Student-athletes get inked on National Signing Day
Despite it being a few minutes before 8 a.m., Taylor Curtis could not shake the smile off of her face.
National Signing Day and all the excitement that comes with it can have that effect on a lot of people, but at Braswell High School it was different. Yes, there were smiles, but they seemed to be permanently placed.
“I’ve had a smile on my face for about 30 minutes,” said Taylor, who signed to play collegiate volleyball at Northlake College. “I’m just really happy and proud. I’ve been overwhelmed with all of the support I’ve received the past two years I’ve gone to school here.”
The Braswell senior joined two of her classmates in being part of the first group of students to take part in National Signing Day festivities at the two-year old high school. Caleb Richardson, a football player, signed with Southwestern University and Nathan Love, a baseball player, signed with Dallas Christian College to round out the class.
“It feels really cool to be the ones laying down a foundation for us. More people will sign after us, but it’s really exciting to set the example and hopefully be the motivator for others,” Taylor said.
The Braswell foundation only adds another layer to a strong Denton ISD athletic program. A total of 33 student-athletes from the district’s four high schools signed today, Feb. 7, or during the early signing period in December.
Since 2015, 152 Denton ISD seniors have signed national letters of intent to play collegiate athletics. And while football tends to get a large share of the spotlight, the other sports (basketball, golf, soccer and volleyball) were well represented across the district.
Guyer led the way with 18 signees this year, with more than half of the representation coming from other sports. The Lady Wildcats soccer team, which has won a state title and is off to a great start this season, had four players ink their signature with colleges, while Grayson Carter, a member of the nationally-ranked Guyer boys’ basketball team, signed with Georgetown University.
“It’s awesome because I grew up with so many of these kids and to be able to do it together is special. I’m so happy for everybody,” said Amber Lyons, who signed to play collegiate soccer with the University of North Texas.
The district’s 33 student-athlete signees included:
Braswell High School
Nathan Love – Dallas Christian College
Caleb Richardson – Southwestern University
Taylor Curtis – Northlake College
Denton High School
Anthony Tony-Itoyah – Fordham University
Brandon Coleman – Trinity Valley Community College
Nick Garcia – Southwestern College (Winfield, Kansas)
Grace Wiltgen – University of Kansas
Guyer High School
Grayson Carter – Georgetown University
Katherine Silvaggio – Texas Woman’s University
Alexis Benton – University of Mary Hardin Baylor
Kaila Beckwith – University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Amber Lyons – University of North Texas
Naomi Reagan – Oklahoma Christian University
Taylor Wallace – Ouachita State University (Ouachita, Arkansas)
Dyland Alexander – Hendrix College (Conway, Arkansas)
Arian Bhat – Missouri State University
Calvashawn De’Ray Darthard, Jr. – Austin College
Caleb Gill – Midwestern State University
John Lanz – Texas Christian University
Blayne Miller – Friends University (Wichita, Kansas)
Josh Nicholson – Abilene Christian University
Luke Stillwell – Kilgore Junior College
Kate Cowan – Louisiana State University
Angel Felan – Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
Mallory Pittman – Texas State University
Ryan High School
Gabe Douglas – Jones County Junior College
Rondo McGarr – Trinity Valley Community College
Mike Neilson – Wayland Baptist University
Jordan Rucker – Purdue University
Spencer Sanders – Oklahoma State University
Carson Shelton – Angelo State University
Kobe Spence – Kansas Wesleyan University
Tyler Jones – East Texas Baptist