Londedric Taylor said that his decision to attend University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Belton, Texas was two-fold — a win-win proposition.
Athletically, the Crusaders are a perennial top five football team in the NCAA Division III ranks, and according to Taylor, who took part in formal signing ceremonies at the Jacksonville High School Library on Monday afternoon, said that he was equally draw to the school's academic offerings.
“When I went down there to visit the campus I was impressed by their engineering department and that's what I will be majoring in, as well as all the new things that they are doing with their football stadium,” Taylor, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound defensive back, said.
The Crusaders, who ended the 2012 season with a 13-1 record and a No.3-national ranking in the AFCA poll, will be playing in a brand new state-of-the-art on-campus stadium beginning this fall.
The stadium, along with a new student union facility, will be a $50 million investment, according to information released by the university.
Over the past four seasons UMHB, who calls the American Southwest Conference home, has amassed a 48-4 record and has lost only one regular-season game during that span.
The Crusaders' lone blemish last year came at the hands of No.1-ranked Mount Union (Ohio), in a national semi-final game where UMHB fell, 48-35.
“Mary Hardin Baylor has been a D-III power for a long time and everyone wants to play for a winner,” Taylor said. “In talking to the coach down there, he indicated to me that there is a good possibility that I will get to play in my first year, so that's my goal.”
Taylor, was a All-District 16-4A second teamer this past season for head coach Chris Taber's Fight'n Indians at the safety position.
He said early indications are that he will be moved to the outside and play defensive back at UMHB.
Taylor was accompanied by his mother, Sandra Landon and brother, Chris Landon on Monday as a number of Indian coaches, faculty members and administrators looked on, providing plenty of congratulatory encouragements.
- Local Sports
Brashear's big day buries Brownsboro; Guard win 12-3
The weather wasn't the only thing that was nearly perfect Tuesday afternoon at Herrington Ball Park at Brook Hill.
The Guard's Seth Brashear went 4-for-4, with 4 RBI and a pair of runs scored to help propel the Guard on a 16-hit attack which resulted in a 12-3, non-district baseball game win over Brownsboro.
District 21-A softball: Johnson's walk off homer gives Alto 5-4 win
In a game that lived up to its billing, Alto got a walk-off home run from Carenza Johnson in the bottom of the seventh inning to nip Cushing, 5-4, in a Monday matchup between District 21-A softball powers.
Springer throws 1-hitter; Lady Panthers shell Kilgore, 10-0
Bullard won its ninth game in-a-row Monday by blanking Kilgore, 10-0, at Stream Flo Park in Kilgore.
Track & Field: Rusk's Townsend nabs 2 wins in Bullard
Shayla Townsend picked up two wins for Rusk in the Bullard Panther Relays last week.
Townsend was clocked in 15.44 to win the gold in 100 meter hurdles and she cleared 9-feet to win varsity girls pole vault.
JHS JV take 2 from Nac Dragons
The Jacksonville High School junior varsity baseball team opened District 16-4A play Monday at Summers Norman Field by winning two games over Nacogdoches.
Lady Tiger softball garners first league win
Caitlin Tomlin went 3 for 4 at the plate and Lee Ann Lloyd had two hits in three trips as the Troup Lady Tigers evened their district record at 1-1 on the year Friday by knocking off Harmony, 5-4.
Tribe's Riden named District 16-4A Offensive MVP
Jacksonville's Raybon Riden has been lauded as the District 16-4A Offensive Most Valuable Player, following a vote of the league's coaches.
Lady Jaguar Workman named as Region XIV's top womens player
Deva'Nyar Workman of Jacksonville College has been named as Region XIV's 2014 Most Valuable Player.
The 5-foot-8 sophomore from Reading, PA averaged 17.4 points and 8.5 rebounds a game for the Lady Jaguars, who finished fourth in the recently completed conference tournament.
New Summerfield downs Van, 3-1, to win small school soccer tourney
The book closed on the the first year of New Summerfield High School boy's soccer season on Saturday night, after the Hornets had polished off Van, 3-1, to win the Small School Soccer Championship Tournament, which was played on a rainy Saturday night at Bill McRae Field at Jacksonville College.
The Hornets ended up with a record of 11-5-0.
Troup baseball: Smith tosses a no hitter; fans 12 Harmony batters
Luke Smith turned in a dominating performance in Troup's 10-0 win over Harmony in a District 18-2A affair that was played at the Tigers' ball yard Friday.
Smith pitched a no-hitter against the Eagles and struck out 12 of the 18 opposing batters that he faced.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Brashear's big day buries Brownsboro; Guard win 12-3