GATESVILLE — Cole Edmiston is following his heart, but he is also breaking it in the process.
After putting together a stellar individual season while leading the Hornets to the program’s second-best record in school history, Gatesville’s senior quarterback achieved a lifelong goal Thursday by inking to play for the only college he ever truly wanted to attend –— Baylor.
The only drawback to officially accepting preferred walk-on status from the Bears during an afternoon signing ceremony held inside Gatesville’s gymnasium is it ends a rollercoaster journey with the only school he ever cared about.
“My lifetime dream pretty much just came true,” said Edmiston. “It’s really sad also. … I had the most fun I’ve ever had in my entire life (during my senior year), especially during football season.
“I had a great run and surprised other people, as well as myself, and it is something I will never forget. I really wish I could relive the whole thing again.”
The dual-threat quarterback was instrumental in the team’s most successful season since winning the Class 3A state championship in 2000, amassing 4,108 yards of offense and 54 touchdowns while guiding the Hornets on a 13-game undefeated streak before falling to Graham in the Division II-3A quarterfinals.
Despite receiving a similar walk-on opportunity from Texas Tech and a scholarship offer from Tarleton State, Edmiston had no doubt he made the right decision.
“I love all the coaches,” he said, “I love the university, and it’s not too far from home. I really couldn’t ask for anything more.”
A trio of Lady Hornets, who all committed to play volleyball collegiately, joined Edmiston in the ceremony.
After considering walking away from the sport and each other, twin sisters Megan and Paige Chambers signed letters of intent to play at Clarendon College, while teammate Ashley Cook signed a walk-on offer for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi.
For the Chambers twins, who were prepared to attend Blinn College as students before transferring to separate universities, the opportunity to extend their volleyball careers together was simply too good to pass up.
“At one point, we wanted to be separate, but in the end, I don’t think we could have gone without each other,” Paige Chambers said. “So, we are pretty excited we get to be (together).”
The sisters originally hoped to play collegiate softball together, but none of the interested schools felt right, leading the pair to believe their athletic careers were over until a chance encounter with Clarendon head volleyball coach Holli Reyna changed everything. Following a visit and workout with the team, a peace and certainty overcame the twins, assuring them Clarendon was the perfect fit.
“We both didn’t feel very excited about (attending Blinn),” Megan Chambers said. “Then this came up, and we were like, ‘Is this for real?’ … Relief is the perfect word for it.”
Cook was also set to leave sports behind and attend Texas A&M – Corpus Christi as a straight student, but once the volleyball season concluded, it became evident she did not want to end her athletic career.
“I just missed it a lot and knew I at least wanted to try it out for a year,” Cook said. “Now, I don’t think I’m going to want to stop.”
The trio spent the last thre years on varsity together, winning two district championships and reaching either the regional quarterfinals or regional semifinals every season.
“(Playing at college) is something we’ve all thought about since we were little,” Cook said. “Now, its true. It’s awesome that we all get to go and continue our (careers).”