Sidney Lanier football players Tristian Buyck and Greg Thomas, along with volleyball player Shadaria Miller, signed scholarships to continue their athletic careers at a signing ceremony on Tuesday.
The signings are the first under athletic director C.J. Harris, who took over last spring.
Buyck and Thomas – who have played together since they were 3 years old – will play for California College of the Desert. Miller will play for Concordia College in Selma.
Buyck, a 6-0, 200-pound wide receiver, was the Poets’ most effective offensive weapon this season. He started the year at wide receiver and moved to quarterback midseason. He was heavily involved in the offensive game plan after he switched to quarterback, and led the team in rushing, passing and receiving.
“I feel good finally knowing that I signed that paper and I’m starting my future,” Buyck said. “It’s very cool, especially with my brother Gregory Thomas. We’ve been together since Day 1. We played little league, pee wee together, and came up all the way through junior high and high school. It’s just a great honor to have him going with me.”
Thomas, a 6-1, 285-pound offensive guard, helped paved the way for Buyck despite battling a right knee injury most of the season. He was a four-year starter and ecstatic to continue his career with a close friend and realize a dream his late mother had for him.
“It was very important. My mom passed away three years ago, and that’s all she wanted to see was for me to go to college,” Thomas said. “Just to go free, on a scholarship, it’s very important. It brings tears to my eyes.”
Miller was Lanier’s top outside hitter, middle hitter and blocker. She was a four-year started for the Poets and hopes that her signing, along with Buyck’s and Thomas’, will increase the school’s exposure for future athletes.
“I feel so wonderful. I’ve been playing volleyball my whole high school career, and I can’t stop smiling from ear to ear,” Miller said. “When I finally put my mind to finally playing volleyball, I never imagined getting a scholarship. It’s very exciting.”