Seven Red Oak Hawks and Lady Hawks sat at one long table inside of the Red Oak High School Performing Arts Center, all anxiously awaiting one simple, simultaneous act: putting pen to paper.
Surrounded by friends, family, teammates and coaches, the seven student-athletes inked their official commitments to continue their respective athletic careers at the next level on National Signing Day Wednesday, Feb. 7.
The Red Oak signees included Keyeria Tyeskie (volleyball), Sarah Stanford (cheer), Savannah De La Rosa (soccer), Maliyah Mendoza (soccer), Talliyah Grant (softball), Darrien Crowe (football), and Wren Hampton (baseball).
Before the signing ceremony, Red Oak ISD Superintendent Dr. Mike Goddard recalled to those in attendance his memories from signing his National Letter of Intent on Feb. 7, 1989. Goddard attended Stephen F. Austin University to play quarterback on a football scholarship.
"I thought it was the ending of something, but really it was the beginning of something," said Goddard as he faced the student-athletes. "I'm so proud of you."
He added, "To the parents, it's going to be really interesting. I was the parent of a college athlete, and it changes. But the level of support does not."
Red Oak head girls' volleyball coach Hope Porter applauded Keyeria Tyeskie for battling through multiple knee injuries to help contribute to the Lady Hawks down the final stretch of the regular season and into the postseason. Porter also noted Tyeskie signing with Iowa Lakes Community College is "extra special" because that is where Porter's daughter, Hunter, serves as the head volleyball coach.
"If that coach doesn't treat you right, you just let me know," Porter joked. "We are super, super proud of Keyeria."
Red Oak head girls' soccer coach Adam Prachyl said he "couldn't be more proud" of Savannah De La Rosa and Maliyah Mendoza. The two signed with Hill College and West Texas A&M University, respectively.
Before departing and sending the student-athletes off to a reception in the lobby, Goddard reminded the seven that "You'll always be a Hawk."