Wednesday morning was a busy one for the Lufkin Panthers athletics office. As proud parents, family and friends gathered to watch two Lufkin seniors sign their national letters of intent for college athletics.
First up was a two-sport athlete for the Panthers, Tyler Stubblefield. Right in the middle of preparing to play quarterback this Friday night, Stubblefield signed his commitment to play baseball at Texas A&M at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday morning.
"It is a big joy to know that I will keep playing and not just stop after high school," said Stubblefield. "That is what I want to do is to keep playing for as long as I can."
Texas A&M was a finalist for Stubblefield, along with another SEC school, LSU. The Panthers senior says he is ready for the challenge of playing in the new conference.
"A&M is one of the newer teams going in the SEC, but hopefully we can make a big impression in our first year," said Stubblefield. "And hopefully I can help out."
Tyler joins his brother Gandy Jr. on the Aggies roster.
"We got to play two years in high school together and that was great," said Tyler. "And now to carry that over to college is going to be a really fun experience."
Lufkin Athletic Director Todd Quick, who also coaches Stubblefield on the football field, says he has always been impressed by Stubblefield's work ethic.
"Tyler has put in the time and put in the work to be able to do this and he has earned the right to be able to go to Texas A&M," said Quick. "We are very excited for Tyler and we know that he has put in the work and effort to be able to do this."
Stubblefield finished his junior season with a 2.30 ERA , a 5-3 record and 86 strikeouts for the year.
Meanwhile just minutes after Stubblefield's signing another Lufkin athlete put their pen to paper and made the commitment official. Senior basketball player Kassie Jones signed her letter of intent to play at Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
Plenty of Jones' family filled the room with purple and gold, but also her new colors of Islanders' blue and green. Jones herself said she is looking forward to continuing to make all of her supporters proud.
"It is a lot of fun to know that I have a big support system behind me," said Jones. "It feels great I have always dreamed of being here signing and I am just happy that it is coming true. I am always going to represent Lufkin and make them proud."
Jones' head coach Winfred Simmons says he is always happy to see a Lufkin athlete get the chance to gain a college education.
"Getting a scholarship is one of the things that we work hard for so we can see our athletes succeed," said Simmons. "Sometimes success is measured on wins and losses but I think in this case it is measured on our kids getting a quality education and being able to move on to college."
During her junior season Jones averaged 25.5 points per game and was the unanimous selection for District 14-5A's most valuable player.
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