The ‘E’ is for Excellence: 5 scholar-athletes honored on National Signing Day

Published 6:33 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2022

RESERVE — National Signing Day 2022 was a momentous day for five East St. John student athletes who haven’t had a normal school year since they were freshman. Through the ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricane Ida, these student athletes persevered and proved there is no limit to what they can achieve.

Durell Daigre Jr., Jamyrion Irvin, Jacorey Robertson, Ray’Quan Williams and Anya Creecy were cheered on by their family, coaches and friends as they announced plans to take their athletic talents to the college level during a signing day ceremony Wednesday morning at Leon Godchaux High School in Reserve.

Athletic Director Brandon Brown said this achievement should serve as motivation for every student at The ‘E’.

“It takes a lot to be a student athlete. The young men and young women you see up here today did it all the right way,” Brown said.

When Daigre signed to the Southwest Bears football team Wednesday morning, it was the culmination of a journey that had a difficult start. Daigre came into his freshman year while grieving the loss of his father. According to Coach Brown, the motivation he received not only from coaches but from the brotherhood of the football program guided him to where he is today.

“We started this journey four years ago, and I think it means a lot to him that he’s up here with his brothers,” Brown said.

Jamyrion Irvin chose to continue his football journey at Louisiana College.

Brown said he has a special connection with Irvin because he went to school and played ball with his father. In many ways, Irvin is wise beyond his years and acts like another coach on the football field.

“He thinks he’s 35 years old,” Brown said. “He handles his business well, and one of the things I’m most proud of Jamyrion for is that he was in the running for Student of the Year at East St. John. That means a lot. Not only is he a good athlete; he’s also an excellent student, and I’m very, very proud of everything that he has done.”

Jacorey Robertson and Ray’Quan Williams announced on National Signing Day that they will be taking their football talents to the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

Brown is proud of the progress both young men have made throughout high school as they realized their potential.

Brown recalled that he and Robertson would have it out over grades.

“I would tell him he is a straight ‘A’ student, and every time he got something less than that, I would be upset with him because I know what he can do in the classroom. He proved it,” Brown said.

Brown has mentored Williams since his freshman year, after a now-retired teacher declared that she was at her wits end with him. Brown explained that life is bigger than the day-to-day incidents that cause frustration, and respect is at the center of it all.

“That journey got Ray’Quan to an athletic scholarship,” Brown said.

Williams thanked his mother who has sacrificed so much for his success, as well as the coaches who taught him “not only the game of football, but the game of life.”

Volleyball player Anya Creecy officially committed to Miles College last fall, following the devastation of Hurricane Ida. She had a chance to be recognized among her peers as she put pen to paper during Wednesday’s ceremony.

East St. John volleyball coaches Trenell and Trenese Smith spoke about Creecy’s humble spirit and awesome leadership abilities on and off the court. They said Miles College is getting not only a great athlete, but also a great person.

“One of the referees told us she was one of the best setters in the state, and I can definitely agree with that,” Trenell Smith said. “She is by far one of the best setters I’ve come across, but her work ethic, her determination and leadership bled on to other girls, and that’s what made us have such a great season.”

Also present during Wednesday’s signing day ceremony was Kylon “Wildcat” Harris, who committed to Stephen F. Austin during the early signing period in December 2021.