Families, friends, coaches, and the entire Upper School attended the assembly to honor these signees: Cameron Baller who will play football at Dartmouth, Logan Graham who will play football at Southern Nazarene, Brett Huff who will play baseball at Hill, Brayden Kelly who will play men’s soccer at Lubbock Christian, Mason Packwood who will play baseball at Wheaton, JayQuan Smith who will play football at Southwestern Oklahoma State, Pryor Thomas who will play baseball at Harvard, Andre Washington who will play football at Oklahoma State, and Joseph Wolf who will play baseball at Seward.
As a captain on the football team, Cameron Baller said this honor to play at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., allowed him to reflect and thank God for giving him his talents and abilities. He also thanked his parents, family, and coaches who have poured so much into him over the years.
“My love for football comes from the relationships I have developed with my teammates,” he said. “I love the guys around me, which pushes me to give my best in everything.”
As a member of National Honor Society and Milestone Church, Cameron plans to attend his third mission trip with the school to Panama over Spring Break.
In the future, he wants to be an orthopedic surgeon, and he plans to study biology at Dartmouth on a pre-med track.
He said Liberty helped prepare him for this next chapter in his life.
“Liberty showed me to keep Christ at the center of everything,” he said. “I also learned how much more successful I can be with others by my side.”
He added a specific shout-out to his parents.
“My mom was always willing to do anything for me, and my dad was always helping me kick and shag balls.”
Logan Graham, who will play football at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Okla., said he has dreamed of playing at the college level ever since he was a young child.
“I believe that God helped me on this journey,” Logan said. “I have been praying about this decision, and I believe that this will be the best thing for my future.”
He said he remembers the first time he put on football pads and fell in love with the sport.
“I played football for 12 years and always enjoyed every practice and every game,” he said. “Through all of the blood, sweat, and tears, football has taught me many things in life.
“Family is everything, and you can look to your left and your right in football and trust that the men lined up with you are your brothers.”
Logan attends Milestone Church, plans to major in accounting or finance in college, and thanks Liberty for preparing him for this next step.
“Liberty has prepared me to overcome the hardships that college will bring,” he said. “Liberty athletics has helped me achieve my goals and dreams to be able to go to college.”
Logan said he wanted to thank a special coach at Liberty for helping him become the football player that he is today.
“When I first came to Liberty, this coach taught me so much about my position and helped me get to the place I am today,” he said. “The greatest memories I have at Liberty is with this coach, watching film with him every Saturday after a Friday night game.
“Thank you, Coach Sample, for everything you have done for me – I am so very blessed to have been coached by you.”
Heading to Hill College in Hillsboro, Texas, to play baseball this fall, Brett Huff said this honor means that his hard work has been fruitful and that others have believed in his ability to play at the next level.
“This honor also means that I will have to work harder than ever before and never become complacent,” Brett said. “I love baseball with all my heart, and I will outwork anyone to achieve my dreams.”
As a member of the Milestone Church, Brett attends a weekly Bible study and participates with New Horizons Charity and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He has also achieved the following honors: Academic All State Team, Second Team All District, and State All Tournament Team.
He plans to major in economics and minor in finance to become an entrepreneur in the future and start his own business or play professional baseball if he gets drafted.
“Liberty’s rigorous academics have prepared me for any level of college class I could take at any university,” he said. “Being a student-athlete here has also taught me how to manage my time at an unparalleled level compared to other schools.”
Brett wanted to thank his teachers, as well as his parents and coaches.
“I thank my teachers for their Christ-like attitudes and for always pushing me to be my best,” he said. “I also thank my parents and coaches for always believing in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.
“I am thankful for this opportunity, and I will not let you down.”
Brayden Kelly, who will play men’s soccer for Lubbock Christian University, said this honor means the world to him to get to do what he loves to do at the next level.
He has received All District awards from the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) for the past three years. He has also traveled to Jamaica and the Dominican Republic on Liberty Spring Break mission trips, and he looks forward to his third in Panama next month. He has also been an Impact leader at Liberty where he mentors 7th and 8th grade students.
Planning to major in forensic psychology, Brayden thanks those who have helped him over the years.
“I want to thank my family, friends, and coaches for always working with me and supporting me,” he said.
Playing baseball for Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., this fall, Mason Packwood said this honor means more to him that he could possibly express.
