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Texoma’s National Signing Day 2021

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 8:36 PM CST
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TEXOMA, Texas (KAUZ) - It’s one of the biggest moments in a high school athlete’s career: the day they sign their National Letters of Intent to play at the collegiate level.

“Nervous, surprised, excited, accomplished, a lot of feelings.”

That’s exactly how students just like Burkburnett’s TJ Newton felt today, sitting at tables in their new school colors and putting pen to paper to make their college athletic dreams a reality.

Newton and Ernest Young of Hirschi signed to play basketball at Cameron University on Wednesday. Both said playing with the Aggies gives them the chance to keep playing with their same cheering section.

“It felt like home,” Young explained, “plus I didn’t want to go far away. I just wanted to go where people could watch me and I could feel supported.”

Over in Holliday, two lady Eagles are moving down south to Lubbock: Hannah Spears signing to run track at Texas Tech, and Payton Murray to play volleyball at Lubbock Christian.

“Excited to be part of a more intense team and it’s sad leaving high school and my current team with the success we’ve had,” Spears said.

Spears is signing her NLI on the heels of clinching a state cross country championship for both herself and her team.

“Ending on that note was extremely exciting and just a great win to end on, a great success for the whole team,” she said.

Murray’s season is not quite done yet. She’s still in the middle of helping Holliday get to the regional finals and finishing off a record-setting career.

She said her success with the Lady eagles helped the process toward college by deepening her love for the sport.

“Being a part of a good volleyball program really helps you love the game more,” she explained, “and going to LCU, and it’s also an amazing program, I’d say that’s a win-win right there.”

The Rider Lady Raiders soccer team filled their gym today with four signees: Lily Dodson to Stephen F Austin; Sam Timmons to Culvers-Stockton College; Ruth Vasquez to Southwestern Oklahoma State; and Jadyn Lopez to Midwestern State. As they signed, they had advice for their younger teammates watching them.

“Learn from your community and learn from your mistakes and just keep the encouragement going and be determined and follow your goals,” Vasquez said.

“Don’t make it like a chore,” Lopez said, “a lot of us get to senior and we take it like a chore and that we have to do this but just try to love the sport.”

“Just work hard,” Timmons added, “if you really want it, it’ll come to you: the right coach [and] the right school.”

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