Sixty-five high school athletes in Arlington celebrated National Signing Day, officially accepting their offers to play sports in college Wednesday.
“It’s something we’ve talked about since he was just a kid, playing ball in the front yard when he was six or seven,” said Bradley Watson, whose son Josh will play baseball at Texas Christian University next year.
Among those students was Sam Houston High School standout Darrion Flowers, who plans to enroll at TCU next year to compete on the football field and the track.
“I’m glad that they’re giving me a chance to become a part of that,” said Flowers. “And I’m going to work hard to show them I deserve to be there.”
He and his family said they’re humbled he’ll have the chance to participate in two Division I sports.
“I’m overjoyed,” said Aisha Flowers, Darrion’s mother. “I’m so emotional. I’m glad that he turned out to be the way that he is.”
Arlington High School senior Lauren Beard and her family also got emotional when the University of Texas offered her a spot on their powerhouse volleyball team.
“My whole family has always been UT fans,” said Beard. “And I always remember saying I’ll never be able to play volleyball there.”
There was a time Beard wasn’t sure any schools were going to recruit her. But her performance at a tournament sparked UT’s interests, and now the rest is history.
“I’m excited, a little bit nervous, but I can handle it,” said Beard.
Now her family has one more reason to love the Longhorns.
“We can’t believe that we’re actually here,” said Stacy Bear, Lauren’s mother. “And we’re so proud of her.”
Although it wasn’t tough for Beard to decide where she was going to play, the choice wasn’t as simple for other athletes.
Martin High School senior Josh Watson has spent his entire life playing football and baseball. But when the offers from colleges started coming in, he realized he’d only be able continue doing one of those sports.
He said the offer to play baseball at TCU was ultimately too good to pass up.
“[Football] is always going to have a piece of my heart and I’m going to miss it,” said Watson. “But I’m excited to play baseball.”
His parents said they’re proud of his decision and thrilled they only have to drive a short distance to get to his games.