By DR. DAVID DAVIS
High School football players and college football coaches from around the country have had February 1, 2017 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.
This was the 20th year for head coach Tony Heath to attend the signing day of his players. Since 1997, under the guidance of coach Heath and his dedicated staff, there have been over 130 players who have signed letters-of-intent to play at the next level. These outstanding players have made Heath the winningest coach in Pearland HS history with a sparkling 195-53 overall mark.
This past season, the Oilers advanced to the playoffs for the 17th straight year and advanced to the area-round in the post-season.
The signees for this year include: Connor Blumrick (Texas A&M), Blake Parrish (Texas A&M – Kingsville), Derrick Parrish (Houston), Daniel Petty (Midwestern State), Davier Pinkston (Tyler JC), Debione Renfro (Texas A&M), and Justin Guy Robinson (SMU).
The Dawson Eagles have become one of the more successful football programs in the state under the guidance of head coach Eric Wells and his outstanding coaching staff.
Dawson began playing varsity football in 2008 and Wells has posted a sparkling 83-31 overall record with two 4A Div. I Region III titles and the 2012 District 24-4A championship. Dawson has appeared in two 4A Div. I state semifinals.
The Eagles finished 8-3 in 2013 and advanced to the bi-district round.
Dawson has had over three dozen players sign at the next level and there were seven players who signed on National Signing Day. They were: Desmond Clifton (Navarro Junior College), Pat Howell (Texas Southern), Justin Parker (Henderson State), Zach Smith (Stephen F. Austin), Bryce Stevenson (Missouri Science & Technology), and Niko Thomas (Colorado School of the Mines).
For the past five years, the Friendswood Mustangs have been under the capable guidance of Robert Koopmann.
Friendswood has made the playoffs all five seasons and Koopmann has a sparkling 42-18 coaching record with the Mustangs while the 2016 squad advanced to the Class 6A Region III semifinals before they were eliminated by Cinco Ranch to finish 9-3.
Friendswood has great pride and tradition and Koopmann is largely responsible for this attitude in all sports, not only as the head football coach, but as the athletic director.
The Mustangs have players that are still considering their choices. Quarterback Tyler Page has made his commitment and he will be moving on to get a college education and continuing his playing career at Southern Methodist University.