GUNTER — Three more Tiger athletes signed to keep playing at the next level on Friday morning in front of a large crowd of friends and family.
Two of them will continue their athletic careers on the diamond — Austin Oblas signed with Arkansas Tech while Matthew Hunter signed with Cisco Junior College on Friday.
“It just feels good to have all of my friends here and family,” Oblas said. “This day is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.”
“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Hunter said. “Maybe before the age of 12, I didn’t know that I wanted to go play college ball. As I started to develop and grow stronger, it was just a dream that continued to develop for me.”
Both players have been key parts of the Gunter baseball with Oblas in the infield, Hunter in the outfield and both seeing time as pitchers.
They credit the close bond within the team as motivation to help them get better.
“We’ve just had success,” Hunter said. “I don’t think about it too much and I just focus on trying to get wins for the team.”
“Gunter’s just a great school,” Oblas said. “Everyone is close-knit and we’ve done a lot of winning around here.”
As for why they chose their respective schools, both Oblas and Hunter recognized that looking for the right fit was important.
“I was split between a few different schools but when I got up to Arkansas Tech,” Oblas said. “It was a great campus and I liked all the guys there. I can’t wait to get over there.”
“I went up there on a visit and I worked out on the team. I got to know the coaches and players and they were looking forward to me being out there,” Hunter said. “At that point, I knew it was the right fit.”
The Tigers are sending another two-time state finalist to the next level. Lineman Adrian Martinez signed to play football at Howard Payne University, where he will play linebacker.
“I’m very excited that I get to continue to play the game I love at a very high level,” Martinez said, “I know not everybody gets that chance so I’m very grateful for the opportunity.”
The senior was a key piece up front for Gunter as the Tigers advanced to the Class 3A Division II state championship game two years in a row. They won their first state title in 2016 and making the first state title run was special for Martinez, who was a two-time all-state selection.
As he gets set to continue to the next level, he’s ready to embrace the challenge of earning his spot.
“I just like Howard Payne. It’s a great program and a great campus right in the middle of the state,” Martinez said. “It’s going to be hard and competitive. I’m looking forward to competing for a spot and just to play at a high level.”