“After years and years of pound the stone and grinding through injuries and setbacks, I am realizing that the dream I have worked so passionately for is being fulfilled, and I get the opportunity to play the game I love for four more years,” he said.
When he first decided that he wanted to play collegiate baseball, he knew it would take serious work.
“There have been a lot of early mornings and late nights in the cage and in the weight room, and I know there are many more to come,” he said.
As a Commended National Merit Scholar, Mason has mentored Middle School students through the Impact program and has traveled on two Spring Break mission trips with Liberty to the Dominican Republic. In his free time, he enjoys reading, woodworking, and being outdoors. He plans to pursue a joint law and business degree at Wheaton.
He added, “Liberty has prepared me on all fronts by providing me with countless resources, paired with coaches and teachers who genuinely care about my being the best I can be.”
JayQuan Smith will head to Weatherford, Okla., this fall to play football for Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
“I have dreamed to go to college to play football and pursue my passion to play in the NFL,” he said. “To receive a scholarship offer from SWOSU is life changing for my family and me – it breaks many barriers and will lay a foundation for many after me.”
He said his love of the game began when his mom put him in football when he was 7 years old.
“My journey hasn’t been easy, but God has carried me through it all with a strong support system,” he said.
He plans to pursue a degree in criminal justice for a career in law and forensic science.
“Liberty has prepared me academically by showing me how to have better study habits and time management skills to be successful,” he said. “Liberty has also prepared me when times get hard to lean on God.”
He thanks his mom and his family for pushing him no matter what.
“I give all the glory to God, as it says in Matthew 19:26, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”
Pryor Thomas will play baseball for Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., this fall.
“It is a dream come true to continue to play the sport I love for four more years at one of the most prestigious universities in the country,” he said. “It is an awesome reality to have the opportunity to witness to a whole team of guys about the greatness of Christ.”
Pryor said he has played baseball since he was a child.
“Through the years, I have developed a passion for the sport, whether that is playing it, watching it, reading articles about it, or talking about it,” he said. “I live for the game!”
In addition to his membership in the Model United Nations Club at Liberty, Pryor disciples 7th grade students on Wednesday nights at his church, and he participates in the Young Men’s Service League, a mother-son volunteering organization. He plans to major in economics or business.
“The tradition of Liberty baseball has taught me how to be successful on the field while having fun and glorifying God at the same time,” he said. “I was in a rough place before coming to Liberty, but my teammates and coaches helped me find that love again.
“The academic rigor of the classes has taught me how to find success in the classroom as well.”
He said the reality of this opportunity has still not set in.
“I can’t take any of the credit, for it was only through the Lord that I was given this chance to further my education and baseball career,” he said. “I was forced to demonstrate complete trust in Him and in His plan, and in the end, I was ultimately blessed with this opportunity, and I am forever grateful!”
Andre Washington will play football after graduation for Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla.
He said, “This honor means so much to finish my Liberty career, leave a legacy, and move on to the next level.”
He added that his mindset was to always play for the team, and he thanked the offensive line for his success.
At Liberty, he has traveled on three mission trips, and in college, he plans on majoring in engineering.
“Liberty academics and athletics have taught me that if I put my mind to something, I can do it,” he said. “I am blessed by my teachers, coaches, and the Lord that have prepared me in many ways for the future.”
Joseph Wolf will play baseball at Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kan., this fall.
“This honor means everything to me,” he said. “I have worked at this sport since I was very young, and it is truly humbling to have one of my dreams of playing college baseball come true.”
Joseph’s passion for baseball began when he started playing at 4 years old.
“It is so much more than a game to me,” he said. “It has given me lifelong friendships and opportunities to go places I don’t think I would have gone otherwise.”
In 2011, Joseph coordinated relief efforts for Tuscaloosa, Ala., that suffered from a devastating tornado. In 2017, he and his sister coordinated relief efforts at Liberty for Houston, Texas, that endured a Category 4 tornado, even traveling with his teammates to help with the recovery.
His goal is to play baseball for as long as he can, collegiately or professionally.
“Liberty showed me how to glorify God through the vehicle of baseball,” he said. “The school also showed me how to be truly competitive and how to be a good teammate.”
He said he is truly grateful for this opportunity, and he thanked his coaches by name for working with him, helping his game, and making him the player he is today. He also thanked his parents for all of the hours and dollars they have put into his career.
“I love all of you,” he added.