Midway athlete denied moment in spotlight signs live on KWTX

By  | 

WOODWAY, Texas (KWTX) For student athletes National Signing Day is an opportunity to be recognized in front of their peers and make it into the evening sportscasts.

It is a day of pride for the students, their parents and for the universities and colleges.

Wednesday morning, Midway High School student Joniah Howell was denied the opportunity to publicly sign her letter of intent for the athletic scholarship she earned.

Friday morning, however, Howell, her family and friends got their chance to shine.

They were guests on "News 10 This Morning," during which Howell signed her letter of intent live in front of thousands of viewers across central Texas.

Howell, a gymnast, received a partial scholarship to West Virginia Wesleyan College for gymnastics and tumbling.

The private liberal arts college in Buckhannon, W. Va., has about 1,400 students.

She receives a physical education credit for the sport through Midway High School.

But, when it came time sign her letter of intent, she was devastated to find out she would not be able to participate.

Howell says the decision came as shock.

She says three of her teammates participated last year.

“It makes me sad because I wanted to show all of the people that I grew up with what I'm doing after high school,” Howell said.

“Last year three of my friends got to sign with acrobatic and tumbling and one with gymnastics participated," Howell said.

"I went to watch them and support them. I was excited this year to get to sign in front of my peers for acrobatics and tumbling, but Midway said I could not sign because I was not doing one of the sports at their school."

Zero Gravity Gymnastics coach Tracy Cowan was in disbelief.

She says she has never had this problem with the high school in seasons past.

Midway ISD Athletic Director Brad Shelton declined an interview but emailed a statement to KWTX in which he said, "The Midway High School Athletics Signing Day Ceremony is designed to honor students involved in Midway High School athletics. Students who are involved in non-school related and/or non-school sponsored athletics, physical education, and/or extracurricular activities do not participate in the Midway Athletics Signing Day Ceremony.”