Numerous Ennis Lions college-bound

8 football players, 3 tennis players sign national letters of intent

Patty Hullett
Daily Light correspondent
Backed by their coaches, Ennis football players get seated for their signing day activities at Ennis High School last Wednesday.
Ennis head tennis coach Keith Howard (right) addresses the crowd to announce his 3 recipients of college scholarships for 2021 during Ennis' signing day last Wednesday.

“Football Collegiate Signing Day” took place at Ennis High School on Wednesday, Feb. 3. A large crowd was on hand to witness the signings of eight seniors who have committed to various colleges around the country.

Athletic Director Don Drake kicked off the program and celebrated the contributions of these great Ennis athletes who have been recruited and signed to outstanding college programs to continue their football careers at the collegiate level of play. Drake then announced Head Coach Sam Harrell to explain some of the restrictions and new scholarship guidelines due to the continuing COVID pandemic.

Coach Harrell addressed the folks in attendance and tried to explain the hardships that these young men have endured in trying to obtain scholarships this academic year. He states, “There are fewer opportunities out there because of the delayed spring practices and the non-existence of recruiting personnel at the actual season games this past fall. Therefore, it was much more difficult to gain the needed notoriety and exposure with the ruined scouting efforts. Secondly, because of COVID restrictions in place, this year there is a “transport portal”, which gives college seniors the opportunity to come back and play football another year. The tragic result has been that many schools have held back and saved some scholarships for those seniors that want to return to their teams, or possibly even transfer to other colleges and universities. That all boils down to even fewer scholarships available to the Class of 2021 high school graduates.”

With that being said, Harrell spoke of how proud he is of these talented young men and the scholarship recipients were announced as follows:

1) MLB Payton Chapman signs with Fort Hays State University in Hays, KS;

2) OL Michael Fisher signs with Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS;

3) LB Caden Hubbard signs with Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX;

4) OL Tommorrio Pace signs with West Texas A&M in Canyon, TX;

5) WR Laylon Spencer signs with Trinity Valley College in Athens, TX;

6) DL DeRyous Stokes signs with East Central University in Ada, OK;

7) OL Dorion Strawn signs with University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX;

8) DL Jarveon Williams signs with Northeastern State in Tahlequah, OK.

Not signing a “Letter Of Intent” is outstanding Senior quarterback Collin Drake. He is seeking a larger university to attend, so he can pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. In the meantime, he has hopes of possibly “walking on” at places like Baylor University, University of Georgia, or University of Texas, while trying to remain on-track for his pre-med goals.

The community of Ennis applauds these extraordinary football players that have represented their city and school so well, and the coaching staff concludes by saying, “Congratulations and good luck at the next level!”

3 Ennis netters sign

The Ennis I.S.D. Lion Tennis Center was the site for “College Signing Day” for three senior tennis players on Wednesday evening, February 3. Head Coach Keith Howard hosted a special signing event honoring three of his top seniors who have committed to the following schools – Midwestern State University, Boucher College, and University of Mary-Hardin Baylor. Howard announced that he has six more seniors that are still considering the possibility of using their tennis college offers in the weeks and months ahead. At this point, their final decisions have not yet been made.

Over the past 25 years, over 50+ college scholarships have been handed out to deserving Ennis tennis athletes from the EHS tennis program. Howard himself has been the head coach since 1996, and he pushes his students to use their talents to further their education and to get the full college experience if they so choose.

Howard introduced his coaches, Junior High – Heather Doslich, and JV and Asst. Varsity – Wyatt Johnson. Also, in attendance were School Board member Bill Chapman and Ennis Athletic Director Don Drake, along with a host of tennis teammates, friends, parents, grandparents, and Waxahachie press.

Zoe Howard, the daughter of Coach Howard and Jennifer Howard, has committed to Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas; Josh Noel has signed with Boucher College in Baltimore, Maryland; and Rebecca Almanza has pledged herself to University of Mary-Hardin Baylor in Belton, Texas.

A session for photos was extended at the end of the evening, and refreshments were also served to the crowd in attendance.