Several high school seniors from the area signed letters of intent Wednesday as part of National Signing Day.
That list includes Phillipsburg’s Kirk Coomes and Plainville’s Hayden Gillum, who signed letters to walk on for Kansas State University.
Coomes turned in a stellar senior season for the Phillipsburg Panthers, who finished 12-1 with a loss to Marysville in the 3A sub-state championship game.
Coomes had 1,188 yards on the ground with 19 touchdowns, also recording three receptions for touchdowns for a total of 105 yards. Coomes was a three-year starter for Phillipsburg, and had 50 tackles in his senior season after switching positions for his final campaign. Coomes also made visits to several Ivy League schools as well as Fort Hays State University before making the decision to sign with the Wildcats.
Gillum helped Plainville back to the 2-1A sub-state title game, where it lost to eventual champion Smith Center. Gillum, most often an offensive lineman, also played out of the backfield a little in his senior season.
He had 44 offensive touches for 308 rushing yards and three touchdowns, but his biggest impact arguably was on defense. Gillum recorded 68 tackles, 35 of which were solo tackles and he recorded three fumbles.
Also joining the Wildcats is Goodland senior Levi Archer. Goodland finished 2-7, but Archer had one of the most productive seasons in the state. He finished with 1,630 passing yards and 15 touchdowns to just six interceptions for the Cowboys, adding 706 rushing yards and 11 scores as the team’s rushing leader and only back with more than 200 yards.
From Smith Center, seniors Avery Hawkins and Brett Meyer joined the NAIA ranks, signing with Bethel College and Baker University, respectively. Hawkins was Smith Center’s top tackler on a dominant defense with 102 tackles, including 16 for loss. Meyer, who became Smith Center’s career receiving leader this season, was used little as a receiver in the wishbone attack, but was productive. The 6-foot-4, 190 pounder caught 24 passes for 412 yards and six scores.
From Norton, senior Tevin Petrie inked his letter to join Butler County Community College.
Petrie, who joins teammate Jace Ruder, who already is in Chapel Hill with the University of North Carolina, was a key component in the Bluejays’ rushing game last fall.
Petrie led the team with 1,282 rushing yards and 15 scores, averaging 128.2 on the ground per game. He also had two interceptions on defense.