Dutchtown enjoys a busy National Signing Day

Kyle Riviere
Alonzo Craighton was one of six Dutchtown athletes to sign last week. He signed with Minnesota. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

National Signing Day is special to so many great high school athletes across the country.

It's the day these young and highly-touted prospects finally sign their names to the dotted line and officially decide where they'll spend their next four years. It's the culmination of years of hard work, dedication and athletic excellence.

All of this National Signing Day excitement has been a staple at Dutchtown High. It seems like every year they have a host of young athletes taking their games to the next level; last Wednesday was no exception.

The school became the epicenter of the National Signing Day celebration in Ascension parish as six prospects signed--four football players and two softball standouts.

"These guys and girls are to be commended for putting in the time and the effort to get to this point," Dutchtown head football coach Benny Saia said at the start of the ceremony.

Headlining the signings was safety Justin Reid--younger brother to Eric, a Pro Bowl safety for the 49ers and former LSU and Dutchtown alum.

Reid decided to keep the crowd on their toes as he placed baseball caps for LSU, Stanford and Notre Dame on the table. When he grabbed the Stanford cap, the crowd erupted.

Reid was a three-year starter for the Griffins. This season, he was named first-team all-district, and he was the only player from the parish's three 5A powers to make All-State. He was an honorable mention selection.

His counterpart at safety, Alonzo Craighton, was the other Griffin to sign with one of college football's "Power Five" conferences as he signed with the Big Ten's Minnesota.

Craighton committed to the Golden Gophers during the season and never wavered from his pick.

"He's a gifted athlete and a gifted student. I believe he has the honor of going farther than anyone we've ever had sign," Saia said.

Craighton was a two-year starter for Dutchtown and looks to transition to cornerback at Minnesota.

Offensive guard Hunter Austin signed with Nicholls State. Austin committed to the Colonels at the end of the season.

He was a two-year starter for the Griffins and this past year, he was a second-team all-district selection.

"He did a great job for us. He's an excellent student, and I feel confident that he'll have success at the next level," Saia said. "He was the first committment for Coach (Tim) Rebowe--who is the new coach at Nicholls State."

The last of the football signings came from wide receiver Jonathon Hodoh. Hodoh signed with UL-Monroe after committing there just recently. He'll also be playing receiver for the Warhawks.

The four Griffin football players that signed on to continue their careers in college have now upped the total to 44 since the school opened in 2002.

However, it wasn't just the football players celebrating on Wednesday. Two softball players signed as well.

Bria White signed to play with East Central Community College.

White is a three-year starter for the Lady Griffins. Last year, she batted .347 with two homers and 29 RBIs en route to being named first-team all-district.

Hope Vezinat then became the latest Ascension softball player to sign with LSU-Eunice. Just last year, five parish stars signed there in St. Amant's Jordan Hartman, Jaci Lavigne, Madison Edmonston and Kayla Braud and East Ascension standout Carmisha Payton.

Vezinat is a four-year starter. Last season, she batted .356 with a home run and 16 RBIs. She was also a first-team all-district selection.

For pictures of all the signees, pick up a Feb. 12 issue of the Weekly Citizen.