BULLARD — With the sun shining through the glass at the Kyle Lake Athletic Center, three Brook Hill athletes looked to a bright future in the collegiate ranks during a ceremony on Monday.
Emma French, Josh Jenkins and Miguel Vega all signed with colleges at the Founders Suite in front of dozens of friends, family and staff members on The Brook Hill School campus.
French, who just picked up a golf club three years ago, signed a golf scholarship with Williams Baptist University, an NAIA school in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.
Jenkins and Vega are both stars on the Guard baseball team.
Jenkins, a catcher and pitcher, inked with Murray State College, an NJCAA Division II school in Tishomingo, Oklahoma.
Vega, who plays first base, third base and pitcher, signed with Tyler Junior College, an NJCAA Division III program.
“We are fortunate to hold one of these signings again today,” Wally Dawkins, Brook Hill athletic director, said. “We never tire of these. It is a special day for not only these student-athletes but also for Brook Hill.
“They have represented Brook Hill so well these past few years. It is an honor and a celebration today.”
WILLIAMS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY
Brook Hill golf coach Bill Littlefield said “it is a blessing to have coached Emma.” He noted French always has a smile and is always encouraging others.
“Emma is a team leader, a team warrior and a team cheerleader,” he continued, “She is always concerned about the success of others.”
French was not only a first-team all-state golfer as a junior, but also recently was named first-team all-state drill team. French is the captain of the Brook Hill’s drill team.
John Taylor, former Bullard High School golf coach now at Tyler Lee, encouraged French to pick up golf when she was an eighth-grader at Bullard, French said. Taylor was on hand for the signing as was Williams Baptist golf coach Ty Jones.
French helped recruit players to the golf program and the team made it all the way to state.
MURRAY STATE COLLEGE
Dawkins said Jenkins played basketball for him as an eighth grader and would have been signing with Duke today if he had stuck with basketball.
“Josh has excelled at everything, whether it be football, soccer or baseball. His work ethic is among the best I’ve ever seen. He makes all of his teams better.”
Brook Hill coach Brock Lemire said Jenkins has a .410 career batting average as he has started since he was a freshman.
Lemire noted Jenkins is not only receiving a full baseball scholarship, but also a presidential scholarship to attend Murray State.
The all-district first-teamer the last three years also helped Brook Hill reach the soccer state tournament when the team needed a goal keeper and he stepped in and did the job.
TYLER JUNIOR COLLEGE
Dawkins noted Vega was Tyler Morning Telegraph All-East Texas Freshman of the Year while at ETCA. Later, Dawkins said he noticed Vega was applying to Brook Hill prior to his sophomore year and knew the youngster would be a great addition to the school and program.
Trey Webb, Vega’s Little League baseball coach, said Vega set the 14-year-old record for home run distance of 421 feet at Globe Life Park in Arlington. He also said Vega has been a two-time 15-17 All-American.
Vega said he was excited about attending Tyler Junior College and playing for coach Doug Wren. He added the Apaches have won four straight World Series titles.
Dawkins added, “Thank you for all you have done for Brook Hill and continue to represent Brook Hill as you have in the past and we encourage you to represent your new school as you have Brook Hill in the past.”