Nine Vandegrift student-athletes signed on to play at the college level Wednesday morning.
Five soccer players, three football players and one softball players will represent the Vipers at the next level.
“Anytime that someone signs to a college like this, it makes you so proud as a coach,” Head football coach Drew Sanders said. “So I am very proud of my staff and our small contribution to them as they go on to their future.”
From the football team, Alex Stadhaus will be a kicker at the University of Southern California, Peyton Ausley will play wide receiver at Arkansas, and defensive end Osorachukwu Ifesinachukwu will attend Yale.
Softball player Brianna Hale signed a letter of intent to play softball at the University of Dallas.
Girls’ soccer players Camile Carrier and Afrah Khan will team up at Louisiana State University, Gabbie Jones and Paige Crossman will both play at Texas State and Sabina Federlin is headed to UT-Dallas.
“Afrah and Camile going together, it’s like ‘leadership’ here we come at LSU, and Gabbie and Paige going to Texas State together, it’s like ‘impact’ here we come,” girls’ soccer coach Jen Hardy said. “And then Sabina getting to go to UT Dallas, it’s hard not to have a sense of complete and utter pride.”
Ausley was the leading receiver for the Vipers this season, catching 74 passes for 946 yards and 12 touchdowns and earned a first-team All-District selection.
Ifesinachukwu finished third on the team with 116 tackles and led the squad with 14 sacks and 17 tackles for loss and was the District 25-6A Defensive Lineman of the Year. As a junior last year, he had 68 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks.
Stadhaus set a school record with 52 touchbacks and hit 50 of 51 extra points. He also averaged 40.2 yards per punt throughout the year and was second-team All-District.
“There’s no feeling like being able to watch on Saturday or read in the paper that the player that you got to coach has done so well,” Sanders said. “It’s just a great feeling as a coach, and it’s just the icing on the cake of these guys’ great careers.”
The Vandegrift girls’ soccer team has seen a ton of success in the last few years, winning one state title with a trio of trips to the state tournament, including a state semifinal appearance last season.
Crossman was the only one of the five college signees to be named to a postseason list, making the all-district Honorable Mention team.
“We’ve had girls sign in the past, and it's incredible when they get an opportunity to continue their career,” Hardy said. “It has been something that they’ve just been pining for, the desire to go on with their career. So to be here today and to have all five of them reaching their goal and hitting that commitment they had for themselves, it’s very fulfilling.”