The limelight was bright enough for Gaige Gilbert and T’Asia Robinson to share at Augusta Christian on Tuesday.
Both secured their futures in different sports, signing their respective letters of intent; Robinson to play tennis for Division I Alabama A&M University and Gilbert signing to play football for Division I Charleston Southern University.
Gilbert, a 6-foot‑2, 240-pound middle linebacker and long-snapper was a key cog in the Lions defense, helping them to a 13-0 record and a state championship. During the season he recorded 100 tackles (75 solo), including seven tackles for a loss and was named all-county first team.
“It was a goal for me since I was a little kid to play college football and for it to be DI makes it more sweet,” Gilbert said.
Lions head football coach Keith Walton was sure that Gilbert has the tools to succeed at the next level.
“Gaige is hard-nosed, he’s a defensive player,” said Walton. “His ability to deep snap is second to none.”
Robinson, who was the Lions head cheerleader and homecoming queen this past season, hasn’t played tennis at Augusta Christian for the past two years, but has played for MACH Academy the past 10 years. She promoted herself before the school year started and it didn’t hurt that she already had an in.
“One of my friends that I grew up with, she goes to Alabama A&M and the tennis coach saw a highlight video that I had put out during the summertime and he talked to me and I went and visited and loved, loved, loved it,” Robinson said. “It was great. I fell in love with it.”
Her longtime coach at MACH Academy thinks she has what it takes to excel.
“I think the thing that’s going to help her the most is her tenacity and her passion for playing the game,” said Michael Harden. “She has been an outstanding student since she’s been at MACH Academy and I think that passion more than anything will help her be successful.”
Robinson is looking forward to what she can learn from A&M coach Willis Mbandi.
“The tennis coach is actually from Kenya, and he is an amazing tennis player, so I’m really excited to see what he can teach me because he’s really, really experienced,” said Robinson.