On National Signing Day, the pinnacle for every high school student-athlete, four Niceville coaches stepped to the auditorium stage with a message of reverence.

NICEVILLE – On National Signing Day, the pinnacle for every high school student-athlete, four Niceville coaches stepped to the auditorium stage with a message of reverence.

For future Wake Forest forward Ashley Frank, Michael Denton’s message of praise focused on “relentless.”

For future University of Charleston linebacker Eli West, John Hicks’ message was of “character” on and off the gridiron.

For future South Dakota School of Mines midfielder Brenden Sherwin, Wes Nelson’s message was of “leadership.”

For future Rollins’ College shortstop Raiven Bryant, Danny Hensley’s message was that of a “coach’s dream.”

Four signees. Four athletes going on to do bigger and better things.

There on hand to celebrate the eclectic careers of the quartet was a Niceville High auditorium packed to the brim with coaches, friends, family, teammates and teachers.

The night before Frank was helping the Eagles to a 3-0 Region 1-4A quarterfinal win over Leon. Frank is familiar with the postseason, having helped the Eagles to an Elite Eight appearance last year, a state title appearance as a sophomore and the region quarterfinals as a freshman.

The senior is as prolific a scorer and passer as they come, scoring 30 goals and dishing out 20 assists last year en route to shoring up Daily News Player of the Year honors. And her prep career isn’t done just yet, the Eagles set to host rival Navarre in Friday’s Sweet 16 at 7 p.m. at Twin Oaks Soccer Complex.

“It’s just incredible to watch her as a player,” said Denton, Niceville’s girls soccer coach. “One word I always use in the paper is relentless. She has a relentless work rate. She makes other players’ lives miserable. She is relentlessly tormenting the other team’s backs.”

The Demon Deacons are coming off an 11-6-4 season where they finished 5-4-2 in the ACC and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Also with state title hopes is Sherwin and his top-ranked boys soccer team, which was scheduled to host Leon Wednesday night in a rematch of last year’s Region 1-4A quarterfinal.

“It’s a relief to get through this,” Sherwin said. “I was a bit nervous for both of these (signing and playoff game), and now I only have to be nervous about one.”

Nelson, at the helm of the 21-1 Eagles, praised Sherwin for the “leader he’s become.”

“In the biggest moments he plays his best,” Nelson said. “That shows his character.”

Originally from Alaska, there won’t be a culture shock for Sherwin in moving to the cold confines of South Dakota. Sherwin said he’s “hoping to play center-mid for them. But they may try me at forward.”

Switching to the gridiron, West only played one year in Niceville after transferring in from Hoover, Alabama. His impact was immediate and long-lasting.

“What I always heard from teachers when he arrived was ‘What a great guy Eli is,’ ” said Hicks, Niceville’s football head coach. “I just said, ‘Well, he’s a great football player, too.’ ”

For the 6-4 region quarterfinal Eagles, the senior linebacker delivered 64 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, five forced fumbles, two interceptions, 1.5 sacks, one blocked field and a touchdown.

Now he’s off to the Division II Golden Eagles, where he expects to start right out of the gates for a team that finished 4-6 last season.

“I want to make an impact on that program that they’ve never had,” West said. “Also, I want to get a degree in business finance.”

For Bryant, who helped lead the Eagles softball team to a state title appearance as a junior, she brings a golden glove at shortstop to Rollins College, a Division II program which finished 29-24 last year and is off to a 2-3 start this year.

Hensley, Niceville’s softball coach for 15 years, said he can count on one hand the amount of players that have started every year since they were freshman. She’s one of them.

“She’s a coach’s dream,” he said. “She does it all and gives 100 percent on and off the field. She makes every one around her better. I’ve never seen an athlete with a better set of hands than her.”

As a junior Bryant hit .317 with a .387 OBP, 21 RBI, 12 extra-base hits, two homers and a team-leading 32 runs. Now she’s one of the frontrunners for Hitter of the Year as Niceville looks to win a state title.

“That’s what we want,” she said. “We just got to take it one step at a time.”

At Rollins, Bryant said the sky is the limit.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Bryant, who will major in marine biology. “I’ll be sad to leave, but it’s good to start fresh. I feel like I can only get better from here. I’m just going to work hard and try to get better every day.”