WEBB CITY, Mo. — Five Webb City High School seniors made their respective college decisions official at a signing ceremony on Wednesday inside the Cardinal Dome.
Pryce Mason signed to compete in track and field at Missouri Southern, Nickhai Howard signed to play basketball at Labette Community College, Haven Stanley inked to play soccer at Evangel, Roger Carranco put pen to paper to wrestle at Central Missouri and Alex Johnson signed to play football at Westminster College.
A standout pole vaulter, Mason said he’s thrilled to join Missouri Southern’s always-strong track and field program.
“My best friend (Luke Brumit) is going there and everything pointed in that direction,” Mason said. “I like the coaches and I like the college, so it was kind of a no-brainer. I connected with Coach (Bryan) Schiding right off the bat. It’s going to be a new experience and I think I’m ready for it.”
A 5-foot-11 do-it-all point guard, Howard is heading to LCC in Parsons, Kansas, where he’ll be competing in one of the top juco basketball conferences in the nation.
“Coach (Jason) Hinson had a lot of confidence in my game and he can help me improve and go to the next level,” said Howard, who earned first team all-COC honors as a senior. “I’m very blessed to play college basketball. Not everybody gets the opportunity. I’m excited to see what happens. I’ve been watching the Jayhawk Conference for a while, so I’m excited to play in it.”
A forward, Stanley is currently playing a key role as the Webb City girls soccer team is putting together a stellar spring. She’ll continue her soccer career at Evangel.
“The coach (Bruce Deaton) reached out to me and I thought it was a really good opportunity,” Stanley said. “God led me to this decision and I’m really thankful for this opportunity. I’m really excited and honored that I’ll get to be among the select number of people who get to continue their athletic careers in college. I can’t wait. And I’m just very thankful for my coaches here at Webb City who have helped me get to where I am today.”
Carranco, who placed sixth at the Class 3 state tourney at 182 pounds, said UCM was a right fit due to both academics and athletics.
“They have the major in what I want to study (mathematics and actuarial science) and they gave me the opportunity to wrestle,” said Carranco, who went 30-10 as a senior. “It means a lot to be able to wrestle at the next level. I love wrestling and I love competing, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Carranco was also a key member of the Webb City football team.
A 6-1, 245-pound offensive lineman, Johnson noted getting an opportunity to continue his football career was too good to pass up.
With that, he’ll head to Fulton, Missouri, to play for the NCAA Division II Blue Jays.
“It just seemed like the best fit for me,” Johnson said. “The coaches were really inviting and I know they want to help me be the best football player I can be. I love football and wanted to keep playing the game, so this is a great opportunity. I’m excited to get going.”