Oneida High School senior Houston West on Monday announced his intent to play football at Maryville College during a signing ceremony at the OHS Library.
West, a wide receiver and three-year starter on the OHS football team, was selected in January to the roster of the National Guard Border Bowl featuring high school football players from Tennessee and Kentucky.
At Maryville, West will be joining a program that finished 6-4 last season. After a 1-3 start, the Scots won five of their last six games.
In just his first season on the job, Maryville coach Mike Rader took a team picked to finish seventh in the USA South and led it to a conference co-championship.
While West is the only Scott native on the Maryville squad, he will find some familiar faces. Former Oliver Springs standout Garrett Miller will be a sophomore at Maryville next season, as will Greenback’s Brooks Talley.
“I think Maryville and Houston are going to be a good fit and I know Coach Rader is excited about having him,” Oneida coach Tony Lambert said.
Lambert said West’s opportunity to play at the collegiate level is an example of the OHS team’s hard work.
“Good things don’t just happen to one person,” he said. “They happen to all of us. When we do things the right way and work hard, we usually start seeing the fruits of it. We have other guys that are looking at some opportunities to play.”
West said family members who attend Maryville College helped influence his decision to choose the Scots. He reiterated Lambert’s statement that there are opportunities for football players at Oneida and in other small towns similar to Oneida.
“It may not be Division I, but there are opportunities for us,” West said.
At Maryville, West will join fellow Oneida graduates Alex Bond and Lecretia Robbins in the athletics program. Bond and Robbins are members of the Lady Scot basketball team, while former Oneida grad Donja Robbins will graduate from Maryville College this spring after four years as a member of the basketball team. Scott High graduates Brandon Crabtree and Shay Anderson are also basketball players at Maryville.