THOMASVILLE — Nicholas Grave de Peralta is used to scoring goals.
Wednesday afternoon, he reached one.
The Thomasville High School senior soccer player signed a national letter of intent to play at Georgia Southwestern State University.
“It just means a lot to me,” Peralta said, “all the work that I’ve put in, all the hours traveling with my team, being with my dad out in the backyard, being with all my friends and my family, it just means a lot just to know where I’m going and to continue my education and athletic career somewhere I’m going to enjoy being for the next four years.”
Peralta was a key member of last year’s Class AA state championship team. But signing the scholarship is another goal he now has reached.
“It’s been a long journey,” he said, “It’s been tiring and frustrating. But knowing I finally found a spot and I’ve signed is a relief. I can focus on playing and having fun, knowing that I’m going somewhere and playing the sport that I love.”
“The recruiting process can be kind of daunting,” THS soccer coach Robert Peterson said. “He worked really, really hard and deserves every bit of success that’s coming.”
Peralta called the Georgia Southwestern State atmosphere family-like. Peralta will study physical therapy at Georgia Southwestern State.
“It’s very close knit,” he said. “There are small classrooms and you have one-on-one with the teacher. It’s not too big and not too small.”
He also said the soccer program is now on an upswing.
“The soccer program is turning around,” Peralta said.
As for his current team and teammates, Peralta is confident of a repeat.
“Last year was great. It was amazing to win,” he said. 'We’re looking to do it again. We’re not there yet. It’s going to take some time and work. We have a great coach and a great team.”