Signing Day Recognizes Athletes Continuing Sports in College


Media by Lauren Bickel

Madison Carney, senior, signs her official commitment letter at her signing day. Carney will play softball at Southeast Missouri State University.

When Gavin Marsh, senior, was growing up and playing a variety of sports, he always thought he would be playing basketball or baseball at the collegiate level. 

“My end goal was to always play college sports,” Marsh said. “But, it wasn’t until last year that I realized it was going to be college football.”

Marsh didn’t start playing football until eighth grade, but said he quickly found a love for the sport. He has been on the football team since his freshman year, and he started getting noticed by college recruiters during his junior season. 

Different schools from around the country were recruiting Marsh, but he said after weighing all his options, he ultimately landed on playing football for the University of Missouri. 

Marsh is going to join the University of Missouri’s football team as a preferred walk-on. This means he will be a player on the team, but he is not receiving any scholarships. 

I realized I’m not ready to stop playing anytime soon,

— Lauren McGauley

Marsh was offered financial scholarships to play at smaller schools like Eastern Illinois University and Valparaiso University, but he said he would rather play for a large, Division I football program as a preferred walk-on. 

“Mizzou is the best opportunity for me,” Marsh said. “I really feel like I can excel with their football program.”

Marsh said he knows an ample amount of people going to the University of Missouri and it is close to home, so those were also driving factors in his college decision. 

“Even though I have verbally committed, I am excited to officially sign,” Marsh said.

Activities Director Adam Starling said Signing Day is special because it provides an opportunity to celebrate the talents of student athletes. 

“The coaches and staff put in a lot of time working with Marquette students,” Starling said. “To see them accomplish great things and be able to continue their playing career after they leave Marquette always makes us proud.”

The original Signing Day was scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 19, but due to the social media threats that caused MHS to evacuate on Thursday, Nov. 17 and Friday, Nov. 18, it had to be canceled. Starling said the plan is to reschedule the Signing Day for a day in mid-December. 

It feels like a place that I can really thrive at, I’m excited to embark on this new journey of becoming a college athlete.

— Madison Carney

Lauren McGauley, senior, will be participating in the fall college signing day. She chose between more than 10 schools to play field hockey at and finally verbally committed to DePauw in October. 

“I picked DePauw because I really like the feel of the team, and I could see myself on the campus,” McGauley said. “And, they also have the major I want, so I am confident this is the best choice for me.”

Like Marsh, McGauley said she didn’t realize she wanted to play college field hockey until recently even though she started playing in eighth grade. 

“I realized I’m not ready to stop playing anytime soon,” McGauley said. 

Madison Carney, senior, is committed to play softball for Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO). 

She was out of town on the day of the original signing day, so Carney and her family held their own signing day in Principal Dr. Steve Hankins’ office. 

“Although I was not able to sign with my classmates, I actually enjoyed having my own,” Carney said. “I feel like I was able to have more people there.”

Carney said she liked the more intimate feeling of her signing day. Carney’s parents, personal trainer, club coach, high school coach and best friends were there to celebrate her. 

“The people who came are the ones who have supported me the most in this process,” Carney said.

Carney verbally committed in March of 2022, and she said picking SEMO was not a hard decision for her. She loves the coaching staff, and she got a good feeling while visiting and walking around the campus. 

“It feels like a place that I can really thrive at,” Carney said. “I’m excited to embark on this new journey of becoming a college athlete.”