On February 3rd 2016, Belton High School is proud to announce that 13 Belton Tiger Athletes will be signing National Letters of Intent to continue their education and athletics at the college level.
The signing ceremony begins at 4:00pm, on Wednesday February 3rd. The ceremony will be held at the Belton Athletic Complex in the weight room. Sydney Andrews, Claire Woodson, Morgan Thomasson, Taylor Parillo, Olajuwon Taylor, Kaitlyn Jones, Baylee Leifester, Tanner Frick, Cameron Whitman, Zach Shackelford, Alexis Mack, Chris Jones, and Nathan Vail will all be signing Letters of Intent. We are very proud of these young men and women for their athletic and academic achievements, and look forward to watching them compete at the college level.
Sydney Andrews – Softball – Trinity Valley Community College
Sydney has lettered for 3 years in high school and will letter again this season. Sydney played catcher for Copperas Cove her freshman year. She received 2nd team-all district catcher during the 2013 season. Since coming to Belton, Sydney has compiled a .356 batting average and a .400 on base percentage through the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Sydney has spent time as a DP, catcher and outfielder. We are very excited about her opportunity to continue her softball career at Trinity Valley.
Claire Woodson – Track – Incarnate Word University
Claire Woodson has decided to sign with Division 1 – The University of Incarnate Word to continue her track career as a pole vaulter. Claire has been an outstanding member of the Varsity Lady Tiger Track team for four years, accomplishing multiple challenges along the way.
During her freshman year, she placed 2nd at District and 5th at Area in pole vault, with a personal record of 10’6”. In addition, she was awarded “Freshman of the Year Award” for her commitment, hard work, and dedication.
During her sophomore year, Claire tore her ACL running a hurdle relay race at Fredericksburg Relays, which she still won, defeating all odds. Due to this serious injury, Claire was unable to compete for the remainder of the season.
After a very aggressive year of rehabilitation, Claire returned stronger, both physically and mentally. During her junior year, she placed 1st in District, 1st in Area, and 4th at Regionals, with a personal record of an 11’9” vault. Claire was also awarded “Most Improved,” for coming back from such a strenuous and detrimental injury.
Currently, Claire’s personal record is an outstanding 12’ vault. We are so excited and proud of her achievements. Claire has devoted a tremendous amount of hours to practice and competitions. She is one of my senior captains and we are looking forward to greater accomplishments this track season. She will definitely serve as an asset to the Incarnate Word track team.
Morgan Thomasson – Golf – Howard Payne University
Morgan Thomasson, a 2016 graduate of Belton New Tech at Waskow, has signed a letter of intent to play collegiate golf at Howard Payne University in Brownwood. A 4-year letter winner for The Lady Tigers, Thomasson has garnered 2 individual All-District nods, and has helped guide the Lady Tigers to 3 District Championships and 3 Regional berths.
Additionally, Thomasson is a 2015 Wildflower Belle, a National Honor Society member, and active in the youth group at Belton Church of Christ.
Morgan is the daughter of Carrie Thomasson of Belton and Jeff Thomasson of Georgetown.
Taylor Parillo – Golf – Ancilla College
Previous to her arrival to Belton High School in the Spring of 2015, Taylor played for Kenton Ridge High School in Ohio. She lettered three consecutive years, along with first team All-Conference her sophomore and junior years. During her short time at Belton High School she was able to letter after four short months as a Lady Tiger. She has contributed to several team wins, a district runner-up championship, a regional appearance, and helped with the team low at Tera Vista in the fall. “She is a great attribute to the Lady Tiger Golf team. Taylor is consistent player and a great team leader.
Olajuwon Taylor – Football – West Texas A&M University
Olajuwon Taylor had one of the best years as a receiver in the history of Belton football in 2015. He caught 54 passes for 767 yards and 12 Touchdowns. His 3 Touchdowns and 225 receiving yards verses Pflugerville Hendrickson set school records as did his 12 total receiving touchdowns. He was a team captain and unanimous 1st team 12AAAAAA all district selection as a Receiver and Kick Returner where he averaged over 35 yards per return. Olajuwon was also voted Most Valuable Player for the 2015 season by his teammates and received the Outstanding Wide Receiver award. Olajuwon also helped set a school record for points in a season (452). Olajuwon was a two year letterman in football at Belton High School and is a three year letterman in track, where he has been a member of the district champion 1600 meter relay team his sophomore year and a member of a regional finalist 1600 meter relay his junior year. Olajuwon is a solid student and had several options to choose from as he continues his football journey. Olajuwon has developed tremendously over the past two seasons and it will be exciting to watch him as he continues his football career at West Texas A&M University!
Kaitlyn Jones – Softball – Temple College
Kaitlyn Jones has lettered 2 years in softball and will letter for a third time this season. Kaitlyn has also played basketball for Belton’s varsity squad. In 2014, Kaitlyn hit .431 and had an on base percentage of .433, earning her All-District and All-State honors. The Texas Sports Writers Association voted Kaitlyn 3rd Team All-State DP/Utility. In 2015, Kaitlyn hit .487 and had an on base percentage of .574. This earned her All-District and All-State honors once again. The Texas Girls Coaches Association voted her to the All-State Softball team. TheTSWA voted her as Honorable Mention Second Base. We expect big things out of Kaitlyn in her final season and are proud that she will be representing Belton at Temple College.
