Athletes Sign With Colleges of Choice


Kimberly Fisher

From left to right: Lauren Iott, Grayson Green, Isaiah Higgins, Kylen McCracken, Mekhi Patterson, Shemar Rhodes, Peter Rouse, LeMaro Smith Jr., Tyreke Smith, Zaire Webb, Ahmad Webber, and Jared Wilson Not Present at the event: Desmond Bentley

Although it is difficult to play a sport, the benefits outweigh the negatives. Athletes endure long practices, injuries, and long travel hours, but they also develop a tight-knit athletic family and can earn college scholarships. Around the nation, on Feb. 7th, senior athletes signed letters of intent to attend a college on an athletic scholarship. Thirteen Cleveland Heights High Tigers took up their own pens and signed on with their colleges at 3:30 p.m. in the main competition gym. Grayson Green, LaMaro Smith, and Lauren Iott were able to take time before the event to share their experiences with the school.

Playing at the collegiate level sports arena is a goal for many young athletes. This also stands true for Grayson Green, a football player who will be attending Central State University in the fall. Growing up, Green decided that playing sports was going to be his career.  He explains this is especially important to him as he will be the first in his family to play collegiate sports.  A combination of scholarship money, good programs and a family type atmosphere made Green feel right at home at Central State University. Green has decided to major in business sports management with a minor in graphic design. Inspired by his favorite player Leo Jones, Green wants to play professional football with the Atlanta Falcons after college. Green’s only regret from his four years of high school sports is that he did not participate in more sports, which would have “opened more doors” regarding college opportunities.

LeMaro Smith Jr., another football player who signed on with the University at Buffalo, wanted to be a sports star since he was a kid. Playing sports since he was 5 years old, Smith felt that Signing Day was another stepping stone towards his goal. His choice to sign on with University at Buffalo was also influenced by a family like atmosphere but was more driven by the potential that they saw in him and the chance to “make a name for myself and to make a name for the school.” Smith plans on studying sports management in college. He also wants to play professional football with either the Atlanta Falcons, because of his favorite player Julio Jones, or the Seattle Seahawks. The only thing that Smith wishes he could change would be that he spent his high school career at Heights High instead of three years at Shaw High School, where he felt that he was not receiving the support from his coaches that he needed.

Unlike both Green and Smith, Lauren Iott’s sports path was not as clear to her. She started playing lacrosse in 6th grade and found that, “as I played more it became my dream.” What drew Iott the most to Grand Valley State University was the chance to build her own major, which will end up being a liberal studies degree with a focus on American Sign Language. Iott would play lacrosse professionally; however, there is no women’s professional lacrosse team as of now. At the start of her lacrosse career, Iott wished she would have understood that “you need to fail to succeed” and that failing is just part of the road to mastery.

The Heights Tiger family wishes all winter athletes the best after graduation!

2018 Heights High College Signees:

Girls Lacrosse
Lauren Iott, Grand Valley State

Grayson Green, Central State
Isaiah Higgins, Hocking College
Kylen McCracken, Ohio University
Mekhi Patterson, Thomas More
Shamar Rhodes, West Liberty
Peter Rouse, Erie Community
LeMaro Smith, Buffalo
Tyreke Smith, Ohio State
Jared Wilson, Ohio Dominican
Zaire Webb, Georgetown
Ahmad Webber, West Virginia Wesleyan