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April 19, 2014

Bravette joining Jackson State track

MILLEDGEVILLE — Baldwin High School track and field underclassmen sat in awe of senior Alashawn Grigley Thursday, as she signed a National Letter of Intent to further her athletic and academic career at Jackson State University.

Grigley, a consistent 300-meter hurdles, 800-meter and relay competitor, lived out her motto “if you want it, you have to work for it” in front of family, friends and coaches.

“I’m getting payback for all the hard work I’ve put in, all the tears and all the hard practices,” she said. “It’s a job, but it’s worthwhile. I’m blessed to even have the opportunity to go [to college].”

The Baldwin senior looked into Kentucky State, Florida A&M and the University of West Georgia before settling on JSU.

Grigley’s support staff made the recruiting process easier.

“They would give me space and encourage me,” the soon-to-be Tiger said.

BHS Principal Dr. Jessica Swain is confident the track talent will represent Baldwin High to the fullest. She and several coaches spoke during Thursday’s signing celebration.

“Know that today is the greatest day of your life. Just enjoy this moment,” Swain said.

Baldwin Jets youth track coach Everett “Shine” Havior has known Grigley since age 6. He felt honored to push the new college athletics signee to this point and wished her good luck.

BHS coach Dexter Ricks echoed the proud feelings as well.

“You are not only a good student and athlete, but you love the Lord. That’s very important for a young person at your age,” Ricks said Thursday. “It’s going to get you through some hard times at school when nobody else is around. You are going to be fine.”

Head Baldwin track and field coach Anderson Bentley also coached Grigley’s mother before she continued her athletics at Cleveland State.

He said this feat gets underclassmen noticing there are realistic opportunities beyond high school.

“You can go in any sport if you are willing to put the time in,” Bentley said.

Grigley will run the 300-hurdles and 800 at Jackson State, competing in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Bentley believes JSU offers the coaching, training and technology to make the Bravette standout even better.

“She’s going to a level where they can concentrate on her,” the head BHS coach said.

Grigley said the Tiger program should permit steady academic and athletic growth. The Bravette plans to major in biology.

The accomplished runner is slightly reserved about an 8-hour move away from Baldwin County.

“But you know, I have great family. If I need them, it can be 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning, and they will be there in time,” Grigley said.

The JSU signee was overwhelmed with the Thursday turnout to watch her official college track leap. Grigley called this “the biggest reward” she’s ever received and looks forward to paying back the community that lifted her to wonderful heights.

“Anyone that has played a part in the signing today is basically family to me,” she said. “To see all my friends come and support me was very touching because I want them to all go off and go farther than I ever went. Great things and people come out of Baldwin County.”

 

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