newsimg9a9cfd28311db221b19757424a2f3b66s3amazonawscomarticlesp1080322jpg

newsimg9a9cfd28311db221b19757424a2f3b66s3amazonawscomarticlesp1080322jpg

By SUSAN LEATHERS

The SEC was CPA’s favorite athletic conference Wednesday afternoon. Two Christ Presbyterian Academy football players signed with the University of Missouri while a cross country runner inked her commitment to Ole Miss during a National Signing Day ceremony.

 

The SEC was CPA’s favorite athletic conference Wednesday afternoon. Two Christ Presbyterian Academy football players signed with the University of Missouri while a cross country runner inked her commitment to Ole Miss during a National Signing Day ceremony.

Friends, family and lots of local TV cameras packed the CPA high school library at celebrate with seniors Jessica Clarke, Paul Adams and Thomas Richard.

Adams, a 255-pound, 6’6″ offensive tackle and a Div. 1, Class AA Mr. Football winner, helped lead the Lions to the TSSAA state championship, had earlier committed to Missouri, where he’s considering a business management major.

Head coach Ingle Martin commended Adams for his leadership, his sense of fun with teammates and called him “one of the best players who ever put on a gold helmet.”

Adams, who has attended CPA since kindergarten, called his experiences there “the greatest of my life.” He thanked his many coaches who have taught and influenced him since he began playing. He also thanked his family, especially parents Tim and Ashley Adams.

Wide receiver and cornerback Thomas Richard is a Missouri legacy. His mother, Tonya Richard, is a UM graduate. He’s interested in studying journalism, which also would be following in his mother’s footsteps.

He’s also a player with “great hands, a gentle heart, tremendous work ethic and someone who kept his composure as he grew into the role of a star athlete at CPA, Martin said. His coach also called him a true mentor for younger brother Joseph, a sophomore wide receiver.

Richard expressed to his appreciate to everyone who had supported him, especially through injuries that sidelined him his freshman and sophomore years. Coming close to tears when he thanked his teammates, Richard said the 2013 season “was the best year of my life.” Richard was named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association’s Class 3A All-State team. The 6’1″, 185-pound Richard said Missouri has signed four receivers. Two will redshirt, two are expected to play. He hopes he’s among the latter.

University of Mississippi signee Clarke, who like Adams has only attended CPA, shared that those who have known her since kindergarten, she would be “the last person you’d expect to be going to an SEC school for athletics.”

Though she began running cross country in middle school, it wasn’t until her sophomore year that she truly began to love running and decided to be a true competitor. She finished second in the TSSAA in cross country last year.

She chose Ole Miss because of its coach, Erin Dawson, who sought her out, and because Oxford is a beautiful college town. The daughter of Jill and Jay Clarke, she plans to major in nutrition.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.