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SIGNING DAY: Three Porter Spartans officially sign D-I for basketball

February 1, 2017 GMT

PORTER - It was a pretty remarkable day for Porter High School.

Led by three NCAA Division I-bound boys basketball players, Porter had 14 student-athlete total sign National Letters of Intent Wednesday morning in the community room at Texan Drive Stadium.

It was a special morning for Porter, a school that opened in seven years ago.

“We are very excited,” Porter football coach and athletic coordinator Jim Holley said. “We have 14 young men and women that are signing to play at the next level. That’s very rare and very unique. We couldn’t be more proud of these kids. It’s a direction reflected of their hard work and dedication.”

The tallest guys in the room were twins Deion and Sean Rhea, both headed to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi along with Reece Spencer, who is headed to Houston Baptist to play basketball.

After transferring, the Rheas joined the Spartans in early January and the team has reeled off seven straight wins and are on the cusp of the first playoff berth in program history.

Porter fought to keep its heads above ground while waiting for its reinforcements.

“We were still good,” Spencer said. “But losing those games, we just had to stay tough because we knew they were coming. We had been practicing, so we already had that chemistry together.”

Porter basketball coach Tobin Reid couldn’t have been more proud.

“I’m thrilled that they get to continue their education,” he said. “They will be able to continue their passion of playing basketball at the next level.”

Reid thought that the Rheas and Spencer were going to fit in well at their schools.

“I think all three of them will be a success a their colleges,” Reid said. “The teams that recruited them are going to thoroughly enjoy them. I just wish them the best in the world. I thank them for what they’ve given us at Porter High School in basketball.”

Spencer verbally committed early to the Huskies. Participating in the Signing Day ceremony was a dream come true.

“It’s been an awesome experience,” Spencer said. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. Even I committed early, I’ve been waiting for this day to sign in front of everybody.”

Spencer felt the dedication and love of Houston Baptist showed him and wanted to show it back.

“First of all, the coaches their have been so good to me,” Spencer said. “They offered to me first. It was kind of a thing where they wanted me bad and they offered me first.”

Porter also had four football players, coming off the first winning season in school history, sign.

Quarterback Jake Hall is headed to East Texas Baptist University. Linebacker Tyler Crochet, a first-team All-District selection, will join Hall there.

Wide receiver Shane Carney, a first-team All-District and second-team All-County member will continue on to Trinity Valley Community College. Nathan Ralph will play both football and baseball at Coast Guard Academy.

“It’s been amazing,” Holley said. “To see four of our guys signing is a big honor. My only regret is I wish we had more time with them. One year doesn’t seem like enough.”

Holley is hoping the returning players to his program see that college football is possible.

“They’ve got their teammates here watching,” Holley said. “They came here to support them. Back at school, everyone knows about it. It’s something for these players to look up to also.”

Also signing for Porter were baseball players Cole Godkin (Centenary College) and Drew Large (East Texas Baptist). Large was a first-team All-District outfielder last year while Godkin was an honorable mention pitcher.

The Lady Spartans had two softball signees in Anna McFarlane (Laredo Community College) and Faith Lee (Northeast Texas Community College). McFarlane was a first-team All-District selection as a junior.

Porter had an NCAA Division I soccer signee in Kimberly Rodriguez, who’s heading to play Big 12 ball at Oklahoma State. Rodrigeuz was a first-team All-District selection as a junior. Delaney Thomas signed to played at the University of Manchester in England.

Distance runner Rebecca Gonzalez signed with Sam Houston State.