It’s usually called a signing day.
Wednesday at Cave Spring Middle School it was big enough for a signing ‘night’.
Four standout athletes at Cave Spring High School took center stage in the Cave Spring Middle School auditorium for the exceptional 7:15 PM signing ceremony that made it easy for all interested parties to be on hand.
No disappointment, the auditorium was packed.
Listed alphabetically, Jalen Buster, Makayla Dowdy, Parker Huffman and Abby Weaver were joined by family and their respective head coaches to honor outstanding careers and sign on the dotted line to continue playing at the next level.
)A smiling Jalen Buster is flanked by his family members as head baseball coach Ricky Lonker talks about his accomplishments.

Buster will play baseball at Radford University. The steady infielder and a top hitter for the Knights, and head coach Ricky Lonker, has been a varsity player since his freshman year. He chose the Highlanders over Old Dominion, Willian & Mary and Virginia Tech. Buster, who committed to Radford during his junior  year, plans to major in business.

“Radford is a great community, close to home so my family can easily see me play and has a campus the right size,” he noted Wednesday night. “They have a new coach and I can’t wait to play for him and the Radford program.”
Buster has also been a key player for the Cave Spring basketball team which reached the Class-3 state semifinals in March.
)Makayla Dowdy with her parents Byron and Melissa Dowdy during Wednesday night’s signing.

Dowdy has committed to St. Leo University to play women’s lacrosse for the Lions. The school is located 30 miles north of Tampa, Florida. She said her other top choices were Akron University and Cincinnati. Makayla will be in her fourth year as a member of the varsity squad at Cave Spring, moving from a midfielder to the attacker position last year. Her father, Byron Dowdy, is the Knights’ girls lacrosse head coach.

“St. Leo was an easy choice and a perfect fit,” Dowdy said. “The environment is great, along with the great coaches, team and so many nice people in the program. My goal is to earn a spot with a very good lacrosse team.”
Parker Huffman is flanked by his family along with head basketball coach Jacob Gruse (standing) as he signs to play at Christopher Newport.

Huffman will play basketball for Christopher Newport University in Newport News. The Captains are currently ranked #9 in Division-3 college basketball after advancing to the D-3 Final Four last season.

He is currently in his third year on Cave Spring’s varsity team, playing for head coach Jacob Gruse, and has already earned spots on numerous district, regional and state all-star teams as an underclassman.
“I fell in love with Christopher Newport the first time I visited,” Huffman pointed out. “The campus, the atmosphere and the beach about 20 minutes away make it great. I plan on majoring in business with a minor in communications.”
Abby Weaver is joined by her parents as Cave Spring head softball coach Nick Sharp talks about her career with the Knights. (Bill Turner photos).

Weaver will play softball for the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She will be in her fourth year with the Cave Spring varsity under head coach Nick Sharp when the team’s season begins next spring.

Weaver had been one of the top high school pitchers in the state, earning all-state honors and leading Cave Spring to the state tournament with a dominating pitching style from the circle.
She had also considered Elon University before picking the Cavaliers.
“I’m going to UVA for the educational opportunities,” Weaver noted. “With both great academics and great athletics, there’s nothing holding me back. I’m planning on majoring in biology or chemistry. UVA has two new softball coaches and has a just completed a totally new softball facility. I’m really excited.”
Bill Turner