A pair of Sacred Heart athletes signed with Division I programs last Friday.
Gracie Falla signed with South Carolina soccer, and Christina Danford will play tennis at the Naval Academy.
Both Falla and Danford have helped lead the Crusaders to multiple state championships.
“This is kind of what I have been looking forward to all year,” Falla said. “I remember in seventh grade watching and thinking that I couldn’t wait for my turn. I’m super excited. I’m glad I get to sign with Christina too. It’s a big accomplishment for her as well.”
Falla, who is unsure of what position she’ll play in college, said she held offers from multiple SEC and ACC schools.
“(South Carolina’s) staff is amazing, and their coaches are like a family,” Falla said. “South Carolina, in general, is awesome. I’ve played there lots of times. It’s the environment. I’ve played with a few of their other commits, and they are all super friendly. It’s a super talented team right now.
“Their style of play fits me pretty well.”
Falla had helped guide Sacred Heart to four state championship titles. In five seasons as a starter, she has recorded 55 goals and 43 assists.
“It’s going to be hard moving on, but I’ve watched my brother and sister grow up and do it,” Falla said. “I’ve talked to my sister a lot, and she has made the transition.
“I’m going to miss it a lot, but it’s time to move on.”
According to Danford, she chose the Naval Academy because she wanted to continue her family’s military tradition.
“The Naval Academy has been my dream school since I was in the seventh grade,” Danford said. “My want to attend the academy stemmed from the military tradition in my family. My brother graduated from West Point, and my dad is a colonel in the Air Force, so I wanted to continue my family’s legacy.”
Danford, who is rated a four-star recruit by tennisrecruiting.net, helped Sacred Heart win back-to-back state championships in 2019 and 2020. Danford also won the individual state title in the eighth grade.
“It’s been so awesome to have a family at a smaller school where everyone knows each other; to have those people there support you is amazing,” Danford said. “The fact that our class has two people going to play Division I sports is awesome for our grade and for the school as a whole.”