VAN ALSTYNE — National Signing Day was good for the Van Alstyne Panthers as three students sign their letters of intent to continue their athletic and academic careers on the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 7.
Cayson Miller, Sydney Simmons and Zane Madison were the seniors to put their names on the dotted line.
Miller had a successful career and season for Van Alstyne as a defensive end. Miller finished off his senior year with 37 tackles, averaging three per game, as well as three sacks and 14 quarterback hurries.
Miller selected Southeastern Oklahoma State, which went 7-4 this past season.
“I love the environment there and with it being so close to home, my parents can come and watch me play,” Miller said. “And it just seems like the right place for me, they got a great program up there.
“Academically I hope to stay at a 4.0, and I will work really hard to maintain that and with football I hope I hit the ground running and put in the work to start my first year there.”
Simmons, an elite soccer standout in club ball because Van Alstyne does not have a varsity program, has been getting eyed by schools since her freshman year at Van Alstyne. Simmons made her final choice by signing with Duke University.
In joining the Blue Devils women's soccer program, Simmons will be part one of the best soccer programs in the nation. Duke went 23-2-1 last season and make it to the College Cup Semifinals, where they were beaten by UCLA.
“I chose Duke because it was one of the only top tier colleges that were both a powerhouse athletically and academically,” Simmons said. “And I love the campus, the coaches and the girls I know that are already apart of the team.
“Duke is the next step for me, and if I choose to play professionally it would be one of the best places for me to try and accomplish that.”
Standing at 6'3” and weighing 305 pounds, Madison will be looking forward to being a dominant presence on the West Texas A&M offensive line in the years to come. Madison will be joining a program that went 3-8 last year but with a young up and coming roster West Texas A&M will hope to put together a successful 2018 campaign.
“I really like it out there, it feels like Van Alstyne to me which was a big thing I was looking for. Plus the coaches are great, I really like the head offensive line coach.” Madison said. “I'm hoping to get my degree in business management and I'm hoping to start at least three years there and hopefully make a big impact on the program. We have a really good coaching staff here (Van Alstyne) and I couldn't of done what I'm doing without their help.”