CHEESE

Fairview's McKinna Yearwood (left) and Taylor Ann Yeager (right) smile for the camera after signing scholarships to Snead State and UAH on Wednesday.

Jake Winfrey

Taylor Ann Yeager and McKinna Yearwood couldn't hold back their smiles.

Not that they were trying.

The stellar Fairview athletes inked respective scholarships — Yeager to UAH (basketball) and Yearwood to Snead State (volleyball) — surrounded by family, friends, teammates and coaches inside the high school library on Wednesday.

Yeager, who committed to the Lady Chargers in May, helped the Lady Aggies record a school-record 28 wins during her junior season. The Purple and Gold also won the Cullman County Tournament for the first time since 1982 in addition to claiming their first area tournament crown since 1996.

Yeager collected All-State (Class 5A honorable mention) and All-Area (first team) honors for a third consecutive year en route to leading Fairview to its first Elite Eight appearance in program history.

She'll join former local standouts Baylee Johnson (Cullman) and Emma Willoughby (Cold Springs) on the roster in 2018.

Yearwood, meanwhile, put together two terrific seasons on the varsity level for the Lady Aggies. The senior scored MVP honors at this year's Cullman County Tournament, which the Purple and Gold won for a second straight year en route to back-to-back 36-win campaigns. Yearwood also plays basketball.

See below for complete capsules:


Taylor Ann Yeager

% School: UAH

% Sport: Basketball

% Stats: Averaged 15.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game during her junior campaign. Also had 138 steals and heads into her senior season with 1,533 career points.

% Player Speak: "It takes a lot of pressure off. I can focus on the season now. Not where I'm going or what I'm doing. I'm happy. I love UAH, and the team is great. Emme and Baylee are there, too. It's just comfortable. Hopefully we can have a great season, and I can improve on my leadership qualities." — Taylor Ann Yeager

% Coach Speak: "Taylor works so hard. I remember when she was in the sixth grade, and I thought, 'She could be good.' But you can see that with a lot of kids. It takes someone special who puts in the time at the gym and plays against a lot of great competition to get where she's at. And she's small. So for her to go to UAH, that's terrific." — Mary Lauren Hartline


McKinna Yearwood

% School: Snead State

% Sport: Volleyball

% Stats: Had 658 good serves, 468 kills, 321 digs, 100 aces and 48 blocks in two varsity seasons.

% Player Speak: "Whenever their coach offered me, I was like, 'Whoa.' I was really shocked. I couldn't believe I had been offered a college scholarship to play volleyball. And the coach said I had a good work ethic. And from that point on, I knew I could do this and play on the college level." — McKinna Yearwood

% Coach Speak: "I'm extremely proud of her and happy for her. I'm looking forward to watching her play on the next level. Snead State has an athlete coming to them. Her hitting and serving are outstanding qualities." — Tracy Means

% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 136 or at jwinfrey@cullmantimes.com.​

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I'm an Auburn University graduate with a passion for sports, reading and diet Mountain Dew.