HOUSTON – Feb. 6, 2020 – Senior athletes at Westfield and Spring high schools celebrated both their athletic skill and academic achievement on Wednesday during the highly anticipated National Signing Day.
During the event, held annually in February, students across the country sign letters of intent to attend universities of their choice and participate in collegiate athletic programs there. A total of 24 students took center stage during public ceremonies at their campuses, joined by family, friends, teammates, campus and district administrators, as well as members of the Board of Trustees.
Westfield High School
A large audience of families, friends and supporters filled Westfield High School’s Geiger Performing Arts Center auditorium as Principal David Mason and Westfield Athletic Director and Football Head Coach Matt Meekins announced the 12 seniors signing athletic and academic commitments to universities and colleges across the nation.
“It’s exciting for the players and their families to know that their sons are continuing their education and getting their place in football at the same time,” said Meekins. “It starts with the academics first – you have to have the grades and the test scores.”
Meekins says if there is one thing he wants people to know about the class of 2020, it comes down to his players’ work ethic and how important it is to them to be successful – both on the field and in the classroom. “On Aug. 12 when football started, it was just as important as it is playing in January and all the way through August,” said Meekins. “That’s when championships are made – during the off-season.”
Malachai Jones, who signed with the University of Tulsa to play football, says he experienced a lot of love and learning playing at Westfield, noting that it helped get the team far every year. “I’m just ready to get started on the next journey of my life and see where it takes me,” said Jones. “Working hard is what got me here today, and I’m very excited.”
Michelle Cummings, parent of senior Leonard Cummings III, says she is overly excited for her son to play football for the Navy and receive his higher education at the United States Naval Academy. She also said her son’s experience with Westfield football has been great, thanks to the support of the team and staff. “His time at Westfield has been great,” said Cummings. “He has done well and they have helped make him bigger, faster, and stronger. His position coaches are wonderful, and they love and care about him. They have helped make him the man that he is today.”
Westfield senior Jayleana Williams committed to play volleyball at Central Christian College of Kansas and says it feels great to have the opportunity to continue her academic and athletic career beyond high school. “Of course, my plan is to play volleyball, but my academics will always come first,” said Williams. “School, study, then volleyball.”
At Westfield High School, 11 students signed their letters to play football: James Boatner, McPherson College; Nicholas Booker-Brown, North Carolina State; William Brown, McPherson College; Ashton Callaway, Montana State University Northern; Leonard Cummings III, Navy/United States Naval Academy; Tim Hardiman, Navy/United States Naval Academy; William Hatter, Southern Arkansas University; Malachai Jones, University of Tulsa;
Marcus Moore, Navy/United States Naval Academy; Dyllon Peavy, Trinity Valley Community College; and Anthony Odums, University of New Mexico.
Jayleana Williams, Central Christian College of Kansas, signed a letter to play volleyball.
Spring High School
At Spring High School, Athletic Coordinator and Football Head Coach Trent Miller lead the ceremony of 12 student athletes who signed letters committing to a variety of athletics. “Signing day is one of the most exciting days for any campus and athletic department,” said Miller. “It’s an opportunity for these young athletes to display and be recognized for all of the hard work that they’ve put in since they began to walk. It’s a special day, and I’m so blessed to be a part of it and share the stage with these young athletes and their families.”
Candace Jackson, who teaches at Twin Creeks Middle School and is the mother of Spring High football player Dallas Reid, said although her son is “a big, mean linebacker,” she considers him the sweetest kid ever and is very proud of his accomplishments. “I’m glad he was able to prove his commitment to his craft as well as his academics by earning a scholarship to Midwestern State University,” said Jackson.
Reid says he’s most excited to have the opportunity to continue his career playing football and following his dreams. “It’s been a lot of ups and downs, but it shaped me to be a better football player and the man that I am today,” said Reid. “ I think it all worked out in the end.”
Spring’s Xavier Pittman, who will play football at Macalester College, says having the opportunity to play college football is unreal: “I don’t know if I could have received the same opportunities if I didn’t go to Spring,” said Pittman. “This is a different community and feeling. I’m really anticipating my college life, but I don’t think I would be the same person without every single person I’ve met here.”
Spring High School had a total of four students sign letters to play football: Nygzel Douglas, Midwestern State University; Dallas Reid, Midwestern State University; Bailee Davenport, Kilgore College; and Xavier Pittman, Macalester College.
Four Spring seniors: Chloe Gomez, McNeese State University; Savannah Hernandez, Sul Ross State; Chloe Houghton, Laredo College; and Madalynn Leal, LSU-Eunice signed letters to play softball. Devyn Golden, Hawaii Pacific University; and Becka Prince, Mary Hardin Baylor, both committed to acrobatics and tumbling/cheer; while Dalton Lowe, University of Louisville committed to swimming; and Jada Chevalier, Prairie View A&M University, signed a letter to run track and field.