Eight Belton athletes make commitments to play sports at next level

by / 0 Comments / 179 View / February 15, 2018

The Belton Multipurpose Athletic Complex was the epicenter of Tiger Pride last Wednesday (February 7) for National Signing Day.

Eight Belton athletes committed to colleges and universities on NSD.

One Tiger who is already enrolled and taking classes is former Belton quarterback Cameron Davis. Already enrolled and taking classes, Davis is attending Division II Henderson State in Arkadelphia, Ark.

Davis was a two-year letterman for the Belton Tiger Football team. As a junior, he threw for 34 yards, rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns, along with contributing on special teams.

As a senior, he entered the Temple game as the starter after having a great scrimmage against Leander. Davis threw for 100 yards, ran for 14 yards and a touchdown. In the third quarter, Davis went down with an injury that forced him out for several games.

Following surgery, Davis diligently went through his rehabilitation program and came back ahead of schedule.

He finished the year throwing for 439 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for 181 yards and had a touchdown run.

“We are very proud of how Cameron handled his injury and how he still was at every practice and helping the younger quarterbacks get ready,” Belton offensive coordinator Brian Cope said. “He worked tirelessly to get back and when he came in did a great job for us. We are looking forward to the great future Cameron has.”

Clayton Blank had been a two-year starter for the Belton Tigers at defensive end and has inked his letter of intent to play football and study business at Tarleton State University. His goal is to start up his own welding business upon attaining his degree.

Blank was an outstanding defensive end, lined on the opposite end of University of Houston commit Logan Hall.

Blank was a solid player and was awarded first team all-district defensive end for his effort and his tenacity the past two years.

A dynamic leader and tireless worker, Blank worked himself into game shape quickly following shoulder surgery.

“Tarleton felt like home to me. I loved the school,” Blank said. “It’s close enough to home if I need to come back for anything. I love the coaches there and everything that has to do with that school.”

Marshall Fish will continue his football career and will be a pre-med student at Trinity University in San Antonio. His goal is to enter the medical sales field.

He was offered a preferred walk on at UTSA, received offers from D-II National Champion Texas AandM-Commerce, Angelo State and Tarleton University, as well as D-III Hendrix College and Southwestern University.

Fish was a two-year starter for the Tiger football team. He was a versatile athlete who could line-up on the line of scrimmage as a tight or in the backfield as a TED/Halfback.

Fish improved each year as a blocker and pass catcher. Besides being coachable, his size, quickness and work ethic were his best attributes that made him an outstanding run blocker, reliable pass catcher and offensive threat.

Fish was an integral part to the success of the Tiger offense. He might have had just four catches for a 13.5 yards per catch average, but he was a fierce blocker in the run and pass games.

To show his versatility, athleticism and unselfishness, he was a valued member of the special teams, as well as a mentor to the younger, future Tiger tight ends

Fish was a Second Team, All-District performer as a junior.  For his senior year and to show his consistency, he again was selected Second Team, All-District 8-6A tight end.  Marshall was successful in the classroom as well and was selected to the THSCA Second Team, Academic All-State.

“The biggest factor in my decision was the people,” Fish said. “The people are the best, from the players and coaches to the faculty and the staff. I felt like they wanted me to be a part of their family.”

Tiarra Hodges will be continuing her soccer career by signing a letter of commitment to play with the University of Arkansas Little Rock, with an educational focus on nursing and orthopedics.

Tiarra has been a four-year member of the Varsity soccer team.

Hodges started as a freshman at the forward position and her dynamic speed and ability to get open afforded her so many goal-scoring opportunities. Hodges scored 10 goals, and had nine assists in her freshman season. She and was selected second team all-district.

Hodges became an integral member of the Lady Tigers’ offense, and her speed was tough for opponents to deal with. During her sophomore and junior years, she scored a combined 49 goals with 21 assts.

In 2016, Tiarra was named District MVP, Super Centex First team, All Area Offensive MVP, and was selected to the All Region Second Team. Hodges’ knack for the goal set her apart from the rest of the district.

So far this season (as of February 7), Hodges has scored 19 goals, and had six assists.

“I was a little hesitant about playing out of state,” Hodges said. “Once I went to the campus, I fell in love with it. I knew I wanted to play there. My mom has been my rock. She’s always been there for me and pushing me to be my best.”

“T is the kind of forward you dream of as a coach,” Lady Tigers’ head soccer coach Wendy Knight said. “She capable of scoring 10 goals a game, but is also so selfless in helping her teammates find the back of the net as well. Her dynamic runs up top allow her the space and freedom to do what she does best which is unleash shots with the kind of power that can’t break people’s hands. It has truly been a blessing to be a part of this young ladies journey, and she is leaving a legacy of unfillable shoes for these underclassmen. “

Delaney Presley signed with the University of Texas at Tyler throw the shot put and hammer for the Patriots’ Track and Field Team.

