Wise High School, founded in 2006, has yet to win a boys’ state championship without Paris Vaughan. A member of the Pumas’ 2012 state champion track & field team and 2012 state championship football team, Vaughan’s made his mark on the Pumas early sports history. And when athletic director Jason Gordon mentioned that at Wise’s signing day ceremony Wednesday, news of his unique place in Wise sports trivia wasn’t a surprise to Vaughan.
“I actually did know that,” said Vaughan with a smile. “I’d said to myself I wanted to try to help the school win as many state championships as I can, as many rings as I can while in high school so I can go out with a bang.”
As he readies to graduate from this spring, Vaughan has done just that, and will try to duplicate his winning ways at Miami University of Ohio, where he signed to run track Wednesday.
Vaughan’s father was also a Redhawk, meaning Paris had been familiar with the school throughout his childhood, pushing it to the front of his college pack when it came time to make a decision. Vaughan whittled down his suitors to a short list of schools including University of Miami, Morgan State, Howard, and others.
“[My father], he’s been pushing the school to me my entire life,” Vaughan said with a laugh. “Then I took my visit up there, and it was a beautiful campus. It had my major, sports management, and it’s a great major there, too, so I decided to take my chances there.”
The 5-9, 150-pounder says he will likely participate in the decathalon and hurdles for Miami. Vaughan placed first in the 110 meter and 300 meter hurdles at the Prince George’s County outdoor track & field championships last spring, and finished first in the Maryland 4A South region in the pole vault.
But Vaughan, who was a cornerback and wide receiver for the Pumas state championship football team in 2012, says football was always a crucial part of his athletic life, too.
“Football is my first love,” Vaughan said. “I’m a football player who transitioned to run track. I just happened to get good at track, but football, that was always the number one thing for me.”
Vaughan couldn’t play this season because of an injury, and to insure his health for track. Regardless of how Wise finishes the indoor and outdoor track seasons, Vaughan will leave with a special place in the history of Puma sports.
“It feels great to sign and have the process be done, but it’s going to be t0ugh to leave,” Vaughan said. “It’s going to be tough leaving family and my friends, but it’s going to be a nice experience.”
NUMBER CRUNCH: 5
The number of athletes who signed at Wise’s National Signing Day Ceremony Wednesday. The group consisted of four football players — Micah Till (N.C. State), Marcus Allen (Penn State), Joseph Shelton (Alderson Broaddus), and Isaiah Black (St. Anselm) — and Vaughan.
— Here’s a little big more about what the signing day ceremony meant to Vaughan’s Wise teammates Allen and Till
— Signing day takes on a new meaning in the D.C. area, as eighth grader DeJuan Ellis brings football recruiting to a whole new level with his choice of where to play high school football
— C.H. Flowers junior basketball star De’Janae Boykin will have coaches across the country on the edge of their seats waiting to she where she signs next year. Read why basketball’s not likely the only thing to play into her decision.
— Gabrielle Gillis his six straight clutch free throws down the stretch to help the Loudoun County girls get even with rival Woodgrove.
— The W.T. Woodson football team has a new, offensive-minded coach in former Stonewall Jackson Coach Mike Dougherty.
YOUR PHOTOS FROM SIGNING DAY:
VIDEO OF THE DAY:
Here’s more on De’Janae Boykin, who put family before basketball when it came to choosing a school.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
On a loaded Friday night boys’ basketball slate, the WCAC matchup of No. 5 O’Connell and No. 2 Paul VI headlines, while No. 6 Potomac (Va.) puts its undefeated season on the line against Freedom-Woodbridge and the Potomac School tries to upset No. 17 Maret for the second time this season.