BULLARD — A powerful quarterback whose touchdown strikes were matched only by his bruising runs; a dominant two-way lineman who marked the end of a prolific lineage; and a 145-pound freshman turned 290-pound force.
Bullard Brook Hill sent three more football players to the college ranks Thursday, with Will Weathers, Mason Dickey and Matthew Seamands signing National Letters of Intent at the Kyle Lake Athletic Center.
Weathers inked with Abilene Christian to play quarterback; Mason Dickey followed his two brothers into the collegiate ranks by signing with Fort Hays State; and Seamands' long hours in the weight room paid off with a scholarship to Southeastern Oklahoma State.
The trio joins former Guard football players at the next level including Tyler Baker (Washington State), Jeremey Chappelle (Mississippi State) and Heath Dickey (Georgetown).
"I'm just really proud of these guys," Brook Hill coach Terry Pirtle said. "They've been great for us."
Weathers came to Brook Hill from Whitehouse and beat out competition that included Pirtle's son, Travis, to eventually win the starting job behind center.
Weathers helped lead the Guard to their first football state championship in 2011. But he's quick to point out that guys like Dickey and Seamands were integral. During the title run, Brook Hill didn't allow a single sack all year.
"They've had my back in everything, whether it's on or off the field," said Weathers, who amassed more than 5,000 yards in two years at Brook Hill. "We wouldn't have won the state championship without those two guys."
Weathers was lured to Abilene Christian over other NCAA Division II schools because of the university's impeding transition to D-I Football Championship Subdivision. He's a part of the Wildcats' first D-I signing class as they prepare for the Southland Conference.
Weathers also has had family (grandparents and uncles) attend ACU and will be joined by classmate Kendall Kerns, a catcher who will play for the Wildcats baseball team.
"It's a big stress relief," Weathers said of signing. "I've had a lot of fun here. It's a good feeling knowing I've got a place to go, a lot of stress off my back, a lot of pressure off my family for sure."
Pressure from family is part of why Dickey is playing college football. He always wanted to go to a bigger school than his brothers Heath and Jared (Southern Arkansas), but is happy with the D-II Tigers, on par with the Muleriders but a step below the FCS Hoyas.
"It's everything I've worked for my past six, seven years all coming together in one day, getting to play at the next level," he said.
Dickey said FHSU, which went 5-6 last year, is on the rise in one of the top D-II conferences in the nation, the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association. Though he excelled on both sides of the line, Dickey will play guard for Fort Hays, located in Hays, Kan.
"I've always loved offense more than defense," Dickey said. "I don't know why, but it's fun. You get to block for somebody and you just get to straight up dominate somebody else."
Dickey, Seamands and the rest of the Guard line helped their team average 6.6 yards per rush in 2012.
That Seamands became an effective starter after entering the program as an undersized freshman was a testament to his work ethic and motivation from friend and teammate Grady Dennis.
Seamands said he felt at home at Southeastern, located in Durant, Okla., less than a four-hour drive away. The Savage Storm, who recruited 19 of their 23-man class from Texas, compete in the Great American Conference.
"It's a feeling that I never thought I'd ever get," Seamands said of signing. "It took a lot of work. I went to so much pain, so much sweat, so much blood to get here."
Pirtle said Seamands stands out as motivation to future Brook Hill players as proof that hard work can pay off.
"For me as a coach and our coaching staff, we know that we're never going to give up on a kid because of his size when he's in eighth or ninth grade thinking he can't turn into something that's going to be very valuable to the team," Pirtle said. "Because that's exactly what Matt did."