VAN ALSTYNE — A pair of Van Alstyne football standouts finalized the necessary paperwork to continue their gridiron careers at Hendrix College on Tuesday morning in the high school library.
Both Levi Jones and Mason Adams received superlative awards when the District 5-3A (I) all-district teams were recognized. Jones was named the Offensive Player of the Year and Adams was selected as the Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Van Alstyne head coach Mikeal Miller had high praise for Jones, an undersized running back who has led the Panthers in rushing the past two seasons.
“He’s the hardest working player that’s come through our program here, an unbelievable work ethic and a leader for our team,” Miller said.
Jones, a standout track athlete as well, was Miller’s workhorse this past season.
“He has tremendous speed and he took that God-given talent and worked hard to get every ounce of his potential both on and off the field,” Miller said.
Jones will study Health Sciences at Hendrix, and hopes to become a surgical physicians assistant.
“I loved the atmosphere at Hendrix, and the town of Conway. There are three colleges there and I felt right at home when I visited,” Jones said.
The running back also had interest from Austin College, Rhodes College and Southeastern Oklahoma State University as well.
Adams, who played defensive end for Van Alstyne this past season, was impressed with the facilities and the coaches at Hendrix.
“They were upfront with me when I visited and I really felt connected,” Adams said.
Adams plans academically are to pursue a masters in business administration. In addition to Hendrix, he was contacted by Austin College.
“Mason was a late bloomer on the football field, and he really came on strong in his senior season,” Miller said. “Earning defensive lineman of the year in this district is quite an honor, and it’s one he really deserved.”
Adams was the team’s third-leading tackler in the 2016 season, but according to Miller, taking on offensive linemen to make a path for linebackers was one of his greatest strengths.
Hendrix College is an NCAA Division III institution, playing in the Southern Athletic Association. The Warriors finished the 2016 season with a 7-3 record.