The Palestine Wildcats watched Robert Alston, Elvin Calhoun and Dominique Milton sign their national letter of intents to play football on the collegiate level Wednesday.
Alston, who came to the Wildcats in the middle of his senior season, committed to Concordia University at Nebraska.
“I know it was tough on him to come into a new program that late,” head coach Lance Angel said. “He's such a great young man and we were fortunate to have him the few games we had with him. It's a big testament to him to step in during our fifth ball game and still be able to have this moment.”
Calhoun signed his letter of intent to play at Southern Arkansas University. He will see a familiar face during conference play with former Wildcat running back Jeremiah Davis at Henderson University.
Calhoun is has excelled in the classroom and on the field for Palestine. He's a National Honor Society student and a full-time employee at Brookshire's. So it was a surreal moment for him to finally reach the moment he had been waiting for.
Evermore because he got to do it with his grandparents next to him.
“I've been waiting for this day for a long time,” Calhoun said. “This is what my grandparents wanted me to be. I'm doing this for them.”
Milton finally made it official that he would be attending Trinity Valley Community College to play football. Milton, along with Calhoun, were was named to the Padilla Poll All-State Football Team.
Calhoun earned first-team defensive lineman after totaling 69 tackles, eight sacks, three quarterback hits and two forced fumbles.
Calhoun was also named All-District Defensive Lineman of the Year. The senior interior lineman finished with 31 tackles, five sacks and one fumble recovery through six district games.
Milton earned second team All-State Tight End. He also earned All-District first team Tight End.
“This moment feels good knowing that not many people get the opportunity to do something like this,” Milton said. “I was chosen to be. I'm determined and dedicated to make an impact at my new home.”
At 6'4, 255 pounds, Coach Angel is optimistic about Milton's chances to extend his playing career past the JUCO level.
“I've watched Dominique grow up so much in the last two years since we've been here,” Angel said. “I'm really proud of what he's done. He has the physical size and length you want. If he goes to work at Trinity Valley it's a good chance we could see him playing on TV one day.”
As special as this day was for Palestine's senior trio, it would be equally as special for Calhoun to see all of the players to follow get to enjoy the same opportunity as him.
“It starts in the classroom,” Calhoun said. “It doens't matter how good you are on the field if you don't put the work in inside the classroom. You have to put in the work to become great.”