For the second consecutive Friday, a Brindlee Mountain senior athlete signed to play her sport at the next level.
Chantzley Kirkland took part in a signing ceremony at the school. She will play basketball next season for Snead State and head coach Tonya Bogle. The Friday before, Kelsie Tyler signed to play volleyball at Snead.
Ironically, Kirkland and Tyler are friends and plan to be roommates this fall.
Kirkland has been one of Brindlee Mountain’s most highly decorated athletes since she came to the county school before she started fourth grade. She plays or has played a multitude of sports at Brindlee Mountain, including basketball, volleyball, cross country, track and soccer.
Strangely, it wasn’t her play on the court this past season that caught Bogle’s attention. Bogle and assistant coach Daryl Douthard had zero in-person recruiting two years ago because of the pandemic and had limited recruiting opportunities this past year.
That’s why an open tryout in March was a big deal for the Lady Parsons, and as it turned out, for Kirkland, too.
“We had 20 try out,” Bogle said, “and she stood out, that’s for sure.”
Of the 20, five were interested in joining the Snead program.
“Chantzley was the first one we really were interested in,” Bogle said. “She caught our eye immediately. I’m excited to have her in our program.”
Kirkland, who scored well over 1,000 points in her career playing for coaches Tony Mabrey and Even Lemons, made the Marshall County All-Tournament team three years and was an All-Area 13 selection two times. She made the All-Marshall County Team (third team) in 2020. She also made the 2021 All-County Team.
Kirkland also has won numerous championships with her travel basketball team (North Alabama Rim Rockers, out of Cullman), including Under Armour State and Nationals.
She’s also been:
• All-Area in volleyball (three years)
• All-County in volleyball (one year)
• Track state champion in the 300-meter hurdles (2021)
• Track Sectionals MVP (2021)
• All-Area in soccer (2020)
• Multiple award winner in cross country, including qualifying for the state 2017-2020. She also finished first individually in the Marshall County JV meet.
Last year, after winning the 300M hurdles state championship, Kirkland competed in the AHSAA State Heptathlon at Hoover, finishing 14th overall out of 44 athletes from schools big and small throughout the state. Her 14th place finish was a school record.
Kirkland, like Tyler, is also popular among Brindlee Mountain students, especially teammates, and many turned out to wish both good luck.
Kirkland’s extended family was there: dad Tommy Kirkland and step-mom Annie Kirkland; mom Beverly Kirkland and step-dad Daniel Garner; brothers Ian Garner and T.J. Kirkland; grandparents Russell and Cathy; grandparent Brenda Byrd; grandparent Becky Fricke; and great aunt Betty Jenkins.