Biloxi High's cafeteria was packed Wednesday with friends, family and teammates. The Indian Nation took the opportunity to celebrate 11 signees across a variety of sports signing with 10 different schools.
Including the eight signees in February, BHS had 19 graduating seniors sign athletic scholarships.
Biloxi's latest crop of young athletes included: Aneisha Bell (shot put, discus; Southern Miss), Fred Campbell (track; Highland C.C. in Kansas), Jaylon Chiles (basketball; East Central C.C.), Jasmine Clemmons (cheerleading; Pearl River C.C.), Lane Colson (baseball; East Mississippi C.C.), Austin Creel (baseball; Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C.), Koray Easterling (soccer; Tulsa), Xavier Lewis (track; Highland C.C.), Marques McGee (basketball; William Carey), Hannah Miller (dance; Mississippi State) and Chandler Myers (football; Tennessee Tech).
Go Golden Eagles
Myers missed most of the 2016 football season due to a shoulder injury, but Tennessee Tech still saw enough potential in the Indian linebacker to hang with him -- even after a coaching change.
"They have everything I wanted with engineering and athletics. I still get to play SEC competition -- like we play Tennessee next year -- so that will be cool," said Myers, who originally committed to Vanderbilt but because the Commodores wanted him to redshirt, he looked elsewhere. "It's a Division I school so that's where I fit best. I felt wanted there."
Easterling joins a Tulsa team that, while posting an 8-6-7 record made the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He said he hopes to step in right away at left back as a freshman.
"It's a great school," he said. "They've been contacting me for a while. They showed a lot of interest in me, so I had to go with Tulsa."
Easterling, a member of the Sun Herald's All-South Mississippi Boys Soccer Team, said he hopes he can show his versatility at Tulsa.
"I'm physical. If I get beat I'm good to recover," he said. "I'm not too flashy but I like to show something every once in a while. The left back, you usually don't get to see that but I like to show that I'm an offensive guy with a defensive mind."
'To the top'
Bell has been one of Mississippi's elite field performers during her prep career. As the reigning two-time shot put champion, she said Southern Miss felt like the perfect fit.
"When I went up there for my official visit, they made me feel so at home," Bell said. "I just feel like it's a perfect fit for me -- not too far but not too close."
Bell said she expects to compete in the shot put and discus at USM.