By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
Six members of the Belton Athletic Program family inked letters of intent to play sports at the collegiate level last Wednesday afternoon at the Belton Multipurpose Athletic Complex.
Briana Davis signed her letter of intent to play Division I Soccer at Texas A&M University. Davis has been a member of Wendy Knight’s Lady Tigers’ Varsity soccer team. Working her way through a knee injury that cost her junior year in red-and-white, Davis’ work ethic and competitive nature has led her to achieve a great number of awards over the years. She has been a member of the Academic All District team all three years, First Team All-District 8-5A and First Team all Area as a freshman and was selected as the District 8-5A Defensive MVP as a Sophomore.
Davis’ leadership shows both on and off the field, accumulating three goals and 32 shutouts. She contributed solid defense in helping Belton in setting the school record for the most shutouts in a single season.
Davis graduates in December and will matriculate at Texas A&M in January, commencing her college soccer career.
“I feel really blessed because A&M has such a great soccer program traditionally,” Davis said. “They have a great coaching staff. Just the school, in general, is amazing.”
She will major in business marketing.
Sidney Holman signed her letter of intent to play softball for NCAA Division I’s Abilene Christian University, joining former Lady Tiger Alyson Bishoff.
“I am super-excited to play with Aly again,” Holman said. “We try and keep in contact as much as we can.”
Holman has logged three seasons for Matt Blackburn’s Lady Tiger Softball team as the ace pitcher for the squad.
She will be lettering for her fourth time in the 2016 season.
Sidney has compiled a record of 58-27 with a 2.19 earned run average and 636 strikeouts, setting the school record for strikeouts in a season in 2014 and again in 2015. She has pitched 472 innings and had four no-hitters in 2015, including three perfect games in a 21-day span. She has pitched 28 games where she has had a total of 10 strikeouts or more. In 2013, Sidney was selected District 8-5A Newcomer of the Year.
In 2014, Sidney was named District 8-5A Defensive MVP and Texas Sports Writers Association State Honorable Mention Pitcher.
In 2015, Sidney was Co-MVP of District 12-6A, a member of the Texas Girls Coaches Association All-State Softball team and Texas Sports Writers Association Third Team All-State Pitcher.
Well-known around the state and select softball circles around the nation, not only pitching for Belton, but pitching for select organizations such as Buzz Softball and Texas Bombers, Holman will play her final season for Belton in the Spring.
“When I was younger, I wasn’t always the best softball player,” Holman said. “I have had people tell me I couldn’t do it and it drove me to accomplish things.”
She gives credit to her family, her coaches and her teammates for her success.
“My teammates are awesome,” Holman said. “We are one big family and we all come together for a common goal. That goal is to challenge for a state championship this year.”
“Two things stand out in my mind that Sidney has accomplished,” Blackburn said. “One was the three perfect games in 21 days. That accomplishment is astounding no matter who you play. The other is her back-to-back performances against The Woodlands this past season in the playoffs.”
Destynie Moore signed her letter of intent to play college softball at Division II’s Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls.
Three years, Moore was working on becoming a better player in the 15U ranks of the Belton Youth Softball Association, spending nights working in games at Chisholm Trail Park.
Fast forward to 2015. Moore has been an outfielder for Blackburn’s Lady Tiger Softball team for the past two seasons and has been a solid contributor in her time in red-and-white.
Moore will be lettering for the third time in the 2016 season.
Moore was a catalyst for the 2015 Tigers, establishing herself as the leadoff hitter and a base-stealing threat. Moore scored 30 runs, had 16 stolen bases, a .366 on batting average and a .429 on base percentage.
“My teammates are great,” Moore said. “We are a family and do everything together. If we have issues, we always work them out. It never gets to the point where we ever break.”
In 2015, Moore was selected as a First Team All-District 12-6A Outfielder and also selected as a First-Team All-Area Outfielder by the Killeen Daily Herald.
“It was a decision I had to think about and talk it over with my family,” Moore said. “I’m glad I made this decision. My coaches and teammates that I will be playing for at Midwestern State are amazing and I look forward to playing for them.”