Presley, who was also a powerlifting standout in her early high school career, has been an important part of the success that the Lady Tigers track program has had over the past three years.

Attending UTT’s nursing program, Presley’s hard work and dedication has led to many successes in the Lady Tigers’ Track and Field program. She is a four-year letterman in Track and Field, are qualifier her sophomore and junior years, was the Lady Tigers’ Outstanding Field Event Athlete her sophomore and junior years, has a personal best 39’9” in the shot put and 101’0” throw in the discus.

“When I went on my visit, I went in thinking it was just a D-III,” Presley said. “After I went on my visit, I realized that it felt like home and the entire environment for comfortable for me.”

Erica Anderson will be continue her soccer playing career in the fall of 2018 at Texas Women’s University. Erica is a four year letter for the soccer program here at Belton High School.

Erica has not only showed how far her work ethic gets her on the field, but off as well. Erica is a three-time member of the Academic All-District team, and plans to focus on nursing at TWU and has a goal to become a pediatric intensive care unit nurse.

In her freshman year, she stepped into a starting role early, and never looked back. Anderson earned First team all-District honors as a center back, scored a goal, and was an integral part of the team’s 14 shutouts.

She emerged as a team leader at the start of her sophomore season. Anderson earned Defensive MVP honors, as well as First Team Super CenTex, All Area Co-Defensive MVP, and Honorable Mention All-State. Erica scored one goal, two assists and helped account for nine shutouts. Her outstanding performance in her sophomore season made the promise of two more years even sweeter. An ACL tear ended her 2016 season in the playoffs.

As a junior, Anderson rehabbed hard to come back from her injury. Anderson returned to her starting role in the middle of district play. With her leadership in the back, the defense was able to hold the rest of the teams scoreless in district play. Despite her absence from the first half of district play, Anderson still earned District Defensive Most Valuable Player and First Team Super CenTex.   Erica scored one goal, had one assist, and seven shutouts in just eight games played.

Despite an injury early on in her senior season, Anderson has stepped up and already done some amazing things. Her header goal against The Woodlands in the Governor’s Cup has been one of the Lady Tigers’ highlights in 2018. She ripped shot against the Killeen Lady Roos when she was moved up for offensive purposes to jump start the Lady Tigers’ offense.

“I based my school choices off of what I wanted to major in, which is nursing,” Anderson said. “There are a lot of girls on the team that are playing soccer and going through the nursing program. I really like the team and the coaching staff. It was a family atmosphere.”

“Erica is that player in the back that teams fear going against, and the fearless player on offense that will do what is necessary to ensure the ball makes it in the back of the net,” Knight said. “Pairing that with a solid work ethic, her passion for the game, and unwillingness to walk away with anything other than a win, makes her a force to be reckoned with. Erica has been one of the most amazing players I have had the privilege of coaching, and we will truly miss her when she is gone.”

Alexis Jones will continue her golf career LeTourneau University with a focus on business management.

Jones is a four-year letterman for the Lady Tigers’ Golf and a member of the National Honors Society.

Registering a hole-in-one her freshman year during a tournament, Jones has been an All-District performer for two years and has played on three regional qualifying golf teams. Alexis was a member of a District Championship team her sophomore season.

Jones’ work ethic, as well as a strong belief in her ability to acquire new skills and improve through practice, was likely shaped by her years of playing golf. She has played all through high school and is one of the team’s most valuable players.

“My family owns a business and it has inspired me to go to school for business management,” Jones said. “When I went out to LeTourneau, the coaches were really nice. It felt home-like, and the campus is really pretty.”

Mackenzie Bartlett will continue her softball career with her letter of commitment to play with head coach Kristen Zaleski’s Temple College Leopards Softball program.

Bartlett is a two-year letter for the softball program for the Lady Tigers.

Mackenzie, along with sister and fellow teammate Madison, came to Belton from Orange High School in North Carolina at the start of her junior year.

She lettered for the OHS softball team in her freshman and sophomore seasons. During her freshman year, she played second base and pitched for Orange.

She was voted to the all-district team and was honorable mention all-conference.

During her sophomore season for Orange, Bartlett played third base and was voted all-district, all-conference, and all-state in North Carolina.

During Bartlett’s junior season here at Belton, she shifted back to second base and was voted First Team All-District 8-6A Infield. During district play, Bartlett had a .500 batting average, had three doubles, a triple, and two home runs. She had 12 RBI’s and scored 18 runs for the co-District 8-6A champions.

Overall in 2017, Bartlett hit .372 on the season, had an on base percentage of .449, drove in 20 runs, scored 29 times, and hit 3 homeruns. Following her 2017 season, Mackenzie was voted Second Base Honorable Mention All-State by the Texas Sports Writer’s Association.

“Mackenzie has been quite an addition to our program since arriving from Orange,” Belton head softball coach Matt Blackburn said. “She has proven herself to be an excellent defensive player and an offensive weapon. We are very excited to see how this year goes for Mackenzie, as she transfers from the infield to the outfield.”