NATIONAL SIGNING DAY:
Five War Eagles ink letters of intent
February 1, 2012
ROGERS Rogers Heritage football coach Perry Escalante beamed with pride as he watched five of his former players sign letters of intent Wednesday in a ceremony at the football complex to continue their athletic careers in college.
Two of the War Eagles will continue to be teammates as Luke Oldham and Jonathan James both signed with Avila University in Kansas City. Billy Couch signed with Henderson State, while Josh Henderson will play at the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kan. and Max Hotelling inked with Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo.
“We’ve got one at Pittsburg State. Arkansas has one of our kids, Arkansas Tech,” Escalante said. The word’s out and that’s good for the War Eagle program,” Escalante said. “We had four sign last year and one went Division I. That kind of put us on the map. We’re very proud of these guys.”
James said he and Oldham visited Avila on the same weekend, but really didn’t talk about going to Avila together.
“The biggest thing for me was I wanted a Christian education,” James said. “I chose between them and Harding.”
James and Oldham will also see Hotelling once a year since Central Methodist and Avila both compete in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.
Hotelling, an all-state and all-conference pick as a senior, chose a school where his family has quite a history. But he said that really played no part in his decision.
Hotelling’s father, Darren, played football at Central Methodist and his mother, Cathie, played softball there. In addition, they were married at a church on campus.
“That’s pretty cool, but I just feel like that’s where I needed to be,” Hotelling said.
Hotelling will play center at Central Methodist and he’s excited about their run-oriented offense.
Darren Hotelling, who serves as Heritage’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, said the choice was exciting for the whole family, but the decision was his son’s.
“The whole time we were thinking I wonder what he thinks about it, but we weren’t going to ask,” Darren Hotelling said. “But once he made the decision we were so pumped.”
The elder Hotelling said Max told him to two weeks ago after their second visit to Central Methodist to cancel planned visits to Ottawa University in Kansas and William Jewell.