Josie Angeny signed her National Letter of Intent to compete for the University of Kentucky gymnastics team on a full scholarship beginning with the 2018-19 season.
Angeny is a level 10 gymnast from Prestige Gymnastics, which is based in Lancaster. Prior to her time there, she spent eight years at the Gymnastics Center of Hershey. She is a three-time national qualifier, 2015 national beam champion and 2016 regional beam champion.
Angeny’s commitment became official with her signature on Wednesday, Nov. 8, but she has been verbally committed to Kentucky since May 11, 2015, which was her freshman year at Elizabethtown Area High School. The specific date is something that Angeny has remembered throughout the years.
“I had nationals the week after that and my dad wanted me to wait to commit, but I knew Kentucky was the school for me,” Angeny said.
Her introduction to Kentucky came seven months prior to her verbal commitment when assistant coach Chuck Dickerson visited Prestige Gymnastics on a recruiting trip. Angeny said that Dickerson asked her to visit Kentucky after his visit, so she obliged. She flew to Kentucky in December and fell in love with the school and the program.
Her excitement about the university during her visit was notable, considering that she had 10 other colleges and universities recruiting her at the time. She received full-ride scholarship offers from the University of New Hampshire, the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University and the University of Maryland. The University of Georgia offered her an opportunity to walk-on and she was also looking at the University of Nebraska and Southern Utah University at the time.
Of the schools listed, Kentucky and Georgia are the only two schools that are in the Southeastern Athletic Conference, which has long been a dream for Angeny.
“I wanted to move south when I get out of college anyway so Kentucky sounded great to me. Also, coach Dickerson is very Christian and some of the girls go to church with him on Sundays and I wanted a team that would have that aspect as well,” Angeny said.
When Angeny originally committed to Kentucky, the team was No. 25 in the nation. In the most recent rankings, Kentucky was ranked No. 12 in the nation. The improving program is something that attracted Angeny to Kentucky as well.
“I wanted to commit to a school that had a rising program that I could help grow instead of going to a school that was already top-10. Also, it has a walkable campus, but also feels very safe,” Angeny said.
After holding her commitment for the last four years, Angeny said that it was a relief when she signed the official papers.
“Many of my friends have lost their scholarships due to injury or other reasons and knowing I was able to sign to my dream school is amazing. I have watched older girls at my gym at their signing parties since I was 12 years old. When I was at mine it just didn’t feel real,” Angeny said. “It was that realization moment that I am now that girl that the little girls watch and look up to, when I feel like it was just yesterday I was that little girl hoping and praying I would get a scholarship one day.”