On the even of a football playoff game Friday afternoon, Conway High celebrated baseball.
There was a lot to celebrate.
Six Wampus Cat baseball players with various colleges, the most in the 30-year history of the program during the early signing period for next year.
They were: Mitch Jones, UA-Fort Smith; Cade Jones, Northwestern (La.) State; Evan Wilson, Harding; Conner Williams, Southern Arkansas; Kyle Alexander, Ouachita Baptist University; Adam Winter, University of the Ozarks.
In categorizing the significance the seniors have meant to the program, Conway baseball coach Noel Boucher told the story of a sophomore, Truman Hanley, who recently had major sugery.
"As soon as he came out of surgery into recovery, Truman didn’t say that he wanted to go riding in his car, or go to some activity or anything you would normally expect," Boucher said. "His biggest thing, the first thing he told me, was I want to be able to go to the signing ceremony and see those seniors sign."
He was there.
"That’s one special thing about this group. They were teammates," Boucher said. "They take our younger players under their wings and tell them how we do things, what is expected. They make them comfortable so we can have the best team we can have."
The seniors have a combined grade-point average of 3.49.
"They do it in the classroom and on the field," Boucher said. "That’s what you have to do to make yourself sellable as a college baseball player nowadays."
Before the group made their commitments public and officials, Boucher continued to lather them with virtues.
"Another great thing about these players is they are baseball guys. That means they come early, work hard and stay late and have been consistent in that over their entire careers.
"These are leaders. They are not the holler-type guys who will beat their chests and say ‘look at me!’ They lead by example and their work ethic. In today’s world, people want athletes who can do the academic work and also be people they can trust and count on on the field and all of these players are like that."
The signings bring to total to 133 players who have signed college scholarship for baseball during the 30-year tenure of Boucher and assistant Barry Lueders.