Ashlyn Whiteside, John Malone, Mikael Bryant and Streed Crooms made up the largest athletic signing ceremony hosted at Bayshore Christian School Wednesday afternoon when they increased the Eagles’ total signees to seven.
FAIRHOPE – Ashlyn Whiteside, John Malone, Mikael Bryant and Streed Crooms made up the largest athletic signing ceremony hosted at Bayshore Christian School Wednesday afternoon when they increased the Eagles’ total signees to seven.
Bryant, Crooms and Malone added onto the history after they became the first baseball players from Bayshore Christian to sign with college teams since the program started in 2015. Bryant signed with Huntingdon, Crooms put pen to paper and will head to Lurleen B. Wallace and Malone locked in his pledge to Samford.
Whiteside’s commitment to Spring Hill marked the Eagles’ third volleyball signee where she will join a former teammate in Cassidy Granger at the next level. Whiteside was a key component to Bayshore Christian’s previous three playoff runs that included a state title in 2020, a state runner-up trophy in 2021 and a state semifinal appearance this season.
The gymnasium at the school was packed with classmates, teachers, coaches and other supporters of the athletes who saw history be made as the quartet put pen to paper.
“It means a lot to have Coach Dave (Omtvedt, head coach) here and he gave his speech which was really cool, it made me tear up a little bit. And my family, they're always supporting me,” Whiteside said. “I'm just really glad that this many people from our school came out. I know this is a really special event because this is the most we've ever had sign at one time at our school so I'm just excited to be a part of that.”
Crooms said the baseball trio, which was instrumental in the Eagles’ back-to-back state championships, had the historical aspect settle in the night prior.
“It's special. We've been able to accomplish a lot through the state championships and everything but to sign and say us three are the ones signing to go play on the next level for the first time, it's cool,” Crooms said. “That's something Coach (Jeff) Hauge talked about yesterday a lot, he was saying, ‘Y'all are the first ones to do it.’ When he said that, it became real for us.”
Them being on the same stage and signing together was just the icing on the cake in Bryant’s eyes.
“It means a lot. It was great to have two other teammates up there,” Bryant said. “I've been playing with John since I was 7 and Streed since I was like 12 so it was cool to see that journey with all of them and be able to sign on the same day.”
Malone also talked about that journey, which started with some lean years for Bayshore Christian and now features two state titles and three college signees, and said he wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“It's pretty cool. We've come a long way, that's all I can really say,” Malone said. “It's cool to see the journey and where it has ended up. The process has been awesome; I love the guys I work with, love the guys I get to play with. It's truly just like playing with my best buds so the journey has been awesome.”
While it was one of the biggest moments in their athletic careers up to this point, Crooms thinks this will continue to stand the test of time.
“We're thankful. Coming from a small school, you don't get a lot of support that you may get from a bigger school, but we're thankful for all of it,” Crooms said. “To see everybody show up here today – classmates, friends, parents, coaches, teachers – is something we're thankful for and we will forever remember this day.”