GUYTON — Thanksgiving started a week early for a trio of star South Effingham student-athletes.
Softball players Kastin Belogorska, Cheyenne Miller and Re-Ann McCloy expressed gratitude to their teammates, coaches, family members and God before making their college choices official during a signing ceremony in the South Effingham cafeteria Thursday.
"It's hard for me to believe that this day has come," South Effingham coach Chuck Smith said. "It sad but, at the same time, I am just as happy as I can be because y'all have worked your tails off to get to where you are and you deserve everything that you have coming to you. I know y'all are going to make me proud, you are going to make your family proud and, most importantly, y'all will make yourselves proud because y'all have worked for this and y'all are phenomenal, phenomenal young ladies."
Belogorska, Miller and McCloy were key figures in the Lady Mustangs' run to the 2018 Class AAAAA Elite Eight Columbus. They went 27-7 this year.
"What y'all were able to do with this team, what y'all were able to do to represent your school and your leadership is just beyond words," Smith said.
Before signing, each player thanked everyone who helped them along their way to realizing a dream. Many of their supporters, including youth league teammates and coaches, were in the audience.
"A lot of text messages were sent (to invite people to the ceremony," said McCloy, a pitcher who signed with Truett McConnell. "There was a lady out there that I haven't seen in I don't know how many years but she was real important to my journey here."
Belogorska, a pitcher, is bound for Liberty University. She committed to the Flames when she was a freshman.
"It was really cool," she said. "I wasn't really expecting all this."
Belogorska said the players' reference to God was genuine.
"With God, I would not be here today," she said.
The players were emotional but none shed a tear during their remarks.
"I had so much fun with this team," said Miller, an outfielder who made her ninth-grade commitment to Georgia State official. "It's the most fun I've ever had."