Campbell Signs

Cold Springs’ Kinley Campbell, front and center, inks a track and field scholarship with the University of Montevallo on Thursday. Christy (stepmother) and Jeremy (father) Campbell are also pictured.

Kinley Campbell couldn't sign her name fast enough.

With a smile on her face, the Cold Springs senior put pen to paper on a track and field scholarship with the University of Montevallo inside the high school library, where she was surrounded by family, friends, coaches, teammates and administrators on Thursday.

She will compete in the discus, javelin and shot put for the Division II Lady Falcons next fall.

She finished fifth, seventh and fifth, respectively, in those events at the Class 1A-3A state meet last week.

"It's a dream to be honest," Campbell said. "I've been at track meets ever since I could walk basically, and I've always wanted to compete at the collegiate level. I really wanted to make my family proud as well. This is allowing me to take another step and show everyone the talent God has given me.

"And I want to give God all the glory, of course."

Although Campbell produced interest from schools such as West Georgia, Lee University and UAH, she knew upon visiting Montevallo that's where she wanted to be following high school.

"It really seemed like home," she said. "I was nervous about not liking it, but I fell in love. It just felt like a tight community like we have here at Cold Springs."

Before the ceremony, several people spoke glowingly of Campbell's character and accomplishments.

The first to speak was her grandfather and former coach, Claborn Campbell.

Now retired, Campbell didn't even attempt to hide the overwhelming pride in his voice.

"It's neat and so special to me," he said. "I consider everything as God's blessings, and this is really just another one He has bestowed upon us. I'm proud of her. She's as good a person as she is an athlete — and she's going into coaching, too."

A special place resides in Kinley's heart for her grandfather as well as Cold Springs.

"All my morals are based on my grandfather," she said. "He's definitely made me into the person I am today, and he is the person I want to grow up to be like in how he impacts so many people. His athletes don't remember how many games they won or lost, but they remember the lessons they've learned from him. I hope to grow up and be as great as him one day.

"As for Cold Springs, this is my family. It's just a different place. No matter where I go, Cold Springs will always be home to me."

% 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.