On May 17, more than a dozen Harker Heights student-athletes signed letters of intent to compete at the collegiate level.
A total of 16 kids put pen to paper, and head football coach and athletic coordinator Jerry Edwards was proud to see it.
“It was awesome,” Edwards said. “We had 16, and I think that makes 20 for the year. We were represented in seven different sports, and I think that’s kind of the key there.
“Just to have athletes from all across different genres getting the opportunity to go represent themselves, their family, the school and our community is an awesome achievement.”
Two of those signings, Marlon Cooper and Zavier Rembert, competed for the Knights football team. Cooper played safety, and Rembert was a wide receiver.
“They are two silent guys, but they were extremely hard workers,” Edwards said. “They were both critical players for us.
“Zavier had many clutch catches for us this past season, and Marlon was just a staple on defense for us – making sure the back end was solidified. Marlon was a big reason we led the district in defense this year, just because of his expertise on the back end.”
Track star Jazzman Clare signed with North Texas after a 2016-17 season that saw her break two school records. Clare broke Teal Williams’ mark of 14.82 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles — which was set last year — with a time of 14.67, and she also ran a 44.11 in the 300 hurdles to break Williams’ record of 46.74 set in 2015.
“She’s a four-year letterman, so she’s very experienced,” Chris VanCleave, Harker Heights head girls track and field coach, said. “I was very proud of her, and she was real excited. She was worried that she wasn’t going to be able to find a school to go to, but I told her that if she did well at regionals she’d have a place to go, and she did.”
A pair of track and field standouts for the Knights, Jevon Wallace and Adrese Atkins, signed with Tarleton State and Rogers State, respectively.
Atkins was a member of the Harker Heights 4x200 relay team that qualified for the Class 6A state meet this spring, and Wallace reached the Region I-6A meet in long jump.
“It was a good feeling,” Wallace said. “I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it this far. But I made it and got a scholarship to do something I love to do, so it was a blessing.”
Daniel Cole and Jacob Mitchell, a pair of baseball players for the Knights, also inked last Wednesday. Cole committed to McLennan Community College, and Jacob Mitchell pledged to Our Lady of the Lakes.
“I was real excited that both of those guys were able to sign. They’ve worked extremely hard for it,” Knights head baseball coach Randy Culp said. “Daniel will be going to McLennan, which is an outstanding program that is having a lot of success right now.
“Jacob is headed to Our Lady of the Lakes, which is an upcoming NAIA school, but I’m really proud of those guys. They were able to get to the next level and not only get there, but get some scholarship money to offset some of that cost.”
Others signing collegiate letters were Victoria Bella, who inked with Bridgewater State in Bridgewater, Mass., for swimming, and Faith Johnson, who committed to play tennis for Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill.
Three girls basketball players, Dakota Smith, Shae Richardson and Daizja Jolly, signed with McMurry, Oklahoma Wesleyan and Dallas Christian College, respectively.
Chalanc Bennett and Cameron Jackson are two boys basketball players who will compete at the next level. Bennett inked with Mountain View College, and Jackson signed with Southwest Texas Junior College.
Esther Ahn signed with Dallas Baptist to play golf.