Seven Lake Highlands residents participated in National Signing Day Wednesday with their proud parents, coaches and teammates cheering them on. Erin Moudy will play soccer at the University of Texas, Arthur Anderson will play football Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, Abbi Parker will play soccer at the Oklahoma Baptist University, Daniel Kidd will wrestle at American University in Washington, D.C., Drew Delaney will play football at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas, Jon Curnutt will play soccer for Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas and John Putnam will play soccer at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.
“These kids are going to go off and take their legacy somewhere else,” said Wildcat Athletic Coordinator Lonnie Jordan. “They give Lake Highlands a great name and they play into the great tradition that we have here. They are going to be great ambassadors for Lake Highlands High School and, as an athletic department, we are proud of them. We know they are going to do great things, but we also know, deep down in their hearts, they are Lake Highlands Wildcats and they always will be.”
“I’m excited just to go out there and play football and take it to the next level,” said Anderson. “Southwestern has an insanely rich tradition – the very first day of school they have flags of many different cultures – they are just very accepting of everybody, and I like that. They also have a rich tradition during game day.”
I asked how he’d do in the Midwestern weather.
“Oh man, I haven’t seen snow in years,” Anderson laughed. “I’m just going to embrace it.”
“I chose OBU because of the great environment and people,” Parker told me, “and I love the soccer coach. I’m definitely looking forward to our big trip to Armenia and England this summer, and also being independent and meeting new people.”
“I selected AU because of the standard that the coach holds his athletes to,” said Kidd, “and the location contributes to excellent networking for success later in life.”
Kidd, who will redshirt as a freshman, plans to study economics and complete a 5-year master’s degree. There’s no pro wrestling to shoot for, but he’s not ruling out coaching somewhere down the line.
“Wrestling is the only sport where there is little or no money involved,” continued Kidd, “just hard work for hard work’s sake.”
“Playing in college has been a dream of mine since I was little,” Delaney told me. “I’m very excited that they were interested in me. ETBU just blew me away. I spoke to a few of their players about their experiences transferring from high school life to college life – it should be fun.”
Parker, Moudy, Anderson, Delaney and Kidd signed letters of intent at a ceremony at LHHS sponsored by the Wildcat Club. Academy-level soccer players generally don’t play at the high school level, so Curnutt signed with his club team, Solar. Putnam, a White Rock Valley resident and graduate of LHJH, signed at John Paul II High School in Plano, where he attends school.
“Harding made me feel at home the moment I stepped on campus,” shared Curnutt. “Coach Ireland holds a high standard for his players and leaves no room for slacking off. I thrive in this kind of environment and look forward to his coaching. I’m looking forward to finding a new family on the soccer team and also the freedom that college life brings.”
“I like the small Catholic environment at Spring Hill,” said Putnam. “I attended a soccer camp there, and I enjoyed working with the coaches. They have a young team that shows lots of potential. It just so happens that my mom went there, too.”
All expressed gratitude to a long list of coaches, parents and mentors who have supported them through the process. And all said – with the paperwork taken care of – they were ready to celebrate.
“I’ve been a Longhorn fan from the second I was born,” said Moudy. “I grew up watching them on TV and got to go down many times to see my sister [Paige, now a UT graduate]. I love the city and the atmosphere. Although my college life may differ from the average college experience, I’m excited to represent Texas on the field.”
All also had similar messages of invitation.
“I would love it if any of my friends could come and watch me play,” said Parker, whose home games will be played in Shawnee, OK. “I know for a fact my parents will be there cheering me on as much as they can.”
“Oh my. My parents have supported me and paid for soccer trips and cleats and so much more since I was four years old,” agreed Moudy. “I could not be more appreciative of what they’ve done for me, and I can only hope to make them proud down in Austin. I’m not sure what they’re going to do when they’re not driving me an hour or more to practice or spending hours out at the fields, but seeing their faces in the crowd and hearing them cheer me on down in ATX would put the biggest smile on my face.”