Denison, Hartley, Mabray honored for athletic achievement by peers

Published 10:35 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Joey Denison, Becca Hartley and Houston Mabray were honored on Wednesday. (Photo/CHHS Atletics)

Joey Denison, Becca Hartley and Houston Mabray were honored on Wednesday. (Photo/CHHS Athletics)

Although Joey Denison, Becca Hartley and Houston Mabray signed with their respective colleges weeks ago, they all got to soak it in Wednesday morning.

The three Charles Henderson seniors were honored with a ceremony in the cafeteria in front of the their friends, family and teammates.

Denison had weighed the pros and cons of what he called the “toughest decision ever” for nearly three weeks.

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The quiet senior had a choice of where to further his academic and athletic dreams at two different schools and in two different sports.

Denison had offers from Jacksonville State to play football, as well as an offer from Southern Union Community College for baseball.

In the end, Denison chose baseball and inked with the Bison a few weeks ago.

“It was without a doubt the toughest decision I have ever had to make,” said Denison. “I love football, but I feel that baseball is the path for me. I think that I have a better chance of bigger goals on the diamond.”

Mabray put pen to paper earlier this season, an chose to further his baseball future with Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia.

Mabray has been the No. 1 man in the pitching rotation for the Trojans all season, and inked with the Saints in a fashion that described his personality.

The soft-spoken senior signed his scholarship letter on the living room table in his pajamas a few hours after picking up a win on the mound.

“I’m not a guy who likes a lot of publicity,” said Mabray. “It was my just something that I decided to do. I didn’t want to take away from what the team has done this season, so I thought it was best to do it home with my parents.”

Charles Henderson head baseball coach Derek Irons has a large smile on his face during the ceremony, visibly happy for his two players.

Irons feels that they will make an impact in the future at their respective schools.

“Those two guys have been on the varsity for three years, and I have the honor of watching them grow up,” said Irons. They will make excellent ball players, and even better young men.”

Hartley signed to play for the hometown Troy Trojans way back in November, and is happy she made the decision.

“Going of to play in tournament and camps, I came to realize that I really love it in Troy.” Hartley said. “I’m really excited to stay and play four more years here.”

Hartley’s coach, Robin Snyder, said that she possess a trait that is necessary to playing athletics at the college level: work ethic.

“As a coach, you love to get calls or texts from players asking you if you can come to the field and help them,” Snyder said. “We were out there hitting and fielding at 6 a.m. Over the summer. She has worked hard and deserves it.”

Though the three seniors are excited about the future, all will be in action this weekend for the respective Charles Henderson teams.

Denison and Mabray lead the Trojans in to the AHSAA semi-finals in Mobile against UMS-Wright on Friday, while Hartley and the Lady Trojans are set for a trip to Gulf Shores for the regional tournament.