Two GPS Athletes Sign National Letters of Intent for College Athletics

Spring National Signing Day sees commitments for softball and swimming
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, two from the Class of 2023 committed to continue their sports in college: Ansley Giffin for softball and Julia Striker for swimming. Ansley and Julia join seven other classmates who signed in the fall.
Nationally, about 6 percent of 8 million male and female high school athletes will go on to play a varsity sport in college. At GPS, approximately 20 percent of our student-athletes commit to playing a college sport. 

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 continued, “The latest data from the NCAA tells us that competing at the Division III level in softball is an opportunity that only about 2.2% of all high school softball players receive. For swimming, the odds of swimming at that level is only slightly higher, 2.9%. In short, what you are seeing today is truly an amazing accomplishment for both of these girls, and they very much deserve the attention that they are getting on this stage today.”

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.

Ansley Giffin | Softball | Sewanee: The University of the South
Ansley has been a part of the varsity softball team for the last four years. She has been a part of the National Honors Society during her junior and senior years and a member of the National Spanish Honors Society since sophomore year. She was on the Head of School list during her first semester of this school year.
Her coach, London Cornelius, said, “Ansley is one of the hardest working athletes I know. Her willingness to do whatever it takes to win for her team is truly admirable. She has accomplished so much at GPS, and I am honored to have coached her for her senior year. Everyone needs a Giffin on their team!”
Julia Striker | Swimming | United States Coast Guard Academy
A swim team co-captain for GPS, Julia was a finalist at the TISCA State Meet in Tennessee three times and also was a state finalist at the GHSA State Meet in Georgia twice. She was All-State in the 400 Freestyle Relay during her sophomore year, and she also holds the school record at Heritage High School in the 200- and 500-Yard Freestyle, records that she broke as a freshman. While at GPS, Julia has also been a part of the rowing team, a member of the National Honor Society, and on the Head of School list.
Her GPS swim coach Roger Dahlke said, “Julia has been a big part of the success of GPS swimming for the past several years. We will miss her determination and quiet leadership around the pool. We all wish Julia the best of luck at the next level.”
Of Ansley and Julia, Watts said, “These signings today do not just signify that these girls are great athletes. It is a tremendous stamp of approval for both of them as students and as people. For college athletes, character matters, and I have been incredibly impressed with the kind of people that Ansley and Julia are as seniors at GPS. They are tremendous examples of what we want our graduates to be, and we know they will represent us well in the next four years.”