Four Wampus Cats commit to colleges

by Sonja J. Keith

Four seniors on the Conway High Wampus Cat Football Team will be taking their game to the next level.

Family and friends as well as CHS faculty and students were on hand Wednesday afternoon at James Clark Auditorium as the four signed a national letter of intent to play football in college.

The players and the colleges:

Jeff Anderson – University of Central Arkansas.
Bryton Booher – Arkansas Tech University.
Brandon Cox – Arkansas State University.
Brannon Kotch – Ouachita Baptist University.

CHS Head Football Coach Clint Ashcraft welcomed those in attendance. “There are a lot of people who go into getting them to this day,” he said in introducing Anderson who addressed the crowd on behalf of all the players.

“We want to thank everybody who was a part of this process,” Anderson said. “We couldn’t do it alone.”

Anderson said that he and his Wampus Cat “brothers” would continue their legacy as they leave high school and begin their college football careers. “Once a brother, always a brother.”

Ashcraft noted that 17 CHS players have signed national letters of intent in the last four years to play college football and 14 are still playing. He reminded the four players that what they do going forward would have an impact on the younger players at Conway High, many in attendance at the ceremony. He said a good work ethic at college would make coaches more inclined to return to Conway High to recruit other players.

“There are some guys who would like to be where you are,” he said.

Ashcraft introduced each player and shared his thoughts and some highlights of their Wampus Cat careers:

Anderson – “I have been very impressed with what he was able to do and produced on the field,” he said, adding that Anderson’s work ethic has been impressive.

Last year, he rushed for 1,680 yards and recorded 15 touchdowns.

A two-year letterman, Anderson received All State and All Conference honors. He has a 3.2 GPA and scored a 23 on the ACT. “That’s a big reason he’s going to be signing today with UCA,” Ashcraft said of the player’s academic performance.

Booher – “It has truly been a joy to coach him,” said Ashcraft, adding that he has a “great” sense of humor, which has been particularly helpful at times.

A two-year starter, Booher has a 2.9 GPA and scored a 26 on the ACT.

Cox – A three-year letterman, he had 117 receptions for 1,939 yards and 14 receiving touchdowns. He has earned All State and All Conference honors.

“Brandon has had a phenomenal career here,” Ashcraft said, describing him as a play maker. He particularly has been impressed with his understanding of the game – knowing not only what his role is on offensive plays but other players as well. “He knew the offense in and out.”

He has a GPA of 3.3 and scored 22 on the ACT.

Kotch – “He has been a joy to coach,” Ashcraft said, describing him as a “very physical player” and a “skill player in a lineman’s body.”

Kotch will represent Conway in the All Star game later this year. “He has had an outstanding career and is an outstanding player.”

He has a 3.6 GPA and scored 25 on the ACT.

In sharing each player’s academic successes, Ashcraft pointed to the importance of performing in the classroom as well as on the football field for the underclassmen in the audience. He said all four were “good young men” who were committed to the football team and were impressive – both on and off the field.