Signing Day

Athletes+who+signed+%28from+left+to+right%29+Arturo+Lagunas%2C+Jackson+Hawes%2C+Bronson+Olevao%2C+Kaufusi+Pakofe%2C+and+Caden+Hilborn.
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Signing Day

Athletes who signed (from left to right) Arturo Lagunas, Jackson Hawes, Bronson Olevao, Kaufusi Pakofe, and Caden Hilborn.

Athletes who signed (from left to right) Arturo Lagunas, Jackson Hawes, Bronson Olevao, Kaufusi Pakofe, and Caden Hilborn.

Athletes who signed (from left to right) Arturo Lagunas, Jackson Hawes, Bronson Olevao, Kaufusi Pakofe, and Caden Hilborn.

Athletes who signed (from left to right) Arturo Lagunas, Jackson Hawes, Bronson Olevao, Kaufusi Pakofe, and Caden Hilborn.

Will Olsen, Sports Editor

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Thursday, February 7th was an important day for a few seniors on the Highland football team. It was a day that the five players will remember forever, the day they signed their letters of intent to play college football. Highland High has been known to have a great program having many of their players go on to the next level of playing and this year was no disappointment as they had five seniors signing.

The five seniors who signed were Arturo Lagunas, Jackson Hawes, Bronson Olevao, Kaufusi Pakofe, and Caden Hilborn. These players are spreading across the country as every one of them signed at a different school.

Arturo Lagunas signed with Southern Virginia University. Lagunas played on the defensive line and battled with injuries during the year, but he was able to overcome that to earn this opportunity.

“It means a lot because only 3% of high school students go on to play college football,” Lagunas said. “I’m really grateful for this opportunity, and I would like to give a shout out to the coaches and the team.”

Jackson Hawes signed with Yale University. Hawes played as a defensive end and as a wide receiver on the offensive side of the ball.

“It is special to move on,” Hawes said. ”But this school, this program, these coaches and these player will always have an important place in my heart.”

Bronson Olevao signed with Utah State University. Olevao played mainly as a safety at the beginning of the season but then transitioned to also being the starting quarterback for the second half of the year.

“Honestly I didn’t know that I was going to get a scholarship I have just been so blessed,” Olevao said. “I have great guys behind me my teammates and my coaches who supported me and I am so happy right now and excited to be an Aggie.”

Kaufusi Pakofe signed with Weber State University. Pakofe played in the middle of the defensive line and helped anchor one of the best defensive lines in the state.

“This means a lot to me and not just me and my family,” Pakofe said. “But this means a lot for group of boys that we put effort into.”

Caden Hilborn signed with the University of Hawaii. Hilborn was also an integral part of this very successful defensive line.

“Ever since I was little playing little league it has been absolutely fantastic to come up through this program it is one of the best in the state,” Hilborn said. “I feel like it has prepared for what is coming next.”

Having a program comes from players and coaches working together and being able to find a perfect balance. Having multiple players sign with colleges is a big deal for High school programs because it shows the others on the team where they want to be senior year.

“Right now 90% of the guys would raise their hand and say this is where I want to be next year” Coach Benson said. “I want to go on and play at the next level.”

The success of a few of these senior helps future players to get motivated because they want to be the ones signing the papers. As a coach and a teacher all that you can do is hope that your players will buy in to your principles and get to the best place that they can be.

“I’m proud that I was able to coach them,” Benson said. “I’m proud that they have stuck through it to now say that they will take what they have learned to other places.”

After years of hard work this day has shown these players what they were working towards the whole time. As these players go on to the next part of their football careers they will always have their past knowledge and experiences from high school to help them.

 

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