|Fox, Miranda, and Jones sign college letters of intent|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
May 19, 2005 - Three Sulphur Springs soccer players enjoyed their senior seasons so much this year that they couldn't imagine not continuing after high school, so earlier this week the trio announced where they would be playing soccer collegiately.
John Fox will attend East Texas Baptist University, David Miranda will play for Dallas Baptist University, and Wilson Jones has committed to the University of the Ozarks.
All three will receive academic scholarships.
"John and David were Co-Defensive MVPs of the district, and they were both great leaders," said SSHS head coach Andy Holt. "Wilson really stepped it up this year and turned into not a good soccer player but a great soccer player.
"Their leadership, on and off the field, rubbed off on all the other kids, and they set a great example. John and David are both top 10 percent of their classes, so they've set the bar pretty high."
Fox and Jones were the team's captains and were named the Wildcat Co-MVPs after the season. Miranda and Fox, meanwhile, earned District 13-4A Co-Defensive Players of the year as the backbone of a unit that allowed just 1/2 goal per game.
The three all signed letters of intent following the Wildcats' 20-win season and district championship.
Miranda, the son of Amadeo and Naomi Miranda, decided on DBU after considering the University of Texas. The deciding factors were being able to play soccer and the Christian atmosphere.
Miranda's father is pastor of the Spanish-speaking First Baptist Church in Sulphur Springs, and the son will be studying Christian ministries as well.
"I guess after the playoff game this year, I knew I would miss the whole soccer environment. I knew it would be a good experience if I played in college," Miranda said. "I wanted to keep my mind focused and make a decision.
"I guess the Christian environment and what I am going to major in was influenced by that."
Fox, the son of Lonnie and Tracie Fox, is also going to a Baptist university, this one located in Marshall.
He said the deciding factors were being to play soccer and the financial package that was put together. ETBU is a NCAA Division III school that doesn't give athletic scholarships, but can attract scholar-athletes with academic grants.
"They came and actually recruited me, and they put together a real good financial package," Fox said. "They have a good academic reputation and a good business school, which is what I plan to major in. But, the main thing was the soccer team.
"It's something I always wanted to do. The longer the season went on my senior year, the more I thought I was really going to miss it. "
Jones settled on the University of the Ozarks, in Clarksville, Ark., because of the small campus (800 students) and warm atmosphere.
"I always wanted to continue playing soccer after my senior year. At the start of the soccer season, I wanted to try out somewhere and find a place to play," said Jones, the son of Charles and Judy Jones.
He will receive a Commitment to Excellence Scholarship and an Achievement Scholarship to attend Ozarks.
Ozarks and ETBU both play in the American Southwest Conference, so Jones and Fox could find themselves facing each other. DBU plays in the National Christian College Athletic Association.
"The colleges I've talked to, they're looking for those kids who do it both academically and on the field," Holt said. "That way, they're not worrying about their kids. They're dependable, and that's what they're looking for.
"If they don't have the perseverance and dedication, they're not going to make it. That's what the colleges are looking for. These three guys are dependable and a have a work ethic."