By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
Myles Hill and Tyler Fye planned it out during pee-wee football - they were going to play college football together.
Wearing coordinating black and red button-down shirts, vests and bow-ties, the Killeen receiving duo made good on their childhood pledge.
The two short, but speedy, seniors signed letters of intent to play football and run track for Incarnate Word on Tuesday at a ceremony in the Killeen gymnasium.
"It started at the end of football season," Mills said. "I was skeptical what I was going to do after high school and then one day, me and Tyler were just like, 'Let's just go to this combine, just see how we do.' About a week after that, I got a call from this coach."
Incarnate Word head coach Larry Kennan only reached out to Mills, though. The first-year Cardinals coach liked Mills' speed and wanted more receivers like him.
"I was like, 'There's this guy that I played with that's just like me,'" Mills said. "And, about an hour later, he called me and said, 'Let me get that guy's number.'"
"He liked my highlight tape and said I could run and have potential," Fye added. "I'm just blessed to play at the next level."
The two receivers, both listed at 5-foot-7 and 155 pounds, didn't put up gaudy stats in Killeen's run-heavy offense. But they did their part to make it hum.
"I challenged them in practice and we drilled and drilled and drilled the importance of being a good blocker as a receiver because, eventually, it'll open up the passing game," Killeen receivers coach Marcus Venus said.
"It feels good just to see these guys go to the next level and play when they don't have the numbers that a bunch of other guys have that get looked at," Venus added. "It's always about finding a diamond in the rough and I think these guys are going to go do good things."
Mills had 12 receptions for 254 yards and a touchdown and carried the ball nine times for 54 yards. Fye had six catches for 66 yards, ran 11 times for 186 yards and averaged more than 36 yards in three punt return attempts.
"Coach puts you out there to do a job, you've got to go do it, whether it's blocking, catching, whatever he needs," Fye said. "I loved this season. It was great. I'm going to miss it."
Killeen softball mainstay moves on
Leslie James had her list in mind when Howard Payne coach Jose Mata expressed interest in the Lady Roos' first baseman and pitcher.
He didn't know Howard Payne was one of them. The four-year starter was also considering Schreiner College, Tarleton State and Mary Hardin-Baylor and was seriously thinking about walking on to one of the teams, if necessary.
"But, the fact that (Mata) wanted me to play, it just made me want to go there," James said.
James committed to the Yellow Jackets on Tuesday during a ceremony in the Killeen gymnasium.
"I'm excited to just work with the coach because his hitters are really good and so is his defense," James said. "I'm ready to just try out and happy to be a part of it."
She hit .379 and had a .500 slugging percentage this season with 22 hits, 13 RBIs, 12 runs scored and a home run.
"As a coach, I'm extremely happy that we had one of athletes that somebody thinks is good enough to go to the next level. And as a parent, extremely proud," said Randy James who is Killeen's softball coach and Leslie's father.
"It's a little difficult when it's your own, but I'm very proud of her."
James was an All-District 8-4A first- team selection last year as a junior and a 25-4A second-team selection as a sophomore. The 2012 season all-district list has not yet been released.
"Nobody realizes what she has done to get where she's at now. The times she would just come up on her own and just hit off of a tee, pitching a ball up and hitting it and just working out on her own," Randy James said. "It takes a special person and it shows. That's why coach Mata at Howard Payne wants her to be there."