BUCKHANNON – Two Buckhannon-Upshur High School student-athletes recently decided where they will continue their collegiate careers.
Brooklyn Maxwell and Jacob Smithson both signed their letters of intent to both of their prospective colleges. Maxwell, a soccer and basketball player, signed to Davis & Elkins college to play basketball as a shooting guard.
“I wanted to stay close to home, and it offered my major because Wesleyan doesn’t offer physical education anymore,” Maxwell said. “I decided during the summer going into my senior year that I really wanted to play basketball and I thought that Davis & Elkins would just be a great fit for me, knowing that it’s close to home, has my major and I love the campus.”
Coach Rob Kittle said Maxwell is the ideal athlete to coach.
“She’s one of the best kids we have on the team,” Kittle said. “She is always very polite, very coachable and a great kid. There are not enough good words you can use to describe Brooklyn and what she’s meant to our program over the years. As far as an athlete, she’s probably one of the hardest working kids I’ve ever been around coaching.”
Maxwell said her experience playing basketball at B-UHS was a unique one.
“I went through some highs and lows,” Maxwell said. “State runner-up twice and it was definitely an experience. I had great coaching staff, a different coach almost every single year I played, so I got to learn a lot of stuff from a lot of new people.”
Maxwell gave a tip for other B-UHS students starting their high school athletic careers.
“Just work hard, be in the gym all the time, don’t take anything for granted,” Maxwell said. “You never know when it’s your last time playing or if you’re going to play at the next level.”
Smithson is a B-UHS wrestler and signed to Lake Eerie College in Painesville, Ohio.
“They sent me a message, like early summer, I went out and visited and then visited a few other schools, but I liked it the best,” Smithson said.
He said he began wrestling in sixth grade, and his coaches were a great help.
“It’s been great, I have good coaches, and everybody’s been a real help,” Smithson said. “Coach Orr has helped me a lot, JP Tenney and Brandon Tenney have been a big help with work in the off-season and everything, so it’s been really good.”
Coach Jake Orr said Smithson was an easy athlete to coach.
“He bought into the program and into the system that we’re running right off the bat,” he said. “He is a hard worker, does everything we asked him to and more. He’s got a constant hunger for the game and to learn the sport; he never slacks off. When we’re in practice he’s 100 percent in everything he does. He’s been a super blessing.”