Seniors cement plans on Signing Day
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 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.
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.
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 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 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 signed a football scholarship with UAB during an afternoon ceremony in the school cafeteria.
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.