Texas High opened its doors temporarily Tuesday so seven of its athletes could sign letters-of-intent with the colleges where they’ll continue their careers.
Athletic Director Gerry Stanford was on hand to coordinate festivities. In addition to signing in front of their parents, the athletes celebrated with cake and a framed photo of themselves in action. Several local and regional members of the media were in attendance.
“We’re so excited for what these seven have accomplished,” said Stanford. “This is one of the last things they get to participate in at high school. These kids have worked extremely hard to get to this point. We’ve now had around thirty kids who have signed this year.
“Our coaches have worked extremely hard to find places for these athletes. As long as kids are willing to travel we’ll find them a place to go.”
Two footballers sign letters-of-intent
Among Tuesday’s signees were two football players. Defensive end DeVaughante Jack (5-11, 235) will continue his career at Harding University. Eric Poe (5-11, 280) played both guard and nose guard for the Tigers last fall. Poe will be moving on to Waxahachie, Texas, where he’ll play for Southwest Assemblies of God University.
Fox Sports Texarkana’s Player of the Year Kerrighan Dunn signed with Kilgore Junior College. She had several other offers, but picked the Rangers over Tyler Junior College and Angelina College in Lufkin. Texas High’s 6-7 C.J. Kelley had decided to extend his schoolboy career with the Link Year Prep Lions in Missouri.
Also signing were track and field star Kahliyah Anderson, who is bound for Indian Hills Community College in Indiana. Soccer star Dulce Bustamante is staying home to play her game at Texas A&M University-Texarkana. Cheerleader Jayla Bayonne will be dancing and yelling at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall.
Indiana school finds track gem in Texarkana
Track coach Pat Daniels expects Anderson to do well in Indiana. In addition to competing in the high jump and triple jump, Anderson was one of the premier sprinters in East Texas. Daniels noted Anderson had already cleared 5-4 this spring in the high jump, and posted an area-best time of 24.95 in the 200. She ran a career-best 24.25 in 2019.
“Kahliyah was the anchor on our two short relays,” said Daniels. “Last year she ran the second leg. Everybody lost everything this spring with the virus stuff. The girls were obviously heart-broken, and all we could do was to encourage them to keep working hard. You don’t know how to react to this time off, because there’s nothing you can do about it.”