BELTON — Wolf Mahler wanted to be able to do everything — a little pole vaulting, a few jumps, maybe run a few races.
And if a chance to sing and strum the guitar came along, then all the better.
The Belton senior chose to sign his letter of intent with the Texas on Wednesday with plans to compete in the decathlon for the Longhorns and strum a few tunes in Austin from time to time.
“When I took my visit to UT, I found a place where I could become more than just a better track athlete,” Mahler said. “I found a place I could continue my music career and also be closer to my family, which are both really important to me.”
Mahler won the AAU Junior Olympics the last two years. In August he won five of the 10 events and his total of 7,274 points was 1,000 more than his nearest competitor. Before he sets foot on the 40 Acres in August, Mahler said he hopes to break 8,000 points and the national record.
“I will compete again this summer for USATF and I am looking to break the national record,” Mahler said. “That is my goal. I think I can do it and I am looking forward to having a good spring season with Belton first and hopefully making state in a couple of events.”
Cion Hicks has won medals in Austin, but the Shoemaker discus and shot put thrower sets records at the Hart-Patterson Track & Field Complex at Baylor.
And the Region II-5A discus record that she set last year as a junior caught the Lady Bears’ eyes.
“Baylor is where I’ve hit new boundaries. I’ve set records there — I threw 45-10, that’s my shot put record I have here at school; I threw 170, I’m No. 2 in the nation with that in Baylor’s ring,” Hicks said. “Knowing that I did that there, it’s even more of a comfort. I’m going back to where I had my blossom.”
Hicks, who signed with the Lady Bears on Wednesday, finished second in the shot put and discus at the state track meet last season, but only after making herself known as an up-and-comer last year following her 170-foot throw in the region meet.
She finished behind Mansfield Legacy then-senior phenom Shelbi Vaughn at the state track meet.
Even though she was courted by some of the most highly-esteemed track programs — she also visited Alabama, Arizona State, Texas and TCU — her heart was always comparing those programs to Baylor.
“I knew the people that came out of Baylor, I knew some kids from Baylor, it was just something in my heart, even when I was going to other places,” Hicks said. “When I took my official visit, it was like God sealed it.”
Hicks’ volleyball teammates Tearra Roberson and Takeyra Powell also signed college letters of intent.
Roberson signed with Wiley College and Powell signed with Southwestern Christian University in Bethany, Okla.
Despite the Lady Grey Wolves’ struggles on the volleyball court, Wednesday’s signings were the third and fourth for the volleyball team in the last three years.
“I just want to keep leading the (Wolf) Pack right,” Powell said. “I want to be someone that like a freshman or a JV player can look up to. I just want to keep working and hopefully, I can come back and see them signing. I just want to be someone’s inspiration.”
“Coming from Shoemaker, it’s always, we’re at the bottom. But, having confidence and showing other girls that it’s possible for us to do this,” Roberson said. “I just really hope that I’ve influenced somebody on the team this year to continue doing what they want to do, which is going to college for volleyball.”
Copperas Cove second baseman Dustin Cooper rounded out the group, signing to play for Central Christian College, and despite being the only nonfootball player to participate in the National Signing Day ceremony, he, like Greene, was happy to share the stage with people he considered close friends.
“It felt good,” Cooper said, “because I’ve known most of them since I was really little.”
Contact Nick Talbot at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7569