LUTZ – In front of a packed crowd inside the school’s conference center, five Steinbrenner student-athletes signed their letters of intent to continue playing at the next level.
The signees are football players Alex Vega (Lindenwood in Missouri), Daniel Fernandez (Florida Institute of Technology), Brian Gainer (Mount Union in Ohio), volleyball player Miranda Powell (Florida Atlantic University) and softball player Anna Wilkins (Fisk University in Nashville).
The number of athletes signing also set a new school record.
“It’s a huge weight off the shoulders,” Vega said. “I can wake up every day smiling, knowing that I have a place to go next year.”
For Powell, signing on the dotted line was a sweet as it gets, because she is the first Steinbrenner volleyball player to sign a Division I scholarship.
“I’m really excited just to start the new chapter of my life,” Powell said. “I’m hoping to bring the same enthusiasm and the same energy (to FAU) that I’ve always had. This is the icing on the cake.”
Wilkins spent two years playing club softball for the Lutz Lightning after one season on the Warriors squad her sophomore year. She said her experience at the club level propelled her to this opportunity.
“It’s kind of a relief, to be honest. It’s kind of like all of that has come down to this,” Wilkins said. “All of the hard work I’ve put in since I was really little and I never thought I’d actually play in college, but I am. It’s a really big relief, more than anything.”
By Jeff Odom / Sports Editor