OZARK, Ala. (WDHN) — It was signing Sunday at Elegant Decor in downtown Ozark, and two standout Ariton Purple Cats from the Class of ’23, Andyn Garris and Isaiah Johnson, officially announced their commitment to continue their playing careers at LaGrange College in Georgia. The event witnessed a sizable crowd of friends and family who gathered to celebrate the occasion.
Isaiah Johnson expressed his enthusiasm for the decision, stating, “The environment, the new coaches, they are all very welcoming, and it felt like home a little bit.” His sentiment was echoed by Andyn Garris, who highlighted the positive aspects of LaGrange College, “(It was a) great orientation. As he said, it’s not too big, it’s not too small; it felt like home. It’s not too far away; it’s very welcoming, new coaching staff, everyone’s on a clean slate, so you come in and work hard, anything can happen for you.”
Both athletes were excited about attending college together, emphasizing the strong bond they share.
“It means a lot because we’ve been with each other ever since 7th grade, so the chemistry is there,” said Johnson. “If he can get on the field with me, that will be great.” Garris added, “It’s gonna feel like backyard football; it’s gonna be great, though. They’re gonna love it.”
The duo’s connection is evident if you’ve seen them play, which points toward at a promising future for them as teammates at LaGrange College. Their familiarity with each other and the comfortable environment played a pivotal role in their decision-making process.
Ariton head football coach, Steve Kilcrease, spoke highly of Garris and Johnson, acknowledging their contributions to the football program and the school over the past four or five years. He emphasized that the two players will be sorely missed on the field, in the locker room, and on campus this year. Coach Kilcrease expressed his excitement for their upcoming journey in college football, confident that they will represent their families, school, and community with pride.
The two Purple Cats are gearing up for their senior seasons at Ariton and will look to go out with a bang before embarking on a new chapter of their playing careers at LaGrange College.