Thursday, February 10, 2011
Byhalia athletes sign scholarships
By BARRY BURLESON
Two Byhalia High School athletes will be competing in the Southeastern Conference.
Seniors Megan Rayford and Erica Bougard signed track scholarships Wednesday, Feb. 2, with Mississippi State University.
“They have set the bar for success at Indian Nation,” said Markeith Washington, athletic director at BHS. “They are great overall athletes.”
Rayford and Bougard also excel on the basketball court. They have helped lead the Lady Indians to an outstanding season.
“But they’re best known in the state for running track,” Washington said.
“We have built our track program from the ground up on these two girls.”
They’re both versatile on the track – doing everything from running to jumping to hurdling.
“Mississippi State is an elite program in track and field,” Washington said. “Scholarships to SEC schools are hard to come by. This is a great day for these young ladies and Byhalia High School.”
He said Rayford is committed to success.
“Megan is one of a kind,” Washington said. “She is a very superior athlete – a result of her hard work and dedication.
“We may see her in the Olympics some day.”
He said Bougard has also excelled nationally in track through the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).
“She got involved in athletics at an early age – and she’s a national champion, not just a champion in Byhalia and in Mississippi,” Washington said.
“She’s a special athlete – like none we’ve had at Byhalia High School before.”
Plus, Rayford and Bougard are excellent students. They are National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) qualifiers academically.
“They did all they were supposed to do – in the classroom and in athletics,” Coach Washington said.
“They’re great in the classroom and great in athletics.”
Megan’s mother, Vurma Rayford, said she is very proud of her daughter.
“She has worked so hard in athletics,” Vurma Rayford said. “And she’s an A student, too.”
Both girls said they love basketball but track provided their best opportunities in college.
“I’ve played sports all my life,” Bougard said, “and I’m looking forward to going to Mississippi State. It’s a great school.”
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