THE WOODLANDS — Taylnne Buckmon and Sandra Cannady shared many meaningful moments on the basketball court during their time together at College Park.
One of the final moments on the court for the senior duo came Wednesday morning. Buckmon and Cannady were two of six College Park student-athletes to sign to play in college at a ceremony in the school’s gym.
“It’s really special because we’ve been best friends all throughout high school,” Buckmon, who is headed to Collin College, said. “It’s been a really good opportunity to play with her.”
College Park girls basketball coach Jason Weese said during the ceremony that the duo left the program stronger than they found it. Buckmon and Cannady were leaders on three playoff teams, captaining two of them. A couple months ago, the Lady Cavs advanced to the area round for the first time since 2010.
Cannady, who was named The Courier’s Player of the Year after her senior season, will make a short drive up Interstate 45 and play at Sam Houston State.
“At first I wanted to go far, but then I realized that I wanted to be closer to family,” she said. “It’ll be easier to get home. Playing (Division I) basketball and getting to the next level has always been a big opportunity and something I really wanted for myself.”
Cameron Noel, who led the College Park boys basketball team last season, will play at Cabrillo College in California. The senior credited his brothers Clayton and Clinton, former Cavaliers themselves, for motivating him to be a better player.
Noel’s final game for the Cavaliers was a memorable one. In a 62-53 win over rival The Woodlands, he set a career high.
“It meant a lot to me,” Noel said. “Thirty-five points is the most I’ve had in my career. It was a win, so we ended on a positive note. It also showed the younger players that hard work brings success.”
Jill Bohnet, a College Park volleyball player, was also no stranger to the gym where she signed Wednesday morning. She’ll head to LSU, where there’s already family waiting for her.
“It’s so exciting and it’s just such an honor,” Bohnet said. “My brother and sister are both there right now, so it’s nice to know I’ll be going somewhere where I know I’ll have family. I’m so fortunate to have been blessed with the opportunity to go and follow them. I’m so excited and incredibly grateful.”
Bohnet finished her career with a multiple digs records for the Lady Cavs. She set the match (64), season (1,057) and career (1,996) marks for the program.
“On signing day, everyone talks about individual accomplishments and things like that, but to me, it always goes back to the team,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how many digs I got or any of these other things. Without my team, I couldn’t have done any of it. I have accomplished a lot individually, but none of it could’ve been accomplished without my team. I know that and I love them for it.”
Two soccer players, both midfielders, signed as well.
Stephanie Quezada, a three-year letter winner, is off to Concordia University in Austin. She said she will remember the closeness she had with teammates while at College Park.
“Family, for sure, is what it’s meant for me,” Quezada said. “I made a lot of really, really good friends really quickly. It’s a really amazing environment and I found a lot of comfort with the people around me. They were here to lift me up and never tried to bring me down.”
James Ross-Kirov signed to play at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ross-Kirov appreciated the moment, but was a bit distracted by his weekend plans. The Cavaliers compete in the state tournament for the first time in program history beginning Friday.
“It’s crazy and really exciting,” he said. “I’m excited for next year, but right now we’re just focused on this weekend. We want to win the first game, then win the whole thing the next day. Our mindset is on winning this weekend.”