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9 sign on the line: WHS seniors add to college sports ranks

2 more athletes ink Division I letters; 4 football players extend careers

Daily Light report
Nine Waxahachie seniors signed letters of intent or commitment to continue their careers at the college level. Signing on Wednesday were (starting top left): Jaden Basham (football, Mary Hardin-Baylor); Shawn Cherry (football, MidAmerica Nazarene); Amelia Dineen (cheer/tumbling, East Texas Baptist); Casey Kelly (baseball, Frank Phillips College); Avery Long (volleyball, Alabama-Birmingham); Anthony Mata (baseball, Navarro College); Alyson Moore (cross country/track, Kansas); Xavien Thompson (football, Mary Hardin-Baylor); and Ashton Wright (football, East Texas Baptist). The signings make a total of 16 from WHS so far this school year.

Nine senior athletes from Waxahachie High School formalized their college plans during National Signing Day on Wednesday afternoon.

Leading the signings were two Division I athletes: Avery Long (volleyball, Alabama-Birmingham) and Alyson Moore (cross country/track, Kansas).

Long, a libero, had 330 serve receptions last season with a serve receive ratio of 2.14 and led the Lady Indians with 211 digs and 40 aces, with 144 points. She helped the Lady Indians to their 19th consecutive playoff appearance. She joins teammates Kate Morgan and Emma Smithey, who signed their college letters in November.

Moore was one of three WHS runners to qualify for the University Interscholastic League Class 6A girls cross country championships, along with senior teammate Emma Curry, who signed to run cross country and track with Vanderbilt in November.

Signing national letters of intent or letters of commitment were four football players: Jaden Basham and Xavien Thompson (Mary Hardin-Baylor), Shawn Cherry (MidAmerica Nazarene) and Ashton Wright (East Texas Baptist). The quartet helped lead the Indians to a 5-5 record and their first playoff appearance at the Class 6A level.

Basham and Thompson will be future teammates with the Crusaders, who have become a Division III power with two national championships and two runner-up finishes since 2004. Basham on offense led the team with 19 catches and was second with 100 receiving yards; and recovered a fumble on defense in 2020. Thompson led the WHS defense with five interceptions on the year.

Cherry rushed for 971 yards and six touchdowns this past season and will be headed to Olathe, Kan. to play for the Pioneers of the NAIA Heart of America Conference. Wright will stay in the Lone Star State to play for the ETBU Tigers, which is an American Southwest Conference rival of UMHB.

Two WHS baseball players will go the junior college route, as Casey Kelly signed with Frank Phillips College and Anthony Mata will stay relatively close to home to play for Navarro College. Kelly plays multiple infield positions and pitches, with a velocity in the mid-80s. Mata also plays multiple infield positions.

Finally, senior Amelia Dineen signed a letter of commitment to join the East Texas Baptist cheer squad. The WHS cheer team recently placed 11th in the UIL state competition after placing 19th last year.

The signings make a total of 16 from WHS so far this school year. In November, seven signed the dotted line on Early National Signing Day, five of whom are headed to Division I colleges. Quite a few more are expected in the spring signing period in April.