Area student-athletes make college commitments


PEARLAND — High School football players and college football coaches from around the country have had February 7, 2018 circled on their calendars for a year. The first Wednesday of February is the magic signing day for football standouts all across America. There are other athletes of other sports that also wait to make their commitments official.

It is a time of relief for student-athletes who have gone through the rigorous recruiting process and hearing the pitch of various recruiters regarding their particular educational and athletic programs.

Coaches wait by the fax machines at their respective schools ready to receive the official document that a particular athlete has kept their non-binding verbal commitment made prior to the official signing date.

Now that the papers have been signed and delivered, student-athletes can focus on the rest of their senior year - to concentrate on their studies and spring sports before it will be time to head to their respective schools to begin their educational and athletic careers at the collegiate level. It certainly is a dream come true for all.


Pearland Oilers

The Pearland Oilers had 10 signees on National Signing Day with five of them for football. The Oilers made the playoffs for the 17th straight year last season.

The 2017 football season was a year of transition following the retirement of former head coach Tony Heath who guided the Oilers for 20 seasons.

Defensive coordinator James Farmer had the task of becoming the interim head coach with just a few months to prepare for the season. The 14-year veteran Pearland coach did an outstanding job in keeping the Oilers headed in the right direction.

Recently, the football selection committee, after several interviews made the decision to invite George Ranch head coach Rick Tullos to take over the reigns of the Oilers which he gladly accepted after receiving a 7-0 vote from the Pearland ISD Board of Trustees.

Tullos comes with a strong background of success having led George Ranch to the Class 5A Div. I state title in 2015. The Oiler expect to continue the winning tradition set by coach Heath.

The following student-athletes signed letters-of-intent: Kayla Izaguirre (soccer, University of Houston), Reagan Eaton (track, Bethany College), Blake Delamater (soccer, University of Louisiana- Monroe), Laura Williams (soccer, East Texas Baptist University), Megan Keasler (volleyball, West Texas A&M University), Trejan Glasco (football, Texas A&M University- Kingsville), De'Antione Carter (football, Texas A&M University- Kingsville), Adam Tillmon (football, Texas A&M University- Kingsville), Trent Deshotel (football, Kilgore College) and Auston Deason (football, Air Force Academy).


Dawson Eagles

The Dawson Eagles also found themselves without a head coach when Eric Wells announced that he had accepted the new position as Pearland ISD Assistant Athletic Director. Wells, who was the first head coach for Dawson, resigned due to health reasons.

Under Wells, the Eagles made two trips the Class 4A Division I state semifinals where they lost to five-time state champion Austin Lake Travis with one of those years (2011) falling to the most recent Heisman Trophy winner, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, who was the Lake Travis quarterback.

Former Clear Brook head coach Mike Allison was named the new head coach to replace Wells. He will actually be coming home to Dawson. Allison was on the Pearland coaching staff before Dawson opened, Allison moved from the Oilers to go with former Pearland offensive coordinator Eric Wells to open up the new Pearland ISD high school.

While at Dawson, Allison was the Defensive Coordinator and saw the Eagles make the playoffs each year after the inaugural season that didn't have a senior class. Dawson advanced at least three rounds deep in the playoffs during his time there including two times to the Class 4A Division I state semifinals.

Allison has a proven winning record with Dawson and the future looks bright for the Eagles.

Eight out of the nine signees for Dawson were football players that included: Darrius Smith- Arizona, Jacolby Shelton- Texas A&M-Kingsville, Eddie Scott III - Tarleton State, Malcolm Kitt-Denton - Kilgore College, Payne Hebert - Northwestern, Bryce Victorian-Navy, Spencer Wells- University of Houston, Isaiah Chance-Texas Southern.

MacKenzie Ostrom signed with Tennessee for their soccer program.


Friendswood Mustangs

Friendswood head coach Robert Koopmann saw the success of his athletic program as the Mustangs had 11 total signees with eight of them for football.

Koopmann followed Steve Van Meter, Henry Winston and J.D. Burns to become only the fourth head football coach at Friendswood High School since 1958.

He was an offensive coordinator for the majority of his term on Van Meter's staff when the Mustangs were perennial playoff qualifiers.

The Mustangs' winning ways have continued under Koopmann's leadership with no less than eight victories and a post-season appearance in all six seasons since his promotion. Koopmann is 51-22 as a head coach.

Consistency has been a hallmark of Friendswood under the Koopmann regime with eight wins in 2012, nine victories in 2013, along with eight in both 2014 and 2015.

A trip to the regional semifinals in 2015 ended with a loss to eventual state champion Katy.

Friendswood was 9-3 in 2016 and a three-round foray into the playoffs. The Mustangs finished 9-4 in 2017 while advancing to the Class 6A Region III Div. II semifinals.

Signees for Friendswood include Thomas McHenry – Florida Institute of Technology, Luke McAdams – Elmhurst College, Nick Swaney – Texas A&M-Commerce, Max Yarbrough – University of Louisiana Lafayette, Reid Nickerson – Yale University, Wyatt Hall – Davidson College, Ben Redding – SMU, Joel Borman - Mars Hill University, Priya Ponia – Centenary College of Louisiana, Jake Yurachek – Colorado University, and Kyle Harner – Florida Southern University.

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PEARLAND HS SIGNEES - Bottom row (l-r): Kayla Izaguirre (soccer, University of Houston), Reagan Eaton (track, Bethany College), Blake Delamater (soccer, University of Louisiana- Monroe), Laura Williams (soccer, East Texas Baptist University), Megan Keasler (volleyball, West Texas A&M University);

Top row: Trejan Glasco (football, Texas A&M University- Kingsville), De'Antione Carter (football, Texas A&M University- Kingsville), Adam Tillmon (football, Texas A&M University- Kingsville), Trent Deshotel (football, Kilgore College) and Auston Deason (football, Air Force Academy). (Photo by Jeri Martinez)
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DAWSON SIGNEES - Front row (l-r): Darrius Smith- Arizona, Jacolby Shelton- Texas A&M-Kingsville, Eddie Scott III - Tarleton State, Malcolm Kitt-Denton - Kilgore College, Payne Hebert - Northwestern;

Second row: Bryce Victorian-Navy, Spencer Wells- University of Houston, Coach Eric Wells, Isaiah Chance-Texas Southern, MacKenzie Ostrom - Tennessee, Soccer. (Photo by Melissa Cooke)
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FRIENDSWOOD MUSTANGS -- Standing (l-r): Head Coach Robert Koopmann, Thomas McHenry – Florida Institute of Technology, Luke McAdams – Elmhurst College, Nick Swaney – Texas A&M-Commerce, Max Yarbrough – University of Louisiana Lafayette, Reid Nickerson – Yale University, Wyatt Hall – Davidson College, Ben Redding – SMU, FHS principal Mr. Mark Griffon;

Bottom row: Joel Borman - Mars Hill University, Priya Ponia – Centenary College of Louisiana, Jake Yurachek – Colorado University, Kyle Harner – Florida Southern University.