February 08, 2012 EditionAlso in this issue...
Hoxie players sign with WPU
Two Hoxie High School football players signed letters of intent to play for William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa, during a National Signing Day ceremony on Feb. 1.
Quarterback Sebastian Irvin and offensive lineman Ricky Adams committed to play for the Statesmen in front of a crowd of family, coaches and fellow players.
Irvin, chose WPU over the University of Cumberlands and Peru State.
He said signing to play college football is "Amazing!"
"It's what I've wished for since my first year playing football," he said.
He said meeting the coaches at William Penn helped him make his decision.
"They are real nice people," he said. "The campus is beautiful. I'm so excited to go there. It seems like a nice school."
Irvin credited the Hoxie coaching staff with helping him develop into the player he is today.
"They have everything to do with how good a football player I am and how hard I worked," he said. "They pushed me to be my best."
Irvin, who is the son of Mary Wickham of Hoxie and Chris Irvin of Walnut Ridge, was a two-time All-State pick, three time All-Conference selection and has been named to the Jonesboro Sun "Best Under the Sun" team and the KAIT-8 "Super Team" two times each.
He was named the Hooten's Arkansas Football Magazine AAA Quarterback of the Year and the 2011 3AAA Conference quarterback of the year. He was also selected to play in the All-Star game.
During his career at HHS, he racked up 3,720 yards rushing, including 39 touchdowns, and 1,328 yards passing, including 18 touchdowns. He also recorded 125 tackles for the Mustangs.
Head football coach Tom Sears said Irvin has been a phenomenal player during his time in the Hoxie program.
"He is an extremely unselfish kid who really is just a tremendous player and one who is hard to replace," Sears said.
Adams, who is the son of Angela Davis of Walnut Ridge and Chuck Adams of Hoxie, chose William Penn over Peru State and Oklahoma Panhandle State.
He said it felt great to be moving on to the next level.
"I've worked hard for this all my life and to know I get to do this is pretty awesome," he said.
He said the atmosphere at WPU was a big part of what attracted him to the university.
"All around, it's a good school," he said. "Plus, I will be going with the quarterback I played with."
Adams, a 2011 All-Conference selection, recorded 24 pancake blocks for the Mustangs and had an offensive line grade of 78 percent.
Like Irvin, Adams said the work ethic instilled in him at Hoxie should help him at the college level.
"Coach Sears pushed us in practice ╔ he pushed us in the off season ╔ I've worked hard my whole career," he said.
Sears also emphasized Adams' work ethic.
"He's a great kid, a self-made kid," he said. "He really had a dream ever since he was young of wanting to play college football. He never deviated from trying to make himself into the type of student and player who could go and do that. It's very rewarding to see him be able to do this."