By DON WALLACE
News-Telegram Sports Editor
CUMBY — Three standout Trojan athletes signed Thursday to continue their athletic careers in college.
Dustin Heer, Chase Vaughan and Chanler Waters will concentrating on college athletics at three locations.
Heer will be attending Howard Payne University as a receiver in football. Chase Vaughan, a versatile baseball player who excelled at catcher, shortstop and pitcher, will be a member of the Pioneers playing for Crowley’s Ridge College in Paragould, Ark. While Waters is staying close to home having committed to run track and cross country at Texas A&M-Commerce University.
Tom Dracos, Cumby head football coach and athletic director, challenged the trio as they start the new chapter in their lives.
“Your commitment is just beginning, you are going to have to work even harder to be a success in college than you did in high school,” Dracos said.
The coach reminded the group of parents, friends and fans in attendance in the foyer of the library, that the student/athletes have beat the odds, just to get the chance to play sports in college.
“Only seven percent of high school students get to play at the next level. You should be proud of what they have accomplished.”
Dracos talked about Heer in glowing terms how the standout played not only football, but was a state qualifier in cross country, a regional qualifier in track and all-district in baseball. Heer was a team captain in football, rolling up 947 all-purpose yards on offense. He also scored while on the defense and special teams.
Dracos said, “Coming in to my first year in Cumby I was very lucky to have coached these young men. They worked hard every day and were willing to do whatever they possibly could to win. I know that they will be very successful at the next level.”
The coach added, “I am really excited that they are getting the opportunity to reach a goal and a dream they have had since they were in peewee. I look forward to getting to watch them at the next level.”
Waters also played several sports, but was a standout runner in track and cross country.
Waters won district and area in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter races. He also advanced to state in cross country.
Dracos said Waters was a kicker on the football team, but had the dedication to get up and run the next day at 5 a.m. even after coming back late from a game the previous night.
“Waters is pretty impressive, he lettered in basketball too,” Dracos said.
Vaughan, who played five sports, will be concentrating on baseball while attending college in Arkansas.
Vaughan hit .485 with two doubles, 11 RBIs and 19 runs scored. He was 3-1 with 23 strikeouts on the mound.
Vaughan also made all-district and was named Defensive Player of the Year for 2014.
“Chase was also our offensive MVP for our team this year,” said coach Scott Mabe. “He played catcher, shorstop and pitched and did an outstanding job in all three. He understands the game well and works really had to better himself. He will be an asset to his college team. I expect to hear great things from Chase.”
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