A trio of Crawford County athletes signed national letters of intent on Wednesday.
Van Buren defensive back Isaac Davis signed his letter to play for Arkansas Tech in Russellville. Van Buren discus and shot put standout Garrett Standifird signed to continue his athletic career at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock.
Alma offensive lineman Zach Henson signed a letter of intent with Ouachita Baptist University at Alma High School.
Davis, an all-state selection this past season for the Pointers, recorded 28 tackles – 17 solo and two for a loss – and had four fumble recoveries and one pass deflection.
“To be able to go to the next level is a real honor for me because it shows how my hard work has paid off,” Davis said, “and it shows all that I’ve been doing with my family and friends has paid off, that God’s been there to help me pull through.”
As for choosing Arkansas Tech, Davis, who will major in Criminology and hopes to become a forensic scientist, said, “I like the atmosphere. The coaches were very welcoming, they offer my major and everyone there on campus has been real welcoming to me, too. They’re very respectful and no one ever acted like they were entitled to anything.”
He added, “I really like (defensive coordinator) Coach (Charles) Burkes and what he’s preaching about. He doesn’t want to just help me in football, he wants to help me in life to become a better person.”
Standifird, who’s coming off a fourth-place finish in the Arkansas State Indoor Championships on Feb. 2, finished the 2018 track season in the shot put with a fifth-place finish at the 7A-West meet and 11th place finish at state. In the discus he placed eighth in the 7A-West. As a sophomore he won the discus at the Cyclone Relays and finished third at the conference meet and fifth at state.
“I love the sport I’m doing right now, I really do,” he said. “I’ve practiced it for a long time and I’ve always wanted to go to college and expand my knowledge where it comes to things like electronics. The fact that I get to do both is just a dream come true.”
Standifird said he was originally interested in the University of Arkansas until he heard UALR was interested in him.
“When I heard they were interested in me and mentioning me by name I went to visit their campus and loved it,” he said. “I loved the professors I met – super nice people. And there were just so many benefits to being a student athlete. They keep you accountable in everything they have you to do.”
Standifird plans on majoring in computer and electrical systems engineering.
Henson earned all-state and all-conference status. He was selected to play in this summers’ Arkansas High School Coaches Association All Star game.
“I really like the coaches, and how they are outside of football,” Henson said. “How they love God, and how their faith is. I love the environment up there.”
Henson is looking forward to reuniting with former Alma football standout Brayden Johnson.
“It’s always nice to know people who are there, so you can kind of settle in,” Henson said.
Last season Alma gained 3,236 yards on the ground (1,655 yards rushing and 1,581 yards passing). The offensive line gave up just 14 sacks.