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Coaches, parents and classmates gathered at Lake Highlands High School today to watch Wildcat athletes sign commitment paperwork for their colleges of choice. February 6 is National Signing Day, and LHHS had 5 athletes accepting scholarships to play college ball.

Kent Perkins, considered the area’s top recruit, will play football at UT, Bonnie Vernon will play volleyball at University of Texas-Dallas, Nick Thurman will play football at University of Houston, Reginald Marshall will play football at Southeastern Oklahoma State and Jesse Johnson will play football at Tyler Junior College.

“I got a good vibe when I visited, it reminded me of LH,” Reggie told me of his choice. “I was looking to get a chance to play as early as I can.”

Reggie’s dad, Reginald Marshall, Sr., was clearly proud of his son.

“He worked hard for it. He earned it. He used his athleticism to get a 4-year scholarship, now he’ll continue his education. He’s just an all-around good kid.”

“After my surgery last year, I didn’t think I’d get to play,” Bonnie said of her treatment for Thorasic outlet syndrome, a rare condition that caused pain in her neck and shoulders and made playing volleyball difficult.

“Before that, several programs had been recruiting me. Then, they kinda stopped.”

She admitted that was “a little disappointing.”

“Finding UTD was great.”

Amazingly, she considers herself “lucky” that the condition, and the surgery, happened to her.

“Without that obstacle, I would have gone somewhere just for the scholarship. Instead, I’m going to a great academic program and playing for the love of the game.”

Despite showing up wearing his OU gear, senior Brandon Terrell said he wouldn’t miss this chance to see his friend Kent Perkins sign for UT.

“It will be exciting to go to the Texas/OU game and see Kent playing for the other side,” he joked. “I’m here to support him. He has a bright future.”

“The best part about today is knowing I’m about to go to college,” said Jesse, “My mom is so proud. She knew since I was a baby I’d be playing in college – I come from a long line of superstars. My cousin, [LHHS grad] Marcus Stiggers, played here.”

“I’m looking forward to playing football and enjoying the college life,” Jesse continued, “but I’ll miss the Wildcat football team and coaches. I’ve learned a lot here.”