Committing to the next level on National Signing Day

Senior+soccer+player+Kosi+Mafela+dribbles+towards+the+goal.+Mafela+signed+to+Wingate+University+Mens+Soccer.

Giselle Torres

Senior soccer player Kosi Mafela dribbles towards the goal. Mafela signed to Wingate University Men’s Soccer.

Nine of Oviedo’s student athletes were preparing to publicly announce their commitment to something they had been working towards for a long time in early February. Each student understood that signing to play a college sport was the last step for locking in their future.  

Student athletes all across America sign to play college sports for several reasons. Some have planned to play at the collegiate level their whole lives and have dreams of playing professionally, while others work to earn athletic scholarships as a way to pay for a higher education. Whether they sign for solely one of those reasons or a mixture of both, National Signing Day celebrates and recognizes student athletes’ accomplishments all the same. 

On this year’s National Signing Day, nine of Oviedo’s student athletes signed to play at the next level: Kosi Mafela and Maddox Brown for soccer, Dallas Johnson, DJ Scott, Noel Keller, Omari Wyatt, Owen Aycock, and Ryan Monroe for football, and Kevin Maffuz for baseball. 

“I’ve always had a love for football since I was five years old,” said senior defensive lineman Owen Aycock, who signed to Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It’s an honor because not many people get to play college football.

I’ve always had a love for football since I was five years old. It’s an honor because not many people get to play college football.”

— Owen Aycock

The opportunity to play collegiate sports is not something that comes easily without the right motivation. Setting goals for the future is essential for any kind of success. The feeling of finally pursuing their goals is what a lot of Oviedo student athletes work towards. 

“It’s an exciting experience that I look forward to,” said senior soccer player Kosi Mafela, who signed to Wingate University in North Carolina. “…because all of my hard work is paying off.”

Another aspect of signing to the next level is the opening of the opportunity to play professionally. It’s not unheard of for Oviedo alumni to end up playing in the NFL or representing America in the Olympics – Blake Bortles and Jenny Simpson, for example. 

“I want to make my mom proud because she always wanted me to play college football,” said senior cornerback Dallas Johnson, who signed to St. Thomas University in Miami. “I want to make it to the NFL.”

Ambitions and dreams like Johnson’s are what highlight National Signing Day. Any student athlete across America can have the opportunity to achieve them. 

“There’s going to be better and worse days,” said Mafela about working towards the next level. “As long as you keep going at it, sooner or later you’re going to get out what you put in.”

There’s going to be better and worse days. As long as you keep going at it, sooner or later you’re going to get out what you put in.”

— Kosi Mafela