ET Football: Two Pine Tree Pirates moving up to next level
May 14, 2014 at 10 p.m.
Two Pirates who will get the opportunity to play football at the next level were recognized with a ceremony Wednesday afternoon at Pine Tree High School.
Center Andrew Lee is going to Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri, and quarterback Dalvin Manns will play at McMurry University in Abilene.
"This is where we all want to be," Pine Tree athletic director David Collins said as he addressed those in attendance. "Congratulations to these two young men."
A three-sport athlete, Lee decided to choose football as his sport of choice in college.
Lee played football, basketball and baseball for the Pirates. He was a three-year starter on the gridiron.
He said there wasn't much not to like about Missouri Valley.
"It's pretty sweet," Lee said. "I went there and visited, and the people were really nice. They have a great football tradition."
Missouri Valley has won its conference three of the past four seasons and is among the all-time leaders for the most wins in NAIA.
Lee said he visited the school during the spring game and that he was impressed with the community support the Vikings receive.
A year ago, it would have been difficult to predict Manns receiving an opportunity to play quarterback in college.
A receiver as a junior, Manns missed the season with a torn ACL. Entering his senior season, Manns appeared to be the backup quarterback to Caleb Chumley, but when Chumley went down with an injury before the season, it was Manns who was called on to take over under center.
Manns made the most of his opportunity, going 16 of 20 for 418 yards and five touchdowns in a season-opening win over Van. He followed that by completing 24 of 40 passes for 502 yards and three touchdowns, along with four rushing touchdowns in a 64-49 victory against Center, which earned him Built Ford Tough Player of the Week honors.
Manns finished the season 100 of 178 for 1,770 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. He ran for another 463 yards and seven touchdowns, and he caught 19 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns.
Manns will now take his talents to McMurry University, which competes in the Division II Lone Star Conference with Angelo State, Texas A&M-Commerce, Texas A&M-Kingsville, West Texas A&M, Midwestern State, Tarleton State and Eastern New Mexico.
"It's very exciting," Manns said. "It's a dream I've had ever since flag football.
"I thought it might not happen after my junior year, but everything worked out."
Manns said McMurry was appealing not only because of its solid football program, but also for its history program, which he said he plans to be his major.
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