Van Buren athletes sign national letters of intent to play baseball, basketball, and soccer

George "Clay" Mitchell
Press Argus-Courier

A quartet of Van Buren athletes signed national letters of intent during a ceremony at the high school's Fine Arts Center.

Luke Hughes

Sport: Baseball

High School: Van Buren

College: Carl Albert State College (Poteau, Okla.)

Position: Pitcher

Stat: Hughes had shortened season with the Van Buren baseball team due to an injury, but was 2-1 with just seven hits, 19 strikeouts, 10 walks, and two earned runs in 13 innings pitched.

Coach Luke Weatherford: "We really missed having him on the mound this year and we would probably have won more games. Carl Albert got lucky because I really feel like Luke's best days are ahead of him."

Chris Mendoza

Sport: Soccer

High School: Van Buren

College: Central Baptist College (Conway, Ark.)

Position: Goalkeeper

Stats: Mendoza has only allowed eight goals all season and Van Buren's soccer team has 13 shutouts this season. A three-year starter as keeper.

Coach Nathan Almond: "He plays with a confidence that has infected the rest of the team."

POINTER BECOMES RAZORBACK:Former Van Buren outfielder Landrey Wilkerson to play for Arkansas baseball

FRESHMAN BRINGS HOPE:Freshman Meghan Hutchison's production, attitude brings new hope to Van Buren girls soccer team

Sam Seegar

Sport: Baseball

High School: Van Buren

College: University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

Position: Infield (Utility)

Stats: Sam Seeger has a .250 Batting average with 12 RBIs and 21 runs scored. He also has a .971 fielding percentage

Coach Weatherford: "Having a kid like Sammy is really helpful because it allows me to move players around if we have to use another pitcher without changing the lineup."

Avery Shelly

Sport: Basketball

High School: Van Buren

College: Neosho Community College (Kansas)

Position: Point Guard.

Stats:Avery Shelly averaged seven points per game, 30% from the 3-point line, 81% free-throw shooting in her only season for Van Buren. Shelly played at Northside for two seasons.

Coach Michael Kinney: "She was the heart of our team. Avery had intensity like no other girl I've seen. She hustled everywhere she went and her desire to play at a high level inspired her teammates to play at that level as well."