13 Longview athletes taking skills to next level
April 15, 2014 at 11 p.m.
Thirteen Lobos who made their impact on their respective athletic fields were honored on Tuesday as they prepare take their skills to the next level.
With eight Lobos signing in February, 21 athletes from the Class of 2014 will compete at the collegiate level.
"It's a very exciting day around here as it always is," Longview athletic director John King said. "We've got a talented group of seniors that have put in the work on their various athletic fields and in the classroom.
"It's great to see such a good group move on and represent the Lobos."
Cadell Williams turned heads on both ends of the court during his senior season and signed with Navarro.
"It felt like a family there even though I was there one day," Williams said. "I felt like I belonged there."
Standing 6-7, Williams is towering presence beneath the basket. He was named the District 12-5A Defensive MVP.
"He came out this season with a renewed focus," Longview head basketball coach Billy Goffney said. "He was determined - showed up to work every practice and every game. It didn't surprise me how much attention he got.
"It's all a result of the hard work."
Jared Pauley and Sam Scarborough have been a consistent force at the top of the Lobos' lineup this season.
For head coach Bernie Martinez, he's seen both grow from the beginning of his time at Longview. Both were freshman when Martinez took over.
"There's a value to buying in and those two have bought in since the word go," Martinez said. "They bought into my philosophy and how I approach the game and what I expect.
"They've lived up to it every step of the way."
Scarborough - the Lobos' second baseman - signed with Tarleton State University.
"It's a dream come true and something I've wanted to do since I was little," Scarborough said. "I went on a visit and just really liked the way they played. I liked the intensity they played with - sprinting on and off the field - it just really appealed to me."
It's been work for Scarborough, who leads Longview with a .400-plus average at the plate.
"It's been amazing to see him and a testament to resiliency and perseverance," Martinez said. "To see him realize that hard work does pay off has been great to see."
Scarborough added: "I struggled in the past but just kept working and it's finally showing through. I'm going to keep working hard -- not just at baseball -- but in life in general."
Pauley, an outfielder for the Lobos, will join former Lobo Reid Russell at Tyler Junior College.
"It's a dream to play past high school and I'm ready to show what I can do," Pauley said. "I've wanted to go to a junior college to continue to work on my game. I like their coach, their facilities and the school. It just felt right."
Martinez added: "It's a big springboard for Jared. He wasn't the biggest kid in the world as a freshman but it didn't take long for him to prove to us that he has what it takes to play this game."
Two pairs of Lobos are headed to square off in American Southwest Conference action.
Leo Perez and Jose Corona will play at East Texas Baptist University while Alex Rios and Alan Flores will play at LeTourneau University.
The four signees make 20 Lobos in the past four years to play soccer at the next level.
"We feel good that we're turning out students that can play," Longview head soccer coach James Wright said. "This is a great group personality wise and skill wise. I'm sorry to see them go but I'm excited for their chances to play in college."
Rios and Flores will continue to play under Wright's tutelage. The head coach serves as an assistant coach for the Yellowjackets.
"I'm excited to keep playing soccer and get my education," Rios said. "It's going to be great to work with Coach Wright for four more years."
Flores added: "I've always wanted to play at the next level and I'm excited to play close to friends and family. (Alex) and I have played together for four years and it's exciting to play together some more."
Corona will join Perez, who scored 20 goals as a senior, at ETBU.
"It's a great fit for those guys," Wright said. "(The night we play each other) will be a tough night."
It was a bittersweet day for Lady Lobo head coach Ron Bellamy.
Six out of the eight seniors on his squad will graduate and more on to the next level.
"It's just awesome to have so many move on," he said. "We've had a great run and it sets the bar high for those behind them and they'll have some big shoes to fill."
Aide Godoy will head to Navarro, Michelle Butron signed with Northeast Texas Community College, Felicia Ellison is headed to Oklahoma City University and Krista Bellamy will play at LeTourneau.
Molly Warren signed with San Angelo State and Lauren Hall inked with Stephen F. Austin in February.
For Bellamy and Butron, playing soccer at the next level came as somewhat of a surprise.
"I've never really thought about it before and when they approached me, I was kind of shocked," Bellamy said. "I love soccer. It's always been a part of my life, and this feels right."
Butron added: "I feel really good. I didn't think this would happen and I'm ready to see what the future holds."
Godoy will be an asset defensively for Navarro, Bellamy said.
"She's an excellent defender and was our most consistent all year," Bellamy said. "They're going to love her down there with how well she plays the game."
For Ellison, her height will be a big asset in Oklahoma.
"She's an excellent defender and her height will make her stand out," Bellamy said. "That and her aggressive play will be help them significantly."
Like Martinez, head volleyball coach Chaka Jackson has seen Jordan Houser and Naqwavian Nelson grow since freshman both on and off the court.
"It's been awesome to watch them grow," Jackson said. "They both made varsity as sophomores so I've had the chance to watch them grow not only in volleyball but in life for three years."
Houser and Nelson both signed with Oklahoma Wesleyan University, where they will continue to play alongside each other.
"I'm looking forward to playing with my best friend," Houser said. "We were worried about being separated and it's great to be able to go play at the same place. We've played on the same team - high school, club - since we were freshman. It'll make the transition to college easier and fun."
Jackson said Nelson will be an offensive threat and Houser will be strong on defense.
"Both of them would be an asset to any program," Jackson said. "I'm just very proud of them."
Dorian Leonard (football, Texas), Travin Howard (football, TCU), Zaycoven Henderson (football, Texas A&M), Derodrick Alexander (football, Southeastern Oklahoma State), Stephan Maxey (football, TJC) and Chris Coby (football, Trinity Valley) all signed in February.
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