Photo courtesy Miles Gifford

Gifford and Byrd sign to play at Division 2 colleges

FHS seniors Joel Gifford and Aiyana Byrd spent February 3, 2021(National Signing Day), signing the dotted line and reaching long term goals both had set to play college sports. 
Joel will continue his football career with the South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City, SD. He will transition from a FHS Longhorn to a Hardrocker with the start of the fall semester. Joel will join the Hardrockers defensive team as a linebacker.
“I visited with the coaches, met the entire staff and really like the energy. I really got a family vibe and feel the staff is invested in the program and team members. I was planning to attend SDSM&T whether I played football or not, so getting to compete at the next level at my first choice school is truly a blessing,” said Joel. 
Academically, Joel will be pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering. “I always enjoyed going to job sites with my dad, which sparked my interest in civil engineering,” Joel said.
Aiyana has signed with Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD, where she will join the Yellow Jacket volleyball team playing right side or middle positions this fall.
Aiyana started playing volleyball in junior high and continued through high school. “Wanting to play at the college level really became a goal my freshman year of high school. I started to improve and Coach Mandy helped me find my passion and love for volleyball,” said Aiyana.
Aiyana had visited with a few other schools throughout her high school career, but was very  excited to sign on as a Yellow Jacket with BHSU being her first choice college. 
 “I really liked the coach and teammates. Everyone has been very welcoming.” 
Academically Aiyana will be pursuing a degree in Elementary Education at BHSU this fall.
“The campus is very nice and I am excited to begin my college career as a Yellow Jacket majoring in Elementary Education,” Aiyana said.
Parents, coaches, and Faith School staff are extremely proud of the goals set and accomplishments achieved by both Joel and Aiyana as athletes and on an accademic level.
Joel and Aiyana you have represented the FHS Longhorns and your community very well throughout your time at FHS. Congratulations to you both!

The Pioneer Review

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Philip, SD 57567
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