By Chris McCarthy/ Publisher/Editor
MaraJade (M.J.) Gray is headed to the land of the Falcons.
The Southside High senior signed a national letter of intent to play soccer at Division II University of Montevallo.
A starter at the center-midfield position for the Lady Panthers since her 7th grade year, Gray played club soccer for four years with the Gadsden Fusion and Coosa competitive teams and has played club soccer for the past two years with the Vestavia Attack 96 Black. Gray has received her club team’s Most Valuable Player, Most Versatile Player and 110 Percent awards and helped her indoor club team win a league championship.
“Montevallo’s a good school, and I love the campus,” said Gray, who plans on majoring in biology. “The soccer team’s really good and I like the coach.”
Gray joins 2013 Southside High graduate and former teammate Abbey West on the Lady Falcon roster.
“M.J. brings craftiness to the 2014 class,” said Montevallo women’s soccer coach Jeremy Hampton. “Her ability to see the field is one that is very rare and what made her stand out to us. She will be a great addition in the midfield and up top for us.”
Montevallo went 3-8-5 in 2013 while competing in the Peach Belt Conference.
“M.J. is just an amazing student-athlete, and it’s been a joy to have her in the program,” said SHS girls soccer coach Tiffany Cargill. “She demonstrates reliability in everything she does. She has a lot of God-given talent and she’s a hard worker, so I think she’ll thrive at the college level. M.J.’s got the perfect mindset and she’ll really develop at Montevallo.”
This story was supplemented by www.montevallofalcons.com.