Signing day hits the Miss-Lou

Published 12:03 am Thursday, February 5, 2015

NATCHEZ — With an auditorium full of Natchez High School seniors, Sidney Davis and John Ferguson unveiled their football future by drawing their college’s hat from a bag.

Ferguson pulled out a Copiah-Lincoln Community College hat and Davis followed with a Southwest Mississippi Community College one.

“I’m taking my talents to Southwest,” said Davis as he pulled the bill down over his eyes.

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Melvin Pete, who gave the two seniors some advice as to how to reveal their school choices in fashion, hopes these are the first two of a long list of Natchez signees he’ll coach.

“It’s great any time you get guys to further their education,” Pete said. “It’s great for not only our family, but their family. This is a day you want your kids to be a part of, and hopefully in the future, we’ll have more participating at Natchez High.”

Before Ferguson and Davis donned the caps of their future schools, Adams County Christian School seniors Lester Wells and Trey Fleming made their college decisions official by signing the dotted line. Wells signed his letter of intent to play for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, while Fleming decommitted from Arkansas State to sign with Arkansas Tech. Fleming’s decision stemmed from his brother, R.J. Fleming, working out a deal to become Arkansas Tech’s wide receivers coach in the future.

“He’s probably going to play ball in Europe, but when he comes back, he’ll be coaching me,” Fleming said. “It’ll be just like being back at home.”

Teammate Torrey Smith decided against the junior college route, and chose to walk-on at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

“I just felt that a university would be best for me,” Smith said. “I just love the Cajun culture, and that football program is on the rise. So that was my dream school.”

Softball player Brook Runnels got in on the signing action Wednesday, as well, when she officially signed to pitch for Hinds Community College next season.

“I’m doing a (veterinary) program, so I had to pick a junior college,” Runnels said. “I couldn’t imagine softball ending after senior year.”

Across the river, Ferriday standouts Shannon Morales, Allen Cummings and Dontrell Domino each signed their letter of intent Wednesday morning. Morales made it official with Grambling State, while Cummings and Domino chose to follow previous Ferriday prospects to Louisiana College, where Ferriday’s own Stanley Smith is serving as the linebackers coach.

“We’ve developed a pipeline with Louisiana College,” said Cummings, who coached Richard Jefferson, Jarvis Brooks, Lee Quinn and Keiwuan Miles before each went on to play for Louisiana College. “It’s such a good thing to have a hometown guy coaching, who can give these kids opportunities.”

Vidalia’s Johnny Anderson will try to walk-on at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.

Centreville’s Casey Haygood will join Davis at Southwestern. Haygood was talking to Southern Miss, but ultimately established a strong bond with Southwest coaches.

“I got to like them a lot,” Haygood said. “They want me to come in and play quarterback.”

Franklin County’s Michael White signed to play for Pearl River Community College and Danzel Allen will play alongside Wells at Mississippi Gulf Coast.