National Signing Day

PEARLAND — High School football players and college football coaches from around the country have had Wednesday, February 5, 2020 circled on their calendars for a year. The first Wednesday of February is the magic signing day for football standouts all across America.

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.

Several players in the area made commitments and are excited about their future. Here are the players and the schools they will attend.

Pearland Oilers

The 2019 Pearland Oilers finished 8-3 under second-year head coach Ricky Tullos. The Oilers placed third in the District 23-6A title race after winning the league crown in 2018. Pearland lost to Dickinson in the opening round of the post-season for the second year in a row.

Schools at the next level still consider Pearland a hotbed for recruiting and with a strong senior class in place for the 2020 season, the Oilers are looking to make a deeper run in the playoffs. The following players will move on to the next level of their playing careers and education.

Ralphael Marshall (Louisiana Tech), J.D. Head (Louisiana Tech), Matthew Komasincki (Mary Hardin-Baylor), Jaden Piece (Mary Hardin-Baylor), Rashaad Hammond (Southwestern Assemblies of God University), Anton Simieou (University of Texas), Brenden Stokes (Blinn College), Tanner Tullos (Tyler J C), Trey Wilson (Southern Nazarene University), Jeremiah Aaron (Navarro JC), Trevor Firmin (McPherson College), Reid Palmer (McPherson College), Gianni Taisague (Southwestern University), Gannon McKinney (Midwestern State}, and Layne Roblyer (Austin College).

Dawson Eagles

When the 2019 season started, Dawson was a pre-season pick to finish fourth in the District 23-6A standings while still making the playoffs. Second-year head coach Mike Allison saw his players buy into his philosophy of discipline and family and the Eagles swept the district with a perfect 7-0 record to capture the league championship. Dawson finished the regular season with a 9-1 mark, won their first-round playoff contest over Clear Springs (38-32), and then fell to the defending 6A Div. I state champions North Shore (58-35) to finish 10-2 overall. Dawson has four players advancing to play at the next level and continuing their education: Devin Benson (Blinn College), Myles Kitt-Denton (Central Arkansas), Calib Perez (Duke), and Bobby Wooden (New Mexico).

Shadow Creek Sharks

Shadow Creek has been playing varsity football for only two years. In 2018, the Sharks advanced to the Class 5A Div. I state finals where they lost their only game of the season to three-time state champion Highland Park to finish 15-1. They captured the District 10-5A-I title and the 5A Div. I Region III championship.

In 2019, the Sharks repeated as District 10-5A-I and 5A Div. I Region III champions. But this time, the Shadow Creek advanced to the 5A Div. I state finals and beat Denton Ryan to win the 5A Div. I state title and finish with a perfect 16-0 record. The Sharks are now 31-1 over the past two seasons.

Shadow Creek will move up to Class 6A next season as their enrollment has increased to the 6A level of competition. But there is no question they will compete at the highest level under head coach Brad Butler and the returning starters and lettermen they will have. Butler has laid a strong foundation and the Sharks will be able to compete against any team in 6A.

The players on this year's team that will continue their education and playing careers at the next level include: Alec Bryant (Virginia Tech), Xavion Alford (Texas), Greg Brown (New Mexico), Jeremiah Harris (Kansas State), Seth Jones (Baylor), Warren Shankle (Prairie View), Terreance Ellis (Rice), Beau Burns (Eastern New Mexico), and Courtney Brown (Columbia).

Friendswood Mustangs

The 2019 Friendswood gridiron warriors finished 9-3 for the season with a playoff win over Kingwood Park 40-14. The Mustangs lost the area round to Cedar Park 31-14. The 2019 squad returned to the post-season after missing the playoffs in 2018 which was the first time under head coach Robert Koopmann who took over the helm of the Friendswood football fortunes in 2012.

The Mustangs had two players sign this season as Ryan Helton chose to continue his education and playing career at Stephen F. Austin and Trey Mappe selected to play at the next level at Sam Houston State.