Twenty-four Humble ISD athletes and their families and friends were all smiles on Signing Day, Nov. 14. The students all attended the event held at the Charles Bender Performing Arts Center in Humble to sign letters of intent to participate in college athletics.

Athletes from Atascocita, Kingwood, Kingwood Park, Summer Creek and Humble high schools represented the sports of baseball, basketball, softball, cross country, track and field, golf, soccer, swimming and volleyball.

Kingwood Park volleyball player Yates Barker signed with The University of Texas-Tyler while her entire team cheered her on. Three days later, the team played in and won the state 5A championship for the first time in school history.

DeeDee Omenson is a substitute teacher at Kingwood Park and commented on KPark’s amazing volleyball season. “It has been absolutely wonderful. We are a family and there is love on and off the court. One of the main reasons why the team is successful is that this administration loves and supports our girls. They are amazing,” Omenson said.

Caleb Cannon, Sr. was ecstatic to see his son, Caleb Cannon, Jr., an Atascocita baseball player, sign with Sam Houston State University. “It has just been a lot of hard work since he was 6 years old. When all his teammates showed up to see him sign, I teared up,” Cannon said. His son looked at 10 different schools, but ultimately was inspired by the way Sam Houston State designed the campus visit. “He was so fired up. He signed on the spot,” Cannon said.

Jourdyn Campbell has played softball since she was a little girl. Since the eighth grade, she has dreamed of attending Texas A&M University, inspired by her coach Mel Dumezich, an All-American A&M softball player. Campbell is a Kingwood High softball player, and her wish came true on Wednesday as she signed on as one of Texas A&M’s newest softball players while her teammates and family cheered her on. “I love the campus and traditions. It has such a family feel,” Campbell explained. She will study kinesiology to prepare for a career in physical therapy. Campbell’s mom Lisa said, “It has been a long time coming. I have seen her hard work since she was 10 years old. I am more than excited and thrilled to have all these memories.”

Campbell’s longtime friend Brianna Aranzeta showed her support by traveling from Clear Creek High School to attend the signing. Aranzeta teased her friend by wearing a shirt emblazoned with “I had a nightmare I was an Aggie.” Aranzeta, who plans to attend Texas Tech University, has been friends with Campbell for years. They have played select ball together, and Aranzeta could not be more thrilled for Campbell.

Brother and sister Cole and Channing Carswell were at the event to support their big brother, Garrett Carswell, as he signed onto the Mississippi State University track and field team. “We are very proud of him. He has worked so hard. He definitely deserves this because he has worked harder than anyone we have ever seen,” the pair exclaimed.

Summer Creek High School was well represented. Andre Duplantier, III signed on to the University of Texas baseball team, Samantha Rodriguez signed on to play softball at Northwestern State University, and Kendall Dutton signed on to play volleyball at Southern University and A&M College. Humble High School’s Kierra Washington signed to play softball at Albany State University.

It is not easy for high school athletes to achieve playing sports at the collegiate level. Hours of athletic training are accompanied by even more hours of maintaining academic performance and conduct. These athletes have earned prestige by convincing universities to invest in them.

The Nov. 14 signing event was the first of three such events. The remaining signing events will be held in 2019 on the first Wednesday of February and the second Wednesday of April. For more information on all the athletes, visit Humble ISD at bit.ly/2KcvfVf.

Jacqueline Havelka
Author: Jacqueline HavelkaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a rocket scientist turned writer. I worked at Lockheed Martin-Johnson Space Center for many years managing experiments on the Space Station and Shuttle, and I now own my own firm, Inform Scientific, specializing in technical and medical writing and research program management. I am a contributing correspondent to The Tribune, a Kingwood resident for 12 years, and proud mom to two Aggie sons.