Baylee Leifester – Softball – University of Dallas
Baylee has lettered for 2 years in high school and will letter again this season. Baylee has had to overcome various injuries and obstacles to continue her softball career. In 2014, Baylee had a .364 average going 4 for 11 in pinch hit situations. She also compiled a .588 on base percentage that season. In 2015, Baylee hit .400 in pinch hit situations and had an on base percentage of .455. Baylee has pitched and played third base for the Tigers. We are proud of her perseverance and for her opportunity to continue playing the game she loves.
Tanner Frick – Baseball – McLennan Community College
Tanner is a 3 year starter for our baseball program. The last two seasons Tanner has amounted 12 wins with only 3 losses. He has a great opportunity to be one of few Belton Baseball Players to accomplish 20 wins in a carreer. Tanner has a presence about him on the mound that can be intimidating. Tanner stands 6’4 and throwing from the left side, is a tough task for any hitter to face. Tanner is a two year first team all district pitcher and we look forward to great things from him this coming season. We look forward to watching Tanner in the coming year as he’ll head off to MCC.
Cameron Whitman – Baseball – Temple College
Cameron is coming off a junior year in which he was 5-1 on the mound, 2.38 ERA, and struck out 46 hitters in 43 innnings. Cameron was a First Team All District Pitcher in 2015. Along with having a great junior year, we look forward to an even better senior season. Cameron is coming into the 2016 season with a lot of expectations and excitement surrounding him. Temple College has found a gem in Cameron. Along with being long and lanky when standing on the mound, Cameron has the potential of being a 90 MPH guy. His ceiling is high and people will take notice of Cameron even more this coming season. We are so excited to see the growth in Cameron’s game, but we are even more excited that baseball has landed him at Temple College and the opportunity to play for a great coach in Craig McMurtry.
Zach Shackelford – Football – The University of Texas
Zach has an intangible that every coach dreams about, to tell him how to accomplish something one time and you never have to tell him again. Not only is he extremely coachable but he is an outstanding young man off the field. He strives to better himself as well as doing whatever he can for the team. His attitude once he steps on the field is another intangible that someone cannot coach and that every coach in the world wish they could teach. Zach is truly a special young man who is going to do great things with his life as well as impact many. Shack departs from Belton, but will leave a legacy on how to play the game of football. Official stats from his senior year season: 729 snaps in which he performed at an outstanding 98% grade, 72 knockdowns, and 28 pancakes. Individual accolades: 1st team All District, Academic All District, THSCA Honorable Mentioned Academic All State, THSCA 1st team All State, and a member of the Subway Super Team. Shack helped set several new school records, including paving the way for a new school rushing record of 3,202 yards and the most points scored in a season (452). We expect big things from Shack at The University of Texas!
Alexis Mack – Soccer – Prairie View A&M
Ms. Alexis Mack is signing today to play Division 1 Soccer at Prairie View A&M. Lexi has been a member of the Varsity soccer team at Belton High School all 4 years. Lexi’s competitive nature and drive has led her to achieve a great number of awards over the years. Lexi has been a member of the Academic All District team all 3 years. She was named to the honorable mention all-district team as a freshman, and was selected to the NEPS 1st team all-tournament team as a sophomore, and has been a first team all-district selection for the past two years. She was also named to the All-Area team as a junior. Lexi was selected as the team captain for the 2016 season. Lexi’s leadership shows both on and off the field accumulating 14 goals, 13 assists and 33 and a half shutouts helping set the school record for the most shutouts in a single season. Lexi is excited about the opportunity to showcase her talents at the next level. She would like to invite you all out to come support the Lady Tigers as they fight to win their 12th straight district title.
Chris Jones – Football – University of Mary Hardin Baylor
Chris was a joy to coach and was a three year starter. He did what was asked with a good attitude and was an invaluable part of the Belton defensive unit. Chris had 58 solo tackles in 2015 and 38 assts. Chris was also a team captain for the Tigers this year. Chris had some unfortunate injuries that limited his time on the field. He was still able to make numerous plays and he will be missed. We wish him luck and success in his college playing career. We have no doubt that Chris will do great things in the future!
Nathan Vail – Baseball – Hill College
Nathan is coming into his senior year as one of our true leaders on the field. Nathan is a returning letterman, a returning starter, and a first team all district player from the 2015 season. Nathan comes from a great baseball family, which his two older brothers played for us, Garrett graduating in 2008 and Tyler graduating in 2011. So, having all the Vail brothers playing for us at one time or another has been quite an honor. Nathan will command homeplate for us in 2016. We see great things from Nathan this season. He has an unbelievable work ethic and a presence about him that can’t helped to be noticed. We can’t wait to see what his senior year brings, but we are also excited for him and can’t wait to see what he is able to do at Hill College.
We hope you can join us celebrate the achievements of these wonderful young men and women. We wish them the best of luck in the future and expect nothing but great things from them!