Special to the Sun Herald
GAUTIER - Five Gators signed scholarship papers Wednesday led by LaCharles Pringle, who will play football at Alcorn State, and Jaslyn Gregory, who will play soccer at LSU-Alexandria.
Three other Gautier players signed Wednesday. Wide receiver Alex Batiste signed with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston. Logan Dawe also signed with MGCCC in Perkinston to play soccer. Janiya Watkins signed with Southwest Community College to play soccer.
Pringle is a three-year starter at quarterback for the Gators, taking over the position during his sophomore year. In his career, he threw for 1,140 yards and eight touchdowns while directing Gautier's ground-based offense. He also ran for 2,169 yards in three years and 21 touchdowns, averaging 7.3 yards a carry. This year, he ran for 939 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 8.0 yards a carry.
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He is the first Gautier athlete to sign a Division I scholarship in five years.
Pringle did not know where he would play for the Braves, who won the SWAC championship this year. "I want to play where I can get on the field fastest," he said.
Pringle, who also had an offer from Jackson State, said signing with Alcorn State was the best decision he could make. "It's a great opportunity to take the next step to finish my journey," he said.
"He has a great work ethic and has shown a tremendous amount of leadership," Gautier coach Chris Peterson said. "I'm very excited about what the future holds for him as he continues to do great things in his life."
Pringle, who also plays soccer for Gautier, plans to play soccer at Alcorn State.
Gregory led the Gautier girls soccer team to a 9-8-3 team, with the Gators finishing district play behind Long Beach and West Harrison. She first joined the Gators as an eighth grader and took over as a starter during her freshman year. This year she scored 11 goals for Gautier.
"She's a huge part of our program," said girls soccer coach Paul Purvis. "We won't be able to replace her next year. We just hope other players step up and take over some of her roles."
Purvis said that Gregory gave the Gators a chance to score from anywhere on the field, earning the nickname "Lightning."
"She's super fast," he said. "She is also one of the best defenders along the Gulf Coast. She makes everyone around her want to work harder."
Gregory chose LSU-Alexandria because "it felt like home."
"It means everything," Gregory said. "Soccer is in my heart."