CONYERS -- Layla Samuel became the second Salem girls soccer to continue their career, joining goalkeeper Jaidyn Christophe, who signed to play at South Carolina State.
Samuel, who excelled on the field for the Seminoles in an offensive role, signed an academic scholarship to Agnes Scott College, an NCAA Division III program located in Decatur, where she will join the soccer program.
It wasn't until a visit to one of her games at Salem this past season that solid Samuel on the prestigious institution.
"I didn't really know about them at first," Samuel said. "They came to me. They sent me a lot of emails and said that they saw me in tournaments. They kept reaching out to me and one day they popped up at one of my games. Every time I mentioned Agnes Scott to someone, they always said that it was a very prestigious college."
After a few friendly chats with the program, Samuel took an overnight visit to the campus before accepting a scholarship.
"I'm extremely proud," Salem head coach Andre Johnson said. "We've been celebrating Layla for the four years that we've had her. But this year, it definitely got emotional for us. We're so proud of her. She's so multi-talented and gets to pursue her career at the next level and gets to do exactly what she wants to do."
Samuel, who also served as Salem football's field goal kicker and a member on the girls basketball team, said playing soccer at the next level is a dream come true.
"I'm very excited," Samuel said. "This is only the beginning. I really think I can get better at playing my position and learn to play other positions, too. I like to play right winger. My dominant foot is my right foot and I can make good crosses."
Getting to sign her NLI in front of a large crowd inside the Salem auditorium was a great feeling, she said.
"I always see the other athletes sign and I was wondering when my time was going to come. It was great because the spotlight was on me."
While Johnson said it is sad to see her go, he commended her on bringing true hard work and dedication to the program for the last four years.
"Her leadership, how she carries herself during conditioning and while we're at practices was great," Johnson said. "She's just one of those coaches players. She pretty much represents what I want the team to be on the field."