Cassville quintet commits to colleges

Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Five Cassville seniors signed letters of intent on Feb. 8 to play sports at the next level. From left: Samantha Sparkman, Landry Parnell, Avery Crain, Sharayah Seymour and Bradan Dickinson. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Five athletes sign to play four sports at next level

Five Cassville athletes made their collegiate intentions known this week, signing letters of intent in four separate sports, with one athlete going a dual-sport route and two signing for more unique sports.

Sharayah Seymour, Evangel, volleyball and track

Sharayah Seymour is surrounded by her supporters as she signed to play volleyball and high jump at Evangel University. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Sharayah Seymour signed with Evangel University for volleyball and track. She is a two-time All-State volleyball player for the Lady Wildcats and a high jumper on the track team.

Sharayah Seymour Signs to play volleyball and do the high jump at Evangel. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

It feels amazing, she said. Im nervous, but it feels amazing knowing I have everything set for the next chapter in my life. God has led me in this direction, and Im excited to see the life I will have at Evangel.

Seymour said the two-sport signing will not be an issue, as the sports are in different seasons.

Theyre in different seasons, and I am only doing high jump in track, so just one event, she said. Volleyball is done about the same time as the high school season, so Ill get to do some indoor work, then go outdoor for track in the spring. I was born as a natural athlete, and Ive spent so many hours on volleyball, basketball and track. And, this is paying my full tuition, so the dual-sport route helps for sure.

At graduation, Seymour will hold Cassvilles career dig, single season kills and career kills records. She was First Team All-District, First Team All-Conference, Co-Player of the Year for the Big 8 West, All-State and Academic All-State.

Seymour is the daughter is Angela and Chris Seymour, of Cassville. She plans to major in biology or mathematics.

Samantha Sparkman, Drury, STUNT the sport

Samantha Sparkman signs to play STUNT the sport for Drury University. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Samantha Sparkman signed with Drury University to compete in its new STUNT the sport program. STUNT is a head-to-head game between two teams that execute skills-based routines in various categories, like jumps, pyramids, tosses and more. Sparkman has cheered for nine years and will be a backspot or base on the team.

Samantha Sparkman is surrounded by her supporters after signing to play STUNT the sport at Drury University. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Im really excited, she said. I have spent my whole life waiting for this day. Im excited for the future I have ahead.

Sparkman said the program was a perfect fit for her, and she had advice for others aiming to follow in her footsteps.

It felt like home, and I love the coach and the program, she said. [For others to find success, I say] put your happiness above everything else.

Sparkman is the daughter of Gamon and the late Shelley Sparkman, of Cassville. She plans to major in early elementary education.

Landry Parnell, Drury, Lacrosse

Surrounded by supporters, Landry Parnell signs to play lacrosse at Drury University. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Landry Parnell also signed to Drury for an emerging sport lacrosse. Parnell is primarily a volleyball player who also plays soccer for Cassville. She had offers for volleyball but chose the lacrosse route.

Its definitely bittersweet, but Im excited for what is next. Im sad to leave Cassville because its a great community, and I dont know where Id be without it.

Parnell said she was seeking a volleyball scholarship, and she wanted Drury, but that did not pan out. Her soccer coach directed her to the new lacrosse program at Drury, and she was hooked.

They were just looking for athletes, so I talked to them, and I feel thats where I needed to be, she said. I was called to be at Drury. Lacrosse is new to me, but Im really excited. I picked up soccer last year and I love it. Its a new challenge, and I love learning new things.

Parnell said for others looking to get collegiate scholarships for athletics, the biggest thing is to advertise.

Put your name out there, she said. Since my freshman year, I saw kids get ahead by woking hard. Dont miss a practice or a clinic, and get your name out there.

Parnell is the daughter of Lance and Suzy Parnell, of Cassville. She plans to major in mathematics or pre-engineering.

Avery Crain, Fort Scott CC, Volleyball

Avery Crain signs to play volleyball at Fort Scott Community College. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Avery Crain signed to play volleyball at Fort Scott Community College in the fall. She this year set the single-season assist record at Cassville, and she earned Second Team All-Conference honors.

Im very excited and very nervous to take the next step, she said. The community was really welcoming, both the team and the atmosphere of the college. Its the best place for me to go, then transition to a four-year college.

Crain said her greatest memories in high school revolve around her friends.

Its the connection I made with my teammates, she said. We have created a family atmosphere in the program, and I got to play next to my two best friends, which was very special to me.

Crain is the daughter of Amy and Jason Crain, of Shell Knob. She plans to major in agriculture business.

Bradan Dickinson, William Jewell, Track and Field

Bradan Dicksinson is surrounded by supporters as he signs to throw on the track and field team at William Jewell College. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Bradan Dickinson signed with William Jewell College to throw on the track and field team. Dickinson took 5th place in shot put at the MSHSAA Class 3 State Championships last year. He has a prep season yet to play this spring.

I feel really good, he said. Im excited for the college experience and getting to push myself harder than I ever have before.

Dickinson said for others to find success in sports, perseverance is key.

Dont give up, he said. Work on the little things over and over again and get them right. Keep putting in the work. You might struggle, but it pays off in the end.

Dickinson is the son of Deanna and Jason Dickinson, of Cassville. He plans to major in civil engineering.

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