Local athletes excited to sign Letters of Intent
Published 10:50 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2012
National Signing Day is quite possibly the most important part of a young athlete’s life, the day that they officially move on to the next level of competition and become part of a college’s tradition.
At Charles Henderson High School, two athletes from two different sports will be taking that next step, which will began with the opening of National Signing Day today.
DeQuante Shockley, a linebacker/defensive end on the football team, has committed to West Alabama while baseball shortstop Jalin Lawson will be heading to Central Alabama Community College.
“I’m ready and excited,” Shockley said. “I’ve got a lot of emotions about it and I’m ready to see what it’s like. I’m playing basketball right now and coach Hollis keeps us conditioned really well and it’s helped keep me ready to play.”
The two Trojans have expressed excitement for the road ahead, and the opportunity to play on a bigger stage.
Lawson believes his new coach at CACC will be a positive influence and that the school will be a means of becoming better and opening up more opportunities.
“I really liked the coach when I met him in Montgomery,” Lawson said. “One of our pitchers went to Central and I’ve been to see them play a few times. It’s a chance for me to get better every day, get focused up and after two years maybe even come back to play at Troy. CACC is one of the best junior colleges in Alabama and I’m honored to play for them.”
Although the two players are excited at the prospect of moving on to college ball, it doesn’t come without its downsides like having to leave behind the teammates they’ve grown up with.
Shockley in particular has a few bittersweet moments along with his signing, namely the memory of recently deceased Trojan defensive coordinator Tyrone Black and the departure of veteran head coach Hugh Fountain from the team.
But despite the tough moments that come with leaving their respective teams, the two players know that they will always have a special memory of their teammates and coaches.
“It’s really no worries,” Shockley said. “It’s just a blessing, I know coach Black would be proud of me and I wish coach Fountain could be here to see it but I just want to thank everyone for believing in me and never giving up on me.”
Although Shockley has only a few basketball games, including an area tournament starting next week, left to his name, Lawson still has a full season of baseball ahead of him starting in mid-February before he’s finished with his time at CHHS.
But despite the fact that there’s still some ball to be played for the Trojans the pair are excited to stand in front of the school and sign their letters of intent.
“I’m not a crowd guy so I’m a little anxious,” Lawson said. “But it’s something I’ve wanted since I was a freshman and I want to be a part of it. It feels good to be able to get it off my shoulders if I had waited until the end of the season I may not have gotten anywhere so it’s good to have a place to play. It’s a life change and it’s going to be a different atmosphere.”