Wednesday was a banner day for many high school athletes as players in all sports except football could officially sign a letter of intent to play for a college or university.
A&M Consolidated and College Station held signing parties for 16 athletes in four sports. Three of them signed with Texas A&M including Consol softball player Aiyana Coleman, College Station right-handed pitcher Blake Binderup and College Station’s Ana De La Garza, who has competed in volleyball and track and field for College Station but will concentrate on track with the Aggies.
Consol’s Brodie Daniel, a quarterback on the football team, signed a baseball scholarship with Tulane. The Green Wave also landed Consol volleyball player Ava Derbes.
The Consol baseball team also had left-handed pitcher Hunter Bond sign with Blinn and infielder/catcher Christian Letendre with Angelina. Consol’s Claire Sisco, also a standout basketball player, signed a softball scholarship with Nicholls State.
The College Station baseball team, which advanced to the regional semifinals, had five players sign including infielder Max Childress (Hutchinson Community College), shortstop Michael Elko (Northwestern), right-hander Luke Steward (McNeese State) and right-hander Ryland Urbanczyk (Rice) along with Binderup.
The College Station volleyball team, which is playing in the Class 5A Region III tournament this week, had a trio of players sign. Libero/defensive specialist Keira Herron (Oregon State) and defensive specialist Caroline Coyle (Emory) joined Derbes in signing Wednesday.
The Purdue softball team signed College Station middle infielder Sage Scarmardo and catcher/third baseman Summer Scarmardo, who are part the Boilermakers’ class ranked fifth in the country by Extra Inning Softball.
Cameron shortstop Tracer Lopez signed a baseball scholarship with Texas Tech. Navasota’s Trinity Loukanis also signed to play softball at Houston.
Several more local athletes will be signing Thursday.
Bryan pitcher/third baseman Eric Perez and pitcher/first baseman Mason Ruiz will be signing to play baseball at Houston and A&M, respectively. Bryan track standout Sailor Todaro will sign with Sam Houston State. Bryan softball players Kylie Hernandez and Alexis Rodriguez, who will be four-year starters, have already signed. Hernandez signed last week with San Jacinto and Rodriguez with Blinn.
Caldwell’s Cain Sanchez will sign a baseball scholarship with McNeese State on Friday.
Coleman, Binderup and De La Garza will get the chance to continue their playing careers in their hometown.
“Growing up in Aggieland, I guess part of me always wanted to go to A&M,” Coleman said. “It’s just a culture that I wanted to be part of, and to know that I’m going to go there now, it’s just ... I can’t even explain it in words. I’m just very excited.”
Binderup initially was recruited by former A&M baseball coach Rob Childress and is part of new head coach Jim Schlossnagle’s first class.
“The coaching change didn’t affect anything for me,” Binderup said. “It was really just the school I fell in love with no matter who was there.”
De La Garza is joining a program she knows well. Her father, Juan De La Garza, is an assistant track coach at A&M with the javelin his specialty. His daughter throws the shot, discus and javelin, but she says he didn’t force the sport on her.
“I definitely had a choice,” De La Garza said. “But I think when I was younger I started doing track as well and fell in love with itm and I started to realize how much fun it was and how much potential I have in it, and that was a big part of me going to A&M as well.”
De La Garza is a big reason the College Station volleyball team is 38-3 and ranked fourth in the state in 5A. She leads the team in kills and is second in digs, but A&M volleyball coach Bird Kuhn won’t be able to coax her into walking on for the Aggies.
“I’m just going to focus on track, because it’s what I see myself going very far in,” De La Garza said.