Girls Basketball

Fort Worth-area high school athletes savor early signing period

The fall edition of national signing day kicked off bright and early Wednesday morning in Grapevine as 10 Mustangs officially signed their names on the dotted line.

“It just shows the hard work of coaches and teachers and athletes that put in the time and effort to compete,” principal David Denning said. “These universities aren’t just getting great athletes, but great kids.”

Five players signed from the baseball team, which won the UIL Class 5A state title in June, including District 6-5A MVP and all state pitcher Connor Neuman (Louisiana Tech).

“That’s one reason why we made it so far last year,” Neuman said.

Other baseball players to sign included Ryan Drake (Arkansas), London Green (Weatherford College), Joseph Leal (Midland College) and Boone Montgomery (UTA).

“For all of us to sign today, it means a lot and it’s really been a special day and a day to remember,” Neuman said.

The Grapevine volleyball team had two players sign, outside hitter Jordan McCalla (St. John’s University) and Madison Lawler (Southern Mississippi).

“It makes me really proud to be a Mustang and to go to school here and to say that I know those people and that I’m friends with them,” Lawler said. “That’s a big thing for the school and it just shows how hard we’ve worked.”

Tatum Tellin, the District 6-5A newcomer of the year as a sophomore, signed with Div. II University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

Fort Worth foursome

Two girls basketball players and two baseball players signed in a ceremony at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center.

Arlington Heights basketball guard Alexus Seaton chose to follow former New Mexico State associate head coach Tamara Inoue from Las Cruces, N.M., to the University of Califonia-Irvine when Inoue was named women’s head coach at the school in April.

“The coaches had recruited me since my freshman year,” Seaton said. “We had a bond and a relationship.”

Trimble Tech’s Jhyrah Cobb chose Prairie View A&M because several family members had attended the school.

“I enjoyed the experience going there,” she said. “I liked what the coaches had to offer and I’m really excited to be going there.”

Western Hills baseball players Eric Anfin and Spencer Sawin will begin their college careers at North Central Texas College in Gainesville.

She’s worthy

Joining a program that has won four-straight NCAA women’s basketball title, and 10 since 2000, Hurst L.D. Bell’s Lexi Gordon savored the moment of signing with the University of Connecticut.

“It’s a blessing. This day is very special to me,” she said. “I came in very anxious and now I’m just relieved and happy that this is finally official. I’m just ready to get to UConn and win some national championships.”

Gordon is one of the top players not only in the Metroplex, but in the nation, ranking 29th among seniors according to espnW Hoopgurlz. She has been named District Offensive MVP and all state the past two years.

“I can tell you, for Lexi, she’s definitely talented, but I think what got her to this point is her work ethic and her work ethic is unmatched,” Bell coach Brock Pembleton said.

Tigers trio

The softball team at Mansfield has won back-to-back district titles, is a contender to take 4-6A in the spring, and three seniors that signed Wednesday can take a good deal of credit for the team’s success.

Morgan Rios (Louisiana-Monroe) and Kaitlin Richards (McLennan Community College) were first-team all district picks last season while Sarah Reinke (Arkansas Tech) was second team.

“We’ve been playing softball together since we were little girls and now we’re finally at this milestone where we get to do it together,” Rios said.

Head coach Jennifer Haltom said she never had more than two players sign on the same day during her time with Mansfield.

Elks nation

Down I-35 to Burleson, The Burleson Elks held signing day for four athletes: softball players Zoe Miranda (Navarro College), Saeya Esparza (Texas Wesleyan), volleyball’s Meredith Ausburger (East Texas Baptist) and cross country’s Mackenzie Clark (Tarleton State).

Ausburger was a first-team pick as the Elks made the playoffs this season. Miranda (first team) and Esparza (second team) helped the softball team reach the third round in the last spring.

“It’s really important for me to be around my family and friends because it’s a big day,” Esparza said. “I worked so hard for this and it’s good to see it come together.”

“Saeya signed with me, we’ve been together since freshman year and that means a lot to me. We’ve grown up together and it’s good to see us get to our ultimate goal,” Miranda added. “As far as signing with Meredith and Mac, they’re two great girls that I’ve also grown up with.”