Dominic Dungca, Dairra Ervin and Devyn Williams were used to bringing home awards for their athletic achievements during their four years at Killeen High School.
And they had their eyes on one more on the way out.
The Killeen trio were presented scholarships during a ceremony at Leo Buckley Stadium on Wednesday.
“It’s great,” Williams said. “They see you making plays and want to show you their appreciation.”
Killeen head football coach and athletic coordinator Sam Jones said each of the awards represented prowess on the playing field, but also discipline in the classroom and strong moral character. Each award included a $1,000 college scholarship.
The Leo Buckley Scholarship went to Dungca, a three-sport KHS athlete headed to the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Dungca played football, soccer and track.
“It’s amazing,” Dungca said. “It’s great to be recognized here in the stadium where I played. It’s a blessing.”
The newest athletic scholarship, the Ember Alt Award, named for the late track athlete who died in combat in Afghanistan, went to Kairra Ervin, set to go to West Texas A&M University and run track.
Representing Ember Alt’s family, Jennifer Owens said the stepdaughter she raised from six months of age wanted to go to college and was on her way when she fell in combat a year ago on June 18.
“She was following her dream, but she never got to – this is a way to help another child live their dream,” Owens said.
Alt ran track, competing at state on the mile relay team and was known for never giving up in sports and in life, her family members and coaches said.
Ervin received a photo of Alt in an engraved frame. Ervin said she would always keep it.
“I feel really good the coaches would see a resemblance in us,” Ervin said. “It feels good they would think that highly of me. My dad is in the Army so it is special to me.”
The Gerald Russell Scholarship, named for the late brother of current Killeen head track coach Greg Russell, went to Williams, headed to Oklahoma Panhandle State where he will play football.
Williams said he was honored to receive an award in memory of his coach’s brother.
“It means a lot that they think that highly of me,” he said, “especially that it is named for Coach Russell’s brother. I will do great things with it.”
Williams played football, basketball and ran track. He teamed with DJ Lilley, Daniel McCants and Kyle Boutte to win the Class 5A 400-meter relay silver medal at the state track meet last month.
Albert Alvarado contributed to this story.