Bobcats will showcase talents in Belton, Marshall and Dallas
KERENS–Over the past semester, three Kerens High School senior students have accepted offers to continue their athletic abilities at Texas colleges.
Tyrone Bailey Jr., also known as “TJ,” signed a letter of intent April 29 to play basketball at Mountain View College in Dallas. Anna Combs was recruited to be part of the acrobatics/tumbling team at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton. A few weeks ago, TK Davis signed to play football at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall.
“I think I’ll be a good fit for next year and I’m excited,” said Bailey, who plans to major in kinesiology. As for the coaches at Mountain View, Bailey added, “They’re good people, they stay in church, as I do, and I think they’ll be a good asset to my life.”
Bailey’s father, Tyrone Sr., said he’s “very proud of (TJ) and knows he has a lot of work to do and I know he’s capable of doing it. As a parent, I couldn’t be more proud of him as he goes forward in his life and his career. Thank God for that.”
TJ’s mom, Inetta, said all the coaches were “personable and it wasn’t just about the team, it was one-on-one and what they could do to help (TJ) advance in his career.”
Augustus Moore, TJ’s Kerens basketball coach for the past two years, complimented TJ’s Christian upbringing and “great family.” Second-year coach Moore said he helped build TJ’s confidence and talent. “Coming into his senior year, we pushed him to be a leader and he stepped up to the plate,” all while being respectful, and “probably one of the best kids I’ve coached, discipline-wise.”
Moore also spoke about his son, TK Davis, who will play football at East Texas Baptist University next year after two successful sports seasons at Kerens High School, during which Moore was his football position coach in the defensive backfield, as well his basketball and track coach.
“It’s been a pleasure to coach (TK),” Moore said. “My taking a job here had a lot do with him, and what was best for my family. I’m just grateful for the opportunity that he’s going to have to go play college football on the next level.”
That time coaching TK allowed them to become closer, Coach Moore said. “I’m proud of him. The sky’s the limit… We’re still going to be in his corner and be his biggest supporters. It’s always a coach’s dream to coach his kid and see them go on to the next level.”
A future biology major, TK Davis said he liked the Marshall campus because “it’s not too big, not too small. It has that small-town vibe in a bigger place. And the religion there, it’s amazing.” TK said he has many family members in Marshall to help him acclimate to college life.
TK’s Kerens football coach, Terrell Harris, said Davis “brought a lot of energy and excitement to the program. His work ethic, if he continues on with that, you never know what he can do. One thing I always tell TK, you have that talent that you can’t teach. He can go as far as he wants to go with it as long as he continues to stay on path and keeps working hard.”
Anna Combs was recruited to be on the acrobatics/tumbling team at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton. The first time Combs visited the campus was as part of the Kerens High School cheer team, where she met the UMHB coach, Courtney Pate.
“I sent her a couple of my videos and she was excited and asked me to join the team that day,” Combs said. “It was shocking and I was very happy because I’ve never had that chance and didn’t think I could make it in a college sport, but it was like a dream come true and I immediately accepted.”
Combs initially plans to major in pre-physical therapy but will change that eventually to sports management, and is thankful for her Kerens ISD cheer coach, Cristy Foreman, for inspiring her to achieve. “She just continued to push me and I got the chance and I took it,’’ Combs said.
Foreman said it has been an “honor and privilege” to have coached Combs for the past six years. “Anna is the type of young lady and cheerleader that EVERY cheer coach dreams of having on their team but is seldom blessed with,” Foreman said. “She has shown such growth from the end of her sixth-grade year when she first tried out and made it onto one of my teams, to now as a true standout and role model as a senior cheerleader.”
Foreman said she wasn’t surprised that Anna was recruited by UMHB and “I have no doubt that she will do great things there. UMHB is blessed to have her just as I was. This is all just so bittersweet for me to have been a part of her growth as a cheerleader and to now see some of those skills from that growth propelling her into the next chapter of her life.”
“I will truly miss Anna Marie Combs as a cheerleader, athlete, friend and CHEER DAUGHTER and I wish her nothing but the best!” said Foreman, who further quoted Jeremiah 29:11.
“Declared the Lord, ‘For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’"