HOWE — Howe senior Tanner Hartsfield has realized a childhood dream to continue his football career at the collegiate level.

The four-sport Bulldog standout inked his national letter of intent to play for the Hendrix Warriors last week.

Hartsfield has been a varsity performer all four years at Howe and an all-district selection in the last three. In 2016 he was named the district’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Hartsfield is undecided on his major at this point but his long-range plans are to become a coach.

After Hendrix offered and he took a visit to Conway, Arkansas, he was sold.

“It felt natural being in the city and around some of their players,” Hartsfield said. “It’s also nice knowing that I will be there around people that I know.”

Several Howe athletes have chosen Conway, with its three college campuses, as their next step.

Van Alstyne’s Levi Jones and Mason Adams committed to the Warriors earlier in the school year.

Hartsfield had an easy answer for what he would miss most about leaving Howe.

“Being around my friends that I’ve grown up with, the joking around in the locker room with the guys, and having Andrew (Griffin) there next to me on defense,” Hartsfield said. “We always challenged each other to see who could make the hardest hit.”

The Bulldogs had a lot of success during his four years on the team, which spanned 48 games.

After a 3-7 start om coach Zack Hudson’s first year at Howe, the Bulldogs reached the second round of the playoffs in 2014 and the third round in the past two seasons.

At the Howe Athletic Booster club banquet Hudson, when presenting the football MVP award to Hartsfield, said: “He’s one of those guys who you can’t take off the field because he makes his team so good while he’s out there.”

Playing both ways, Hartsfield only left the field during special teams situations and sometimes not at all.