Brianna Archer was grinning from ear to ear – with her mother sharing a similar smile sitting on Brianna’s right – as she sat in front of Alcovy High School’s championship trophies for her signing with Brenau University.
As the saying goes, once a Tiger always a Tiger, right? Archer will go from the Alcovy Tigers to the Brenau Golden Tigers of Gainesville on a scholarship.
LaDawn Harrison, Archer’s mom, said, “I’m overly excited, because this is my baby girl. She’s the last one leaving the nest. I’m excited for her because she has worked very hard throughout her four years here at Alcovy.”
When asked about Archer’s decision to choose Brenau, Harrison said, “We talked about it, but I told her this was going to be her first major decision as an adult. [I told her] to make the decision to go where she wants to go because I want her to be happy.”
Richard Ludwig, Brenau head track and field coach, spoke about character and being a student-athlete shortly after the signing. He thanked the coaches and family in attendance for helping Archer get this far.
“We’re looking for student athletes,” Ludwig said. “She appears to be – at least at this point – the epitome of the student-athlete rather than the athlete-student. She has great character, great grades and she’s a tremendous athlete.”
Archer qualified for the Georgia High School Class AAAAAA state title with a time of 57.84, making her fourth overall at sectionals in the 400-meter dash.
Ludwig explained that Brenau means refined by fire. Ludwig said the school loves to recruit smart, good people with a lot of potential and he believes Archer fits that mold. Ludwig added that he wants to see Archer be an academic All-American and athletic All-American.
Archer seemed humbled by the entire process, with everyone showing her a great deal of attention on her signing day. She smiled a lot, had a few laughs. She said she doesn’t talk much, but she exuded joy from the second she sat down to put the pen to the paper.
“They’re getting a strong student-athlete. Like coach from Brenau had mentioned, she’s got strong character, she’s got strong drive and very strong leadership skills,” Alcovy coach Anthony Jackson said. “A lot of kids actually looked up to her on the track. She would come in and get her work done and you would see the success that she would get on the track."
Jackson had the opportunity to see Archer in both a student setting and an athlete setting, as he taught her in physical science. Jackson said she was outstanding in the class.
“Academically she came in, she really did her thing,” Jackson said. “She got the award for strongest athlete this year. As far as academically, she comes in and once again she’s a leader in the classroom.”