By Tony Adams
Friday afternoon at the Belton High School Multisport Facility was a special afternoon for several of Belton’s finest athletes.
Friends, family and classmates converged together for an after-school group letter of intent signing, featuring four Tiger student-athletes.
Tigers Baseball reigning District 8-5A Most Valuable Player Jared Janczak signed his letter of intent to attend Texas Christian to play baseball and District 8-5A First Team second baseman Chase Cryer signed his letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Houston.
“Both are great programs and are close to home,” said Belton baseball coach Eddie Cornblum. “So their families and friends can go watch them.”
Tiger Golf also had a pair of golfers sign letters of intent, as reigning Class 5A Boys’ Individual Champion Andrew Paysse signed his letter of intent to play golf at Texas A&M and fellow Tiger One member Kyle Revis signed his letter of intent to play golf at Northwoods College in Cedar Hill.
Janczak is a three-year varsity player coming into his fourth year and has a been a key member of the Tigers’ success over the past few seasons. He’s coming into the 2014 season as a projected starter to play center field and pitch. In 2011 as freshman outfielder, he went 19-for-62, hitting .306 with 8 RBI and 13 runs scored. In 2012, as sophomore pitcher and center fielder, he went 24-for-88, hitting .273 with 2 homers and 19 RBI, with six doubles and 21 runs scored, bringing in 1st team All-District 12-5A honors. In 2013 as a junior pitcher and centerfielder, he went 42-for-126, hitting .462, with a homer and 24 RBI, eight doubles and 12 stolen bases.
Last season on the mound, he went 6-0 with a 2.14 ERA, striking out 102 batters in 62 2/3 innings. He won the District 8-5A MVP award in a year that was highlighted by a 17-strikeout performance in the district opener back in March against Harker Heights. He will study business at TCU.
“TCU is an exciting team and is a trend-setting organization,” said Cornblum. “They have a great off-season preparation program and Jared is a guy who preps well. Jared is a two-position guy, being an outfielder and pitcher, and the Horned Frogs will benefit from him being a two-position guy.”
Cryer is a two-year varsity player coming into his third year. Coming into 2014, he is projected to play 2nd base. He went 11-for-66, hitting .176 with 9 RBI, six put outs and 29 Assists at 3rd base as sophomore in 2012, earning District 12-5A honorable mention. In 2013, at 2nd base had 30 PO and 45 Assists, was 33-for-110, hitting .300, with a homer and 25 RBI. He was a First Team District 8-5A selection in 2013. He will study business at UH.
“Houston has a great program that concentrates on fundamental baseball,” said Cornblum. “Cryer does the little things right. He has that smooth swing and has a good release at second base. The Cougars will benefit from Cryer.”
Paysse is following in his father’s (Kenny) footsteps to Aggieland. He completed a magical run through the 2012-2013 season, in which Belton won a District 8-5A title in golf and Paysse joined Donnie Kelly (Class 3A Champion, 1979) and Neil Hickerson (Class 4A Champion, 1982) as the third boys’ Texas State Champion this past May.
“Obviously Andrew is pretty much living out one of his lifetime goals, to play for Texas A&M,” said Belton boys’ golf coach Jimmy Hellums. “And he has certainly earned it. I do not know what else he could do in addition to anchoring a Top 10 Class 5A High School Golf Team for 4 years while winning an individual (Class 5A) State Title his junior season, unless it is leading his team to the State Team Title this year. A&M is getting a great player and a great individual.”
Revis is a standout golfer in his own right for the Tigers. He and Paysse have been two of the driving forces in Tigers’ golf the past three seasons and the pair have had a great Fall 2013 season. He will study business at Northwoods.
“Kyle Revis has basically grown up as a player in the Tiger program,” said Hellums. “During this year’s qualifying weeks, his scores were a total of 16 under par. His par and sub-par scores in our first two tournaments of the year have contributed handily to our lop-sided victories. He has a very good understanding for the game, and his short game is his strength. I believe that this will allow him to be quite successful at the next level.”