Shelby County High School seniors Denzel Williams and Mike Pate, center and seated from left, signed athletic scholarships during a signing ceremony Feb. 1. (Reporter Photo /Wesley Hallman)

Archived Story

Seniors cement plans on Signing Day

Published 5:25pm Wednesday, February 1, 2012

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

Shelby County High School senior Denzel Williams vividly remembers being a newcomer on the Wildcats’ varsity football team a few years back.

Williams looked up to Shelby County senior Darion Sutton and relied on sophomore Tae Lewis for help with his transition.

Williams finds himself in the exact same spot after signing a college football scholarship with Samford University during a signing ceremony Feb. 1 on National Signing Day in the school library.

Williams will join Sutton and Lewis as teammates on the Bulldogs’ team next fall.

“I looked up to ‘D,’” Williams said. “Tae was always a mentor to me. I’m sure they’ll help me get all of the little things down.”

While Williams signed with Samford, fellow Shelby County senior Mike Pate signed with the Air Force Academy.

Williams said he believes he will be in the mix for playing time at the cornerback position as a freshman.

“They only have five cornerbacks,” Williams said. “I’m just ready to go up there and get to work.”

Williams and Pate were among more than three dozen Shelby County student-athletes who signed college scholarships on National Signing Day.

Chelsea High School seniors Jake Ganus and Joey Mock, from left, signed athletic scholarships during a signing ceremony Feb. 1. (Reporter Photo /Wesley Hallman)

Chelsea High School seniors Jake Ganus and Joey Mock got the day started after penning football scholarships during an early morning ceremony in the school’s media center.

Ganus followed through with his commitment to UAB and signed with the Blazers, while Mock inked scholarship papers with the Air Force Academy.

Oak Mountain High School seniors Richard Greene, Chris Jones and Bradley Bostick, from left, signed athletic scholarships during a signing ceremony Feb. 1. (Reporter Photo /Wesley Hallman)

An afternoon ceremony in the cafeteria at Oak Mountain High School featured six student-athletes signing college scholarships.

Oak Mountain senior Bradley Bostick signed a football scholarship with the Naval Academy. Teammate Chris Jones signed a football scholarship with Tuskegee University.

Oak Mountain High School seniors Bailee Harnett, Haley Gerken and Christian Adkins signed athletic scholarships during a signing ceremony Feb. 1. (Reporter Photo /Wesley Hallman)

Haley Gerken signed a women’s soccer scholarship with Auburn University. Teammate Bailee Harnett signed a women’s soccer scholarship with the Air Force Academy.

Christian Adkins signed a men’s soccer scholarship with the University of West Alabama. Richard Greene inked a baseball scholarship with Samford University.

Briarwood Christian School seniors, from left, Jason Laatsch, Kalan Reed, Ben Craft and Preston Pittman signed athletic scholarships during a signing ceremony Feb. 1. (Reporter Photo /Wesley Hallman)

Briarwood Christian School had four student-athletes sign college scholarships in an afternoon ceremony.

Senior Ben Craft signed a football scholarship with UAB. Teammate Kalan Reed signed a football scholarship with Southern Mississippi University, while Preston Pittman signed a football scholarship with Mercer University.

Briarwood Christian senior Canon Smith signed a football scholarship with Liberty University, but Smith didn’t participate in the signing ceremony due to being in Houston, Texas preparing for the U.S.A. vs. The World all-star football game.

In addition to the football signees, senior Jason Laatsch signed a men’s basketball scholarship with the University of West Florida.

Spain Park honored 23 student-athletes at the school's National Signing Day ceremony Feb. 1. Front row, left to right, are Devon Brown, UAB football signee; Chris Humes, Arkansas State University football signee; Robby Prater, University of Alabama golf signee; and Colton Freeman, University of Alabama baseball signee. Second row, left to right, are Steven Crain, Samford University track and field signee; Schyler Arnold, University of North Alabama soccer signee; Daniel Schroder, University of Montevallo golf signee; Terry Harris, Faulkner University signee; Brandon Hazouri, Samford track and field signee; Destin Challenger, UAB football signee; Mikey White, University of Alabama baseball signee; Justin Carter, Rice University football signee; Morgan Natale, University of Montevallo golf signee; Ben Tamburello, Samford University football signee; Hunter Hall, Tennessee Wesleyan College baseball signee; and Sean Mardis, Morehead State University football signee. Third row, left to right, are Joe Williams, University of Alabama track and field signee; Madden Saverse, U.S. Coast Guard Academy football signee; Spencer Jack, University of West Alabama soccer signee; Kameron Ricks, Faulkner University football signee; Tommy Bostany, University of Maryland wrestling signee; Paul Angel, Meridian Junior College baseball signee; and John Mwaituka, Pointe University football signee. (Reporter photo/Amy Jones)

Spain Park High School had an afternoon signing ceremony in the school gymnasium recognizing 23 student-athletes who have signed scholarships during the 2011-2012 school year.

Signing scholarships were Paul Angel (baseball) with Meridian Junior College, Schyler Arnold (women’s soccer) with the University of North Alabama, Tommy Bostany (wrestling) with the University of Maryland, Devon Brown (football) with UAB, Justin Carter (football) with Rice University, Destin Challenger (football) with UAB, Steven Crain (men’s cross country/track and field) with Samford University, Colton Freeman (baseball) with the University of Alabama, Hunter Hall (baseball) with Tennessee Wesleyan College, Terry Harris (football) with Faulkner University, Brandon Hazouri (men’s cross country/track and field) with Samford University, Chris Humes (football) with Arkansas State University, Spencer Jack (men’s soccer) with the University of West Alabama, Sean Mardis (football) with Moorehead State University, John Mwaituka (football) with Pointe University, Morgan Natale (women’s golf) with the University of Montevallo, Robby Prater (men’s golf) with the University of Alabama, Kameron Ricks (football) with Faulkner University, Madden Saverse (football) with U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Daniel Schroder (men’s golf) with the University of Montevallo, Ben Tamburello (football) with Samford University, Mikey White (baseball) with the University of Alabama and Joe Williams (track and field) with the University of Alabama.

Pelham High School senior Justin Forehand signs a scholarship with UAB as his mother, Martee, and father, Tommy, look on during a Feb. 1 ceremony in the school's cafeteria. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Pelham High School senior Justin Forehand signed a football scholarship with UAB during an afternoon ceremony in the school cafeteria.

Chelsea High School senior Alli Cochran, center, signed a women's soccer scholarship with the University of South Alabama during a signing ceremony Feb. 1. (Contributed)

Chelsea High School senior Alli Cochran signed a women’s soccer scholarship with the University of South Alabama in an afternoon ceremony at the school’s media center.

Editor's Picks

Meet Fuzz and Bosh

Shelby Humane Society would gladly like to introduce you to Fuzz and Bosh! Read more

Two special fur-buddies: Judy and Jimbo

Judy is a 2-year old-male domestic shorthair mix. This brown/black tabby feline loves to cuddle. She’s definitely a lap-kitty and purrs whenever she’s in your ... Read more

Meet Tiddley and Capt. America

Did you know that November is National “Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month?” Shelby Humane has many wonderful senior pets available for adoption, and Tiddley and Capt. America are ... Read more