Girls’ soccer seniors commit to play at next level

Grace Logan, Staff Writer

Seniors Addison Mills, Grace Joyce, and Ally Shinall all signed to continue their soccer careers at the junior college and collegiate level.

Mills signed with Delta State University while both Joyce and Shinall committed to Itawamba Community College to play soccer.

“I am really excited because Ally and I have been teammates since I moved here in 7th grade and became really good friends,” Joyce said. “It is going to be nice having her around because she is such a hard worker.”

According to Shinall, the decision to pick the right school was a stressful one for the girls.

“I went back and forth between schools. One of the main ones was Mississippi College, and I knew if I went to ICC it would lead to something maybe even bigger than Mississippi College,” Shinall said.

For Joyce, ICC was always one of her top choices for college.

“I just really liked the coach over there and what he is doing with the program and whenever I went to other schools I compared it to ICC and ICC was always on top,” Joyce said.

Both Joyce and Shinall have always wanted to play at the collegiate level and hope ICC will continue that dream for them.

“My mom was a gymnast at the University of Arizona and was on the national team too. Her brother was also a gymnast at UCLA. So being an athlete at that level is always something I wanted to do,” Shinall said.

Shinall picked ICC for many reasons such as coaching staff, location, her fellow teammates including former OHS soccer player Addison Meadows and also being near home for her little brother.

“I look forward to playing on that level. I hope that it is challenging and with everything with my little brother it is going to be nice still being close to home and seeing him grow up since he is fairly young,” Shinall said.

Head coach Hunter Crane is excited for his players to go off to play soccer after high school.

“You know it kind of reconfirms where we are as a program and how talented the soccer players are in Oxford and to have those three sign, who have been a critical part of our team is very special,” Crane said.

According to Crane, the girls have been crucial assets to the team since he arrived three years ago.

“I think they came out and set the tone of what we are about as a program. They went 55-12 in their three seasons with me, two state championships, three division championships. They have only lost one division game in three seasons. They set out and made a name for themselves but also put our program back on the map where we want it to be which is one of the best in the state,” Crane said. “I think that’s their legacy just that when I took over [the team] three years ago we built the team around them because of how quality they are as players and set the tone for what we want in the future.”