twitter. We both agreed we were glad Twitter wasn't around when we were young.
Then the announcement came over the P.A. system: "All football players and cheerleaders are invited to the library to watch Damon Washington sign his letter of intent."
Seconds later, the kids started streaming in.
Many of the football players stood behind Washington and his grandparents who were sitting at a large table. The team's 2011 championship trophy was on one side of the table and the 2012 runner-up trophy was on the other side.
It was a very touching sight.
Kirtland football coach Tiger LaVerde said a few words before Washington signed his letter to attend Miami (Ohio).
What a great day for the Kirtland community.
In the past four years, three Hornets have had three players sign Division I scholarships including Anthony Ritossa (Ashland) and Christian Hauber (Air Force).
How are these Division V athletes getting Division I scholarships?
It has something to do with the winning tradition the Hornets have built over the past few years. It has something to do with getting the job done right, putting in the hard work and being humble along the way.
That's what I think of when I think of Hornet football.
Kirtland isn't just a small Division V school no one has heard of. The Hornets are a small school with a big heart making a big impact on the Division I level.
Washington, his coaches, teammates and everyone else involved with the program should be very proud of what they've accomplished.

-Theresa Neuhoff Audia



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