Mid-terms are still more than a month away for high school seniors, but one athlete at Madisonville High School has already secured where she’s going after finals.
Griffin Knight, an MHS senior, recently signed with Auburn University in Alabama on a scholarship to compete on the college’s NCAA equestrian team. The decision was made official during a signing ceremony in the Madisonville CISD board room on campus Nov. 15. Knight was surrounded by family, friends, coaches and school officials.
“Auburn’s such a great place and they’ve been pursuing me for so long,” Knight said.
“It’s a new adventure and a great opportunity, and I love it so much there.”
In MHS sports, Knight began with volleyball her freshman year. She then shifted her focus to softball and has racked up all-district, all-tournament and other honors while pitching for the varsity Lady Mustangs.
However, outside of MHS, Knight has been heavily active with equestrian sports and horse showing. Lana Wells, an English teacher at MHS, is a family friend and the person who taught Knight how to ride when she was younger. Wells was also present at last week’s signing.
“It’s something that I’ve always been a part of since I was little,” Knight said of riding. “It’s something that I’ve worked so hard at, and the hard work is finally paying off.
For two consecutive years, Knight and a horse she’s ridden on has finished in the top ten of all-around competitors of her respective class at the All American Quarter Horse Congress event in Columbus, Ohio. She has also been a two-time finalist in the American Quarter Horse Association’s Youth World Show in Oklahoma City, with a final placing in western horsemanship in 2010 and reigning in 2011. Knight’s volunteer work has also been in the same spirit of her passion since she’s spent time working with Sundance Equine Assisted Therapies in College Station at the organization’s therapeutic riding center for disabled children.
When she won’t be riding at Auburn, Knight will be taking classes majoring in political science with a possible minor in business. Her goal is to attend law school after college. Her academic resume heading into Auburn includes memberships in the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Prosperity Bank Junior Board, FFA and MHS student council, and being president of her senior class.
Knight is excited for her new life in Alabama, but she will always have memories of her hometown.
“I am never going to forget (Madisonville),” she added. “It’s been quite an experience. I’ll always call it home.”