“This could be you in a few years from now,” said Madisonville head football coach and athletic director Rusty Nail to the younger students in the audience before they recognized the four Mustangs signing their collegiate letters of intent on Wednesday.
The gymnasium was packed to its capacity and erupted as the name of each student was called by Nail. They were accompanied by their families and loved ones as they waved to those who have supported them through four years of hard work and dedication.
The first to cross the gym floor was Sam Bennett. Bennett will continue his golf career at Texas A&M in 2018.
“Madisonville is awesome,” said Bennett after the ceremony. “The school supports me in every sport, not just golf. I just want to thank them for everything they have done for me.”
The remaining three students recognized will play baseball at the next level. Matt Rudis, who was selected to compete in the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field in Chicago in July, will continue his career as a Horned Frog at TCU next year.
“This was awesome,” said Rudis. “To come out here and sign with some of my best friends is something I won’t forget. I started with these guys and we’re going to finish together.”
Zach Poe will also continue his career on the diamond when the next school year rolls around. He will be close to home as well as he takes his talents to Sam Houston State.
“I’ve always dreamed of playing college baseball,” said Poe. “That dream came true and it was also a dream to sign with all of my closest buddies today.”
Lastly, Bryce Bennett signed his letter of intent to play baseball at Cisco Junior College.
“It’s really nice to be recognized like this,” said Bennett. “It’s a really happy day.”
These four student-athletes have done things the right way en route to reaching the college level, which is not easy to do. They have had the support of the entire community, their families and coaching staff the entire way. Wednesday was the culmination of their hard work in all facets of high school.
“These young men are truly pillars of this community,” said Nail. “I am so proud for these boys and their families. Not only are they tremendous athletically, but also true men of character and will make everyone around them better in college. That’s exactly what they’ve done in the classes, fields, courts and courses of Madisonville.”