Kellie Faison and Randi Crumblin are use to making transitions together.
After spending a year running the court with one another on Copperas Cove’s basketball team, the Lady Bulldawgs decided to continue their playing careers together with each committing to Southwest Texas Junior College on Tuesday morning.
Despite preparing for the next step in life, Faison is comforted by knowing a friendly face will be joining her.
“It feels like I am going to be in high school all over again,” she said, “but that is kind of great. I’m happy Randi will be there.”
The teammates made their decisions official during a joint signing ceremony at Bulldawg Gymnasium, but they were not the only basketball players committing to play for Southwest Texas.
Bulldawgs guard Johnathan Brown will play for Southwest Texas Junior College after helping Copperas Cove reach the playoffs in consecutive seasons.
“I don’t know much about the school, but it is definitely an opportunity for him to continue his education and extend his playing career,” Bulldawgs head coach Billy White Jr. said. “Anytime that happens, I’m happy.”
Joining the trio in committing was Bulldawgs defensive back Spencer Malchow and second baseman Kyle Winstead.
Although Faison was sharing the spotlight with classmates, at times, it felt as if all eyes were on her.
“I was excited because so many people were there supporting me,” the guard said of the ceremony. “At the same time, it was nerve-wracking because everybody was watching me.”
Earlier in the year, the Lady Bulldawgs were the center of attention as they made a run at reaching the playoffs for a second consecutive season following a four-year absence.
With Crumblin and Faison serving as reserves, the Lady Bulldawgs (17-12, 7-7 District 8-5A) fell just shy of returning to the postseason, finishing just outside the playoff picture following a season-ending victory to Harker Heights.
Faison has high hopes for achieving success in Uvalde, though.
“I just want to play up to my potential, help them win games and, hopefully, win a conference championship,” she said.
Like Faison and Crumblin, Winstead, who signed to play at Connors State College in Oklahoma fell just short of reaching the playoffs in his senior season.
Despite posting one of the best records in recent history, the Bulldawgs’ postseason drought extended to six seasons, but his odds of finally reaching the playoffs will dramatically increase in the upcoming season. Connors State went 46-13 last season, finishing third at the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Region II Tournament one year after advancing to the NJCAA College World Series.
Winstead led Copperas Cove in batting average (.387), ending the season tied for team-high in hits with 29, including seven doubles, and scored 24 runs to go with 15 RBIs. Although his classmates are desperate to taste the postseason, Malchow has experienced the playoffs every year of his career, helping the Bulldawgs reach the postseason for a 10th consecutive year in 2013.
Now, he looks to continue the streak at Cisco College.
Malchow committed to the Wranglers after finishing fourth in tackles for the Bulldawgs last season with 85, including 53 solo. Additionally, he delivered five tackles for a loss, broke up two passes and intercepted two passes, taking one for a touchdown.