Moore will be studying pre-med and biology at MSU.
“I’m extremely proud of how Destynie transformed as a player over the last year and a half,” Blackburn said. “She has stepped up and handled the role of a lead-off hitter. I know she will help lead our offense this Spring. I am so proud of both Destynie and Sidney.”
Allison Waits is a three-year varsity letter winner for Stacy Meyers’ Lady Tiger Volleyball team and signed her letter of intent to play volleyball at the University of Incarnate Word. She intends to study physical therapy.
Waits is the epitome of “Tiger Tough”, overcoming a pair of anterior ACL tears to become a leader in the volleyball program.
This season, Waits led the team in kills with 295 kills and a 60 percent kill percentage. She also led the team in blocks with 143.
Her work ethic, attitude and heart set a great example for the rest of the girls in the volleyball program.
“Until this year, there was always a leader ahead of me,” Waits said. “This year, I tried to carry my team more, encourage them and be a better leader.”
“Allison is a great team leader, whose character shows in her actions every day,” Belton head coach Stacy Meyers said. “Her highlight game of the year was the first game of the year, as it set the tone for the season. She had 16 kills and five blocks against Stony Point and showed what her potential could be.”
Dalton Hankamer signed his letter of intent to play golf for the University of San Diego. Not too bad considering USD’s home course is Torrey Pines Country Club, the site of many prestigious Professional Golfer’s Association tournaments.
“I really like the courses there in San Diego and it gives me the best opportunity to pursue my goals,” Hankamer said. “I intend on something related to business.”
Hankamer has been the top-scoring golfer on Belton’s team since his junior year and has filled the No. 1 spot on Tiger ONE nicely since the graduation of 2013 Class 5A State Champion Andrew Paysse, who has since moved on to the Texas A&M men’s golf program.
Dalton has won individual honors in just about every tournament he has played in at Belton, and played a lead role in Tiger ONE’s fourth consecutive District Championship last Spring.
His most recent accomplishment was shooting back to back 67’s (nine under par for a two-day tournament).
Hankamer continues to improve to help guide Tiger ONE through the Fall schedule in hopes to lead the Tigers to another District title in the Spring.
“We want to make a run at a state championship,” Hankamer said.
“Dalton came into the TIGER GOLF program with the expectation that he would play in the top spot on a team that had been one of the state’s best for several years,” Belton head coach Jim Hellums said. “He had to follow a State Champion. He has done an admirable job and this years’ team is likely the best version of TIGER ONE yet. His back-to-back 67’s in the Burnet Junior Golf Association’s Fall Tournament is a great example of the caliber of player that he is, and is a good forecast of the success he will have at the next level.”
Madison Smith inked her letter of intent to play golf at the Dallas Baptist University.
“God was calling me towards it,” Smith said. “I have strong faith, a great coach, great team and just won the NTCAA Championship this year. They are a great team and will help me grow my faith.”
Smith has been a part of Lauren Marx’s Lady Tiger varsity golf team all four years and is on the course as much as possible, working very hard everyday. She has gradually dropped her scores from the 90’s freshman year to her low tournament round of one-under par 71 last year. She has helped lead the team to three district runner-up titles. She has also been a part of the all-district team for three years, qualifying for regionals each year. Smith was named in the top 10 junior girls in Texas this past year and has competed in several American Junior Golf Tour events across the United States.
“I’ve seen her go from a hundreds player to an under-par player,” Marx said. “She is very committed to academics and her golf game. If she isn’t studying, she’s on the course. Not even an ankle injury this summer has kept her away from her love of golf. Her junior year she shot an amazing 1-under par round at Tera Vista. Watching her sink her last putt knowing she had to make it for her first under-par round was definitely a highlight. Happy tears were definitely flowing!! Last year she won a playoff against a girl committed to Notre Dame, she sunk a 25-foot putt to clinch the win. She will be back in play this spring. Her team and coach will be glad for her to be back. Madison definitely is out to win and will do amazing things at DBU. They are lucky to get her!”
She will be studying either political science or international business at DBU. Congratulations to the six Tigers inking their intents and good luck in the near future.