Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local Sports

February 8, 2013

Bullard ace receiver, Bryant, signs commitment letter with NW Missouri State

BULLARD — The past three years the Bullard Panther football team made a huge turnaround. From the district doormat… to the playoffs…. and barely missing a playoff spot in this years fatal ‘District of Doom.’

A vital cog to the Panther turnaround has been the solid play on both sides of the ball of Haden Bryant. Haden was one of two Bullard players to grab all-district honors on the first team, both offensively and defensively has two earlier years of all-district awards in football, track and baseball also.

Tag on his 2012 All-State kudos and his All-State Academic honors, combined with a lot of sweat and tears over the past three years all paid off on Wednesday at Bullard High School’s, Owens Auditorium as the senior WR/DB, signed a national letter-of-intent to play for the Division II powerhouse, Northwestern University, in Maryville, Missouri.

Northwestern is a member of the Mid-America International Athletic Association and has won five conference, titles in-a-row.

The Bearcats have the most wins of any DII football program since 1996, posting a 10-3 record last season.

Bryant brings some high accolades and big numbers from his senior season as the Panthers finished 10-3, and one-game from a repeat playoff appearance.

This past season alone on offense, Haden made 13 touchdown receptions, and caught a total of 40 passes for 879-yards and a hefty 21.95 yards per-catch.

Bryant had received some attention for DI programs such as SMU and Tulsa, while Midwestern State, West Texas A&M, Hardin-Simmons and Mississippi College were among others showing interest in the two-way threat.

Bullard head coach, Shannon Wilson started off the signing with a few cords about Haden and his Panther career.

“Today we are here because of a lot of hard work, hard work by the team and I know Haden will be a great success at Northwestern,” Wilson said. “I believe Northwestern is a lot like Bullard….family oriented and they believe in everything morally we strive to impress on the kid’s here at Bullard so it’s gonna be a great fit and Northwestern is fortunate to get such a fine young man.”

Bryant made a few other visits but knew he was home when he went to the Maryville campus.

 “When I made my visit I just really liked the coaches and the people at the school, “ said Bryant, planning a Business major. “And the idea of red-shirting my first year I really liked because it will help me adjust to college, the program and put some work in next year to get better.”

When asked about his favorite memory as a Panther, Bryant was quick to recall the playoff run as a junior.

“Getting the school back to the playoffs after so long and going three-deep was just amazing,” Bryant said. “The whole community was just going crazy and the team it was great to see what hard work and buying into the program can do when a whole team buys in to something new.

“Coach Wilson and all the coaches have just been great and given me the knowledge I feel like I’m ready both mentally and physically for that next step.”

Bryant, as all freshmen do in the Bearcat program will red-shirt this next season and join the playing roster in 2014.


Text Only
Local Sports
  • 04-22-JHS SB + foto.JPG Maidens to battle No. 5 Ennis in best-of-3 series

    Jacksonville's first journey into the state playoffs in school history will find the Fightin' Maidens paired up against a perennial playoff power in the Lady Lions of Ennis.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • images-1.jpg Lady Eagles to face Pollok Central in bi-district

    The Rusk Lady Eagles will take on Pollok Central in a one game affair at 6 p.m.Thursday at Cushing High School.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • JJHS logo.png Class 4A Area meet:Tribe's Thacker takes the gold in long jump

    Datavion Thacker of Jacksonville High School qualified for the Class 4A, Region II Meet, to be held at University of Texas-Arlington next week, in two events, long jump and the 100M dash.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18-golf.JPG Class 4A, Region II Golf Championship: Future looks bright for Tribe golf

    Jacksonville been absent from the regional golf tournament for a number of year, but that changed earlier this week when head coach Cecil Newton's Tribe golf team took part in the 36-hole Class 4A, Region II Championship Tournament.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • eagles_rusk_boys_varsity_basketball_winter_12-13.gif Rusk track & field to send 5 to upcoming regional meet

    As a result of their performances at the Class 3A District 19-20 Area meet, which was hosted by Carthage High School on Wednesday, five student-athletes from Rusk High School have earned a spot in the Class 3A, Region III Meet, slated for George Turner Stadium in Humble (April 25-26).

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 9926366.jpg Rusk-ex Collins named SBC Pitcher of the Week

    For the second time this season Callie Collins of University of Texas Arlington (UTA) has been named as the Sunbelt Conference Pitcher of the Week.

    Collins, a senior, played high school softball at Rusk High School.

    Collins went 2-0 in the circle last week and pitched a pair of complete game victories for the Mavericks.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_8831-1.jpg JMS Tennis: Roper wins first place in Kilgore tourney

    Hannah Roper, representing Jacksonville Middle School, won the 8th-grade girls singles championship at the Kilgore Middle School Tournament on Friday while Thomas Brewer came away with the consolation crown in the 7th-grade boys flight.

    And, those success stories were just the tip of the tennis iceberg for JMS.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • troup_tigers.gif Troup Tiger golfers to return to state tournament

    The UIL Class 2A state golf tournament would not be complete without the Troup Tigers included in the mix.

    The young men from Troup made sure that they will be in this year's state tournament on April 30-May 1 in Austin by coming in second at the Class 2A Region III Golf Tournament.

    The tourney took place Tuesday at Oak Hurst Golf Course in Bullard.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 04-17-Maidens team.JPG Fightin' Maiden softball earns first-ever playoff berth

    As the late afternoon sun slowly dipped below the horizon Tuesday at Faulkner Park in Tyler, there was a soaking-wet head softball coach and a team of excited young Jacksonville Fightin' Maidens that had streaks of white chalk smeared across their faces, uniform tops and pants, milling around the infield, in no hurry to board the team bus for the ride back home.

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • 04-17-JHS bsb. + foto.jpg 16-4A Baseball: Jacksonville trounces John Tyler, 11-0

    Chris Holcomb stroked a three-run triple that traveled to the fence in left field in the third inning, which was a part of a 2 for 3 night, as Jacksonville plastered John Tyler, 11-0, Tuesday in a District 16-4A encounter that was played at Mike Carter Field.

    Racking up three RBI and two runs scored for the Tribe (7-16-1, 2-6 16-4A), Holcomb triggered a six-run third stanza for Jacksonville, with the Indians scoring the remained of their runs in the fifth frame.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

NCAA Men's Basketball
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide