Four Midlothian Heritage Jaguars signed their official letters of intent Monday afternoon to continue careers as student-athletes at the collegiate level next fall.
Nathan Gaskamp and Kerrion Fields were the first two to sign their National Letters of Intent during the ceremony held inside the Midlothian Heritage gymnasium. The pair is slated to be roommates after signing football scholarships with Trinity Valley Community College. Soccer standouts Kendall Shirley (East Texas Baptist University) and Logan Ybarra (Wayland Baptist University) then inked their commitments in front of friends, family, and teammates.
Nathan Gaskamp and Kerrion Fields
Trinity Valley Community College
"If you've seen us play football, you cant talk about either of them without talking about our football team," said Midlothian Heritage head football coach Lee Wiginton. He then stated a significant portion of the program's rapid rise is due to the work ethic on and off of the field of Fields and Gaskamp.
In fact, Wiginton added that multiple players have already begun to ask who will fill Gaskamp's role as the vocal and physical leader at every Jaguar practice.
Wiginton then took a little trip down memory lane — during the inaugural junior varsity season before the Jaguars ever fielded a varsity squad.
The Jaguars won their first two games before losing each of the next three. At that time, Fields was playing safety but was quickly moved to receiver shortly after the slide.
"Since that point we are 28-3," Wiginton said.
"It's not fluke-ish that that is the reasoning. He is such a safety net for a quarterback. He's just a playmaker."
Fields led the Jaguars with 65 catches for 1,086 yards and 18 touchdowns this year, while Gaskamp carried the football a team-high 90 times for 638 yards and 10 touchdowns.
East Texas Baptist University
Kendall Shirley is a team captain for the Midlothian Heritage girls' soccer team, as well as a former all-region and offensive MVP recipient. She is also headed to East Texas Baptist University in August.
Though she has missed all of this season with an injury, Shirley has scored 54 goals and accounted for 25 assists over her Jaguar career.
"It's sad that she got hurt, but she has responded well to it and is doing great things for us," Midlothian Heritage head girls' soccer coach Gerald Slovacek said. "She's had an amazing career and, hopefully, she'll step back onto the field for us once again. That would fire me up."
Wayland Baptist University
Logan Ybarra has scored 16 goals and provided 17 assists as a Jaguar, which netted her first-team all-district honors and a midfield MVP award last season.
Ybarra will take those talents to Wayland Baptist University in Plainview next fall.
"She is one of the toughest little cats around," Slovacek said. "She's not afraid of going and working hard in front of the goal."
Slovacek added, "I reap a lot of benefits of what the club coaches do and the parents who get these kids there. The kids all buy into our program, too."