The 2013 season was a landmark for the Legacy football program. The Broncos won 10 games and advanced to the regional round of the playoffs, setting numerous school records along the way.
The team added another milestone to its dossier last week when 11 senior members of the squad signed national letters of intent to play football in college. Coach Chris Melson said the most players previously signing in a single year had been just four.
“Those kids were really good when they were freshmen. They just kept developing and developing and getting better, and this year was really a culmination of these young men working hard and it’s a reflection of our program,” he added.
Indeed, it illustrates the lengths Legacy has come in terms of the local high school football landscape. And as the team gets more attention, additional opportunities are sure to follow.
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“The more success the team has, the better chance guys have of getting attention from college coaches,” Melson said. “I think this year has definitely shown that.”
“People come here to recruit because of the reputation of the MISD and the athletic programs and the kind of athletes we turn out,” he added.
Four of the football players are headed to FBS schools. Everett Williams signed to play with Minnesota in the Big 10. He could potentially play against former teammate Jared McGee, who will attend fellow Big 10 member Northwestern. Chad Pursley will stay relatively close to home at SMU, while Terrance Ivery will head north of the Texas border to attend Tulsa University.
A particularly unique aspect of Legacy’s signing day was that four student-athletes inked letters with the same school. Chris Smith, Mike Sanders, Bryson Sheffield and Josh Conrad all signed with Texas A&M University-Commerce.
“It’s the first time we’ve had anybody go to the same school, let alone four of them, so that’s really neat,” Melson said. “Those kids will get a chance to play football together and go to school together, and I think that’s pretty awesome.”
Also signing were Kenton Mayberry with Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Okla., and Harris Tafah with Navarro College. Kijana Amous is still deciding between schools, but will likely opt for the University of Northern Colorado or join Tafah at Navarro.
Melson concedes that it’s probably a special year and that Legacy won’t produce 11 football signees every year, but he hopes the general upward trend continues.
“We hope that several young men that want to will have the opportunity each year to play college football and continue their education and play a game that we all love,” he said.
It wasn’t just football players that inked letters of intent. Several athletes from other sports also affirmed their commitments to colleges and universities.
Three members of the Broncos girls soccer team signed: Madison Brinkman with Oklahoma Christian; Danielle Hightower with Central Baptist College in Conway, Ark., and Alyssa Pios with St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla.
Boys soccer player Daniel Moore will move on to play for Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla.
Corey Murray, the District 15-4A Offensive Player of the Year last season in baseball, signed with Weatherford College.
Legacy’s 16 signees was the most of any Mansfield School, and Melson is happy to see his students continuing their sports and academic pursuits.
“It’s exciting for those young people to further their athletic career and their education on the next level,” he said.
You can find a complete listing of all the MISD signees online at the MISD Athletics blog, yourmansfieldisd.blogspot.com.