The Killeen Kangaroos had five athletes sign their letters of intent to Division I schools across three different sports Wednesday afternoon.
“As a coach, this is what you want to see at the end of the day,” Killeen athletic director Neil Searcy said of seeing so many of the Roos sign to play at the next level.
Lady Roos soccer had Jalyn Davis and Lauren Din sign their letters of intent to play for Southern University.
For Din, the community atmosphere she felt on her visit to the campus in Baton Rouge is what helped her make her final decision
“It’s like a family-type thing there,” she said, “and that’s what I liked.”
The two girls stood together in the gym taking in the crowd and posing for pictures as the reality of what they had achieved and were about to do sunk in.
“It’s bittersweet, It’s something every athlete dreams about, especially if you’re serious about playing,” Davis said as she tried not to get emotional. “Just committing, going to a really good program, it’s just every athletes dream so I’m thankful and blessed for it.”
Tanjala Smith will be heading to Nebraska as she signed her letter of intent to play softball at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
“Signing today is really an accomplishment, honestly,” Smith said, whose parents moved from Chicago to Texas in order to give her the best opportunity at getting an athletic scholarship. “For me to actually say that I have a scholarship to somewhere and I’m committed, it’s just great.”
Killeen football saw quarterback Marcellus Johnson signed his letter of intent to play for Lamar University after attending a camp and falling
in love with the program on his unofficial visit.
“Just everything stuck out to me,” he said. “That’s where I want to be the next four to five years of my life.”
The Roos offensive lineman Hentz Alyzcha signed his letter of intent to play at Northwestern State surrounded by his family.
Alyzcha got visibly emotional, choking up as he spoke in front of the crowd, explaining exactly what signing with his mother by right by his side truly meant to him.
“Today, for me, it means another chapter in my life,” he said. “Ever since freshman year I’ve talked about going Division I and playing big.”
“I always told my mom that I want to do something nice for her, I want to be able to be the man of the house, she’s always been there for me since Day 1,” Alyzcha said, explaining that she has been there to motivate him every step of the way — academically and athletically.
For Searcy, signing days like this are what Killeen athletics strives to produce each year.
“We want to see them grow up to be well-rounded individuals with degrees and be able to take care of their families,” he said. “These are all great kids, and we wish them the very best.”