Mikinna Quick became the most recent Rhea County High School (RCHS) Lady Eagle soccer player to sign a college scholarship, as she inked her national letter of intent Wednesday morning in the commons area at RCHS, to play for the Tennessee Wesleyan University (TWU) Lady Bulldogs.
It was a festive occasion, as family, friends, loved ones, teammates, coaches and church families gathered in support of Quick.
TWU is located in Athens, Tennessee, and is part of the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC). Bryan College also competes in the AAC.
Quick becomes the eleventh boy or girl RCHS player, to have either signed or who is currently playing college soccer. Once Quick joins the Lady Bulldogs’ in the fall, she is projected to play at the wing or forward position, which has been her primary position for the last three years at RCHS.
Like fellow Lady Eagle teammate and recent Tusculum University signee, Hannah Deakins, who had to sit out her senior season in the fall due to an injury, Quick tore her ACL in August, and had to miss her senior season as well. Depending on how one looks at it, Quick’s injury may have been a blessing in disguise, as she now plans to major in pre-physical therapy. She stated her injury had a lot to do with her career path decision.
“I’m excited, and a little nervous. I didn’t even get to play my senior season, so this is pretty amazing this happened. I didn’t really expect it to happen, but I’m glad it did,” said Quick of her opportunity to play at the collegiate level. “Physical therapy was not fun! When I was going through my physical therapy for my injury, watching the physical therapists help people like me, go through an injury and try to get back to the sport they loved, and I really want to help others do that too.
“I’m just excited and looking forward to the opportunity,” added Quick. “I almost gave up on this [after injury], but I just say, keep going, because it happened, so I guess prayers do get answered.”
During Quick’s sophomore season at RCHS, the Lady Eagles went 13-5 and set the school record for most wins in a season at 13. During her freshman, sophomore and junior seasons, the Lady Eagles went 32-19.
Lady Eagle assistant coach, and head RCHS boys’ coach, Justin Smith, praised Quick’s work ethic and determination to get better.
“If you can give an award for a career, Mikinna would get ‘most improved from beginning to end’,” said Smith, jokingly. “The first time she came out for the team, we had to call her mom to come and get her because she couldn’t finish the mile. She’s gone from that, to signing to play college ball, so that’s just a huge amount of growth over the last four years and her career.
“Her ability on the ball has come less from what we’ve done on the field as a team, and more from her own individual time,” added Smith. “So, we’re proud of Mikinna, proud to have coached her, and seen her grow over the last four years as a young woman, so we wish her congratulations and we’re happy for her.”
First-year Lady Eagle head coach, and Smith’s assistant for the previous four years, Katherine Bradley, or ‘Coach Kat’, wasn’t able to be present for the signing due to giving birth to a baby the previous day. Smith said in Bradley’s absence, “We are super excited for Mikinna. Coach Kat is sorry she couldn’t be here, but obviously, she wishes Mikinna the best, she’s proud of her, she loves her and all of those things she’s always telling the team.”
Quick plans to study pre-physical therapy (PT) at TWU, then plans to eventually transfer to a PT school.
Quick wished to thank all of her teammates, her coaches, and especially, her parents.