Thursday, February 6, 2014
Deondre Baskett and Ty Yarbrough made history at Fox Creek High School.
The pair are the first football players to sign National Letters of Intent to play football from the school.
“It means a lot for the kids,” Russ Schneider, Fox Creek's athletic director and head football coach, said. “Deondre and Ty are two guys who have never been in trouble, they are the kids with the great grades and the good families. Ty has been with us two years and Deondre all four. To see them get a chance and for their parents to not have to pay for them to go to school is exciting. I'm excited for their families.”
Both Baskett and Yarbrough signed to play at Limestone College in the fall. Baskett will move from quarterback to wide receiver, while Yarbrough will focus on long-snapping for the Saints. Both expect to contribute immediately for the program, which is fielding its first competitive football team in the fall.
“That's what I wanted to play, that's what I like to play,” Baskett said. “I like to get my hands on the ball. I'm glad I'm getting to do it. Everybody is going to be a freshman, so the competition shouldn't be too much (to handle). I'm going to go in and do my best and do whatever I can to contribute. Hopefully (I'll start), I just want to work hard enough to get on the field.”
Yarbrough hopes to bring a small-school attitude and work ethic to Limestone.
“Coming from a small school, I want to make a big impact to show that anybody can do it,” he said. “(I picked Limestone) because it's smaller, you get a better one-on-one with everybody in the tight knit environment. It's got a great family atmosphere and there aren't a lot of distractions.”
The players, who are good friends, are going to room together and hope to work together to make Limestone a better team.
“Me and him are just alike, we both want to be successful” Baskett said. “We work together to get our team better and going off to college together is a blessing.”
“It means a lot, he'll have my back and I'll have his,” Yarbrough added. “We'll be able to ask questions and just be there for each other, since we won't know anybody else.”
According to Schneider, Limestone is getting two high-character players that can do it all on the football field..
“Limestone doesn't know what they're getting, as far as character of young men,” he said. “I don't think either one of them have even been written up for a tardy. I've never known of them to be in any kind of trouble. They're ‘yes sir, no sir' kids, quiet and humble. Deondre started at wide receiver for us during his 9th, 10th and half of his 11th grade year. He's got the best hands that I've ever coached. Ty, he didn't have one bad snap for us all year. As a football coach in high school your most nervous time is on 4th down when that kid is snapping the ball. That's a crucial position. He went up there (to tryout at Limestone) and did a good job. The coach told me that they normally look at 15 or 20 snaps (to evaluate a kid) but on the third one he knew.”
The two signings open the door for other players to sign and validate the program, according to Schneider.
“It's big for our program, we're heading in the right direction.”
T.J. Lundeen is a reporter for The Star. Follow him on Twitter @lundeentj for more updates.