TAKING THE NEXT STEP: HOT athletes sign collegiate letters of intent

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It’s the day dreams come true for many high school athletes across the country. And for a number of student-athletes in the Heart of Texas, they began living the dream on National Signing Day.

Traditionally, National Signing Day has been the first day that a high school senior can sign a binding National Letter of Intent for a collegiate sport with an NCAA. Although all NCAA sports have at least one National Signing Day, college football’s signing day held the first Wednesday of February has always been by far the most widely followed by fans and sports media.

Consequently, at least 10 Heart of Texas athletes playing sports in the Class 3A and Class 2A classifications made their decisions known Feb. 5 as signing celebrations were held at high schools across the area.

In football, six players signed letters of intent, including Clifton wide receiver TJ Ferch joining Cisco College, Clifton wide receiver Colby Caniford heading for Hardin-Simmons, Bruceville-Eddy wide receiver TJ Jarmon choosing Austin College, McGregor offensive lineman Michael Ramos joining Concordia (Neb.), Whitney athlete Devin Wilson heading for Cisco College and Whitney wide receiver Kolby Tanner choosing Southwestern Assembly of God University.

Clifton’s Ferch garnered Associated Press Class 3A All-State first-team honors after leading the Cubs to their third straight District 8-3A, Division II title by catching 78 passes for 1,341 yards and 16 touchdowns, while Caniford was well on his way to a banner season before getting it cut short by injury.

“I’m really proud for both of these young men,” Clifton Athletic Director Chuck Caniford said. “Anytime you get the opportunity to help kids play at the next level, it is always exciting. 

“Both of these young men are very deserving of this opportunity. They have worked extremely hard and will be an asset to their college programs.  I’m excited to watch them continue to grow, both as players and as young men.”

Then on Feb. 21, Clifton Cub senior pitcher Mason Brandenberger signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Temple College.

“Mason is a great competitor, and we are extremely excited about him having the opportunity to play at the collegiate level,” Clifton baseball head coach Brian Slater said. “I am looking forward to watching him in his senior season as he continues to develop his game and improve on the skills that he has.”

After earning a fourth consecutive trip to the Class 2A Cross Country State Championship Meet, Meridian’s Dakota Cassidy signed a letter of intent to run track at Southern Arkansas University.

“Dakota has worked so hard all her life to achieve this goal of running track in college.” Meridian Girls Athletic Coordinator Jill Kendall said. “I am super proud of the effort I have seen her put it in the last four years. I am glad that she is realizing the culmination of all her hard work. She will do great things in college.”

Other area athletes signing letters of intent on National Signing Day were Valley Mills’ Taylor Fouts to play volleyball at Cedar Valley College, Bruceville-Eddy’s Julian Spotster to play basketball at Murray State (Okla.), and Crawford’s Dakota Anderson to play tennis at Howard Payne.

Courtesy Photos

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