SALADO — Three Salado seniors signed their letters of intent to play football for Mary Hardin-Baylor on Wednesday morning.

In front of their families, friends and fellow Eagles teammates, Hayden Haire, Cutter Hudgens and Willy Whigham officially signed to join the Crusaders during a National Signing Day ceremony.

“Them making us feel like we’re already a part of that tradition of what they do out there and just making us feel at home,” Hudgens said of the trio’s reasoning for committing to UMHB. “That’s where we belong.”

Winning is at the forefront of their minds after Salado went 12-2 overall in their senior seasons and 4-1 in District 9-4A play before advancing all the way to the state quarterfinals in December.

Haire, Hudgens and Whigham want to take the success they have had at Salado and help the Crusaders continue to win.

“It will not only help me academically but athletically too,” Whigham said. “I think it’s the best option for me.”

Choosing a school and playing for a program so close to home was just a coincidence for the teammates but having familiar faces helped Haire make his final choice.

“Really it just felt like home,” Haire said. “The atmosphere right there and two of my great friends going there too played a big part in it.

“If I ever need a friend, I’ve already got two.”

Salado head coach Alan Haire sees plenty of positives in decisions.

“That’s just a testament to UMHB recruiting the local area and giving local kids an opportunity to play,” he said. “It’s a blessing not only for them to get their academics close to home but to have a chance to play.”

The commitments speak to the success of Salado, according to Alan Haire.

“It’s a proud moment for our program and our kids who participate,” he said. “They put a lot into it, you’re just glad they put a lot into it, and you’re just excited for what the future holds for them.”

Sam Houston State also announced via Twitter that Salado Lady Eagles midfielder Tyler Pierce is committed to play soccer for the Bearkats.


Lampasas senior lineman Caleb Calkins is headed to North Dakota after signing a letter of intent to play football for Minot State.

Calkins initially announced his commitment to play for the Beavers on Jan. 31 via Twitter. | 254-501-7562

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