It was signing day at Jacksonville High
by Lori Tippets
Feb 10, 2014 | 801 views |  0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In front of an entire screaming student body, three Jacksonville High School athletes, Katie Neisler, Dominique Thomas and Miles Clark put pen to paper on National Signing Day.

Neisler, who has been named just about all-everything while at Jacksonville High School, signed to play her college volleyball at Samford University.

Neisler has known since the 10th grade that she would be going to Samford, inking the scholarship just made it official.

The talented outside hitter led the Lady Eagles to the state finals her junior year, and to the state championship as a senior.

“It feels great,” said Neisler after she signed. “I’ve known since the 10th grade but even just now it’s a lot more than I expected.”

Both of Neisler’s older sisters, Elizabeth and Caroline, played at Samford. “Some may think I want to follow in their footsteps,” said the youngest Neisler, “and I do…but at Samford the campus is beautiful, and the coach is amazing. I know a lot of the girls and people there through my sisters; it’s perfect for me.”

Neisler credits her traveling volleyball team and JHS coach David Clark for pushing her as far as she could go.

After having had all three sisters play for him at JHS, Coach David Clark says he will feel a loss. The (Neisler) family has been a great asset,” said Clark. “I hate to see them go, it’s been an honor to be around them.”

Clark says that he expects Neisler to do very well at the next level, both in academics and on the court. “It looks like she may get an opportunity to play right away,” commented Clark. “She is physically strong already.

“Katie has lifted everyone on the team to her level the last two years,” continued Clark. “She got us to the finals twice, the championship this past year.”

Dominique Thomas is one of the best running backs ever to have played at Jacksonville High School.

Thomas will be taking his talents to Central Arkansas.

Over the past two years Thomas has rushed for 3,279 yards and 41 touchdowns. This past year alone Thomas carried the ball 250 times for 1,859 yards and 24 touchdowns. Thomas also had 14 consecutive games of over 100 yards rushing.

Thomas, who originally committed to Tennessee State, changed his mind after a visit to Central Arkansas. “I liked the community and the town as a whole,” said Thomas. “It was a college town, it wasn’t too big, and it wasn’t too small. I hung out with some of the players while I was up there and we bonded well.”

Thomas credits his success with the way his coaches and teammates pushed him.

JHS Head Football Coach Clint Smith was excited about the player and person that he has seen Thomas develop into. “Dominique is a special young man. He is a great kid and a great football player. He has really matured over the past two years and just being able to watch him grow and come into his own and seeing the light bulb go off and him understanding his potential has been outstanding. It’s been a pleasure to know him and watch him grow.”

Miles Clark, at 6’3” 235 was a big target at tight end for the Eagles the past two years. Clark will be playing tight end at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL., the only Division ll school in Florida.

Clark was also recruited by Faulkner, Birmingham Southern and Huntington. “I felt like Florida Tech was the right fit for me,” said Clark. “They have a good quality education and 45 percent go into engineering.” Clark is also interested in the engineering field.

Clark, who only played football at the varsity level for two years, said he just wasn’t ready to give up the game.

“Miles is a great young man with a great work ethic,” said Smith. “He did a great job maturing over the past two years.”

Clark averaged 13 yards a catch for Jacksonville and was named Honorable Mention All-County.
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It was signing day at Jacksonville High by Lori Tippets

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