Bohner, Flynn, Hubbard, and Taliaferro commit to continue their sports in college
Across the nation, high school student-athletes put pen to paper today to show their pursuit of their athletic endeavors at the next level. At GPS, four from the Class of 2022 committed to continue their sports in college: Louisa Bohner, Maddie Flynn, Maddie Grace Hubbard, and Ellie Taliaferro.
During this afternoon’s all-school assembly to honor these young women, GPS Director of Athletics Jay Watts said, “At a rate roughly three times the national average, this is a testament to the abilities of our coaches, our staff, and our programming.”
Watts then asked all varsity athletes in attendance to stand, informing the crowd that all four of GPS’s sanctioned fall sports—soccer, cross country, golf, and volleyball—had received Academic Achievement Awards for maintaining a team GPA of at least 3.0 during their seasons. Our two non-TSSAA sports—cheerleading and rowing—achieved the same standard.
He then spoke about the importance behind today’s event. “Today, we are here to recognize Louisa Bohner, Maddie Flynn, Maddie Grace Hubbard, and Ellie Taliaferro for their commitment to play their sports at the next level. All of these girls have represented GPS with distinction on and off the field of play. They have dedicated themselves to their school and their sport with long hours of practice, consistent dedication, and numerous personal sacrifices. So much of what they did to get on this stage today happened out of the spotlight,” he said. “In short, we never had a chance to see all of what it took for them to get here. We hold this event in front of all of you by design to celebrate just how amazing it is for these girls to reach this point in their athletic careers.”
He continued, “While so much of what they have accomplished is truly a testament to their work ethic and commitment to their sport, it is also an affirmation of our school and our community for giving these girls the framework and support needed for their success. If you are a teacher or coach who taught one of these girls, you are part of their story. If you have been a teammate of one of these girls, you are part of their story. If you have been a friend to one of these girls or even their Rat as a sixth-grader, you are part of their story,” he said. “The greatest strength of the GPS experience for all our girls can be found in the relationships that support, challenge, and celebrate their many gifts and talents on a consistent basis.”
Watts went on to recognize the parents of our athletes for their loyalty to their daughters’ pursuits—driving to practices, funding their training, and cheering from bleachers and sidelines—before announcing each girl and her loved ones on the stage for the signing ceremony.
Louisa Bohner | Track & Field | Auburn University
Louisa is captain of the varsity track and field team, of which she’s been a part since freshman year. She also served as captain of the varsity soccer team this year and was a member of the team all four years of high school. She has been named Best of Preps, All-Region, All-State, and All-American in track and field. In addition to athletics, Louisa is president of G-Force (GPS spirit squad), an FCA leader, and member of National Honor Society, National Beta Club, and National French Honor Society.
Beverly Blackwell, GPS Head Track and Field Coach, said, “Louisa is a coach’s dream. She is continually working to better herself in all that she does, and she doesn’t let anything stop her or get her down. I couldn’t have asked for a better team leader to help lead the track team this year. She is motivating and is always giving encouragement to her fellow throwers and teammates. I know that Louisa is going to continue to improve and have great accomplishments at Auburn University!”
Maddie Flynn | Rowing | West Virginia University
Maddie has raced on the varsity rowing team since her freshman year. That year, her boat placed first in the U17 Carney Cup. The following year she played first in a pairs race at Oak Ridge. Her junior year she was awarded MVP. This year she placed first at Oak Ridge again, this time in a doubles race, and her quad placed fourth out of 50 in the Head of the Hooch. She is also a member of the Health Club.
GPS Head Rowing Coach Laura Foster said, “Maddie is a tough, dedicated athlete who is willing to take on any challenge. Her quiet leadership on and off the water is indispensable to this year's team—she holds herself and her teammates to a high standard, pushing herself and those around her to be better than they were yesterday. Her hard work over the last three-and-a-half years has put her in a position to row at the Division I level in college, and I have no doubt she'll have continued success with West Virginia Rowing.”
Maddie Grace Hubbard | Softball | Huntingdon College
Maddie Grace has been a member of the varsity softball team since she was in eighth grade. She was selected as an all-region player her junior season. She also competed as a member of the varsity basketball team for four years and varsity volleyball team for two. In addition to her athletic endeavors, Maddie Grace is a leader of FCA and of Christian Forum.
GPS Head Softball Coach Susan Crownover said, “Maddie Grace has been a versatile player for us who can play both outfield and infield effectively to help our team. That versatility will help her at the next level, and we wish her nothing but the best as she goes to Huntingdon College next year.”
Ellie Taliaferro | Swimming | Vanderbilt University
Ellie is a seven-time swimming All American, a Scholastic All-American, a state champion, and a four-time state champion runner up. She holds 33 short course club records in the 50- and 100-freestyle and 13 city records. She is a five-time junior national qualifier and an eight-time junior national time finalist. She also competes on the varsity track and field team, and is a member of G-Force, Kaleidoscope (GPS yearbook), Student Council, Cum Laude, National Honor Society, and National Beta Club.
GPS Head Swimming Coach Roger Dahlke said, “Ellie has been a force for GPS swimming the last seven years. Ellie has excelled in every stroke and distance. She has been a pleasure to coach, and it has been a privilege to watch her compete, starting when she was 8 & Under through her senior year of high school. I look forward to celebrating her future success at Vanderbilt.”
Of the girls signing today, Watts said, “We are incredibly proud of what each of these girls has accomplished during their time here at GPS, and we cannot wait to watch them thrive over the next four years at their college destinations.”
Photos from today's signings are available on our SmugMug account
to download for free or order prints for a small fee.