Three local student-athletes signed college scholarships last week or the week before, inking their intent to play football or basketball at the next level.
Scott High graduate Mason Owens signed a football scholarship with Mount St. Joseph University, followed by fellow Scott graduate Lyndsey Summers and Oneida High graduate Kendyl West signing with Cleveland State Community College on the same day, Tuesday, June 9.
Owens excelled at receiver and defensive back for the Highlanders, providing steady senior leadership on a Scott High squad that battled injuries amid a fight for the Class 3A playoffs in 2019. He is the son of Vince and Carter Owens.
Mt. Saint Joseph, located in Cincinnati, is an NCAA Division III school competing in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Lions are coming off a 7-3 season that saw them start 6-0. They were 8-2 and won the Heartland conference in 2018. They’re coached by Tyler Hopperton, who is entering his third season.
Owens is not the first local player to sign with MSJ. Oneida’s Will Barnhart signed with the Lions out of high school, though he later transferred to University of the Cumberlands.
West exploded onto the Tennessee high school basketball scene as a junior in 2018-2019, earning all-state recognition and developing a reputation as a deadly 3-point threat as she helped lead Oneida to its first Class A state tournament appearance in more than a decade. As a senior, she was again named all-state, becoming the first Lady Indian to earn back-to-back all-state honors in more than 20 years. Oneida again advanced to the state tournament in 2020. She is the daughter of Marv West and Tressa and Skyler Walker.
Summers proved a versatile inside-outside threat for the Lady Highlanders over the past two seasons as a starter, after becoming a varsity contributor as a sophomore. She provided senior leadership on this year’s Lady Highlander team, which earned a regional berth for the third time in her four seasons with the program. She is the daughter of Jimmie and Windy Summers.
Cleveland State is coming off a 17-11 season that saw the Cougars advance to the second round of the TCCAA tournament before losing to Chattanooga State. One of their players, Britnay Gore, from Princess Margaret High School in the Caribbean, earned a scholarship at Penn State. The Cougars are coached by Evelyn Thompson, who is entering her fourth season. She was an All-American at Northeast Mississippi Community College in the 1980s, where she won a NJCAA national championship before moving on to Auburn, where she was named to the SEC all-tournament team while helping the Tigers twice win SEC tournament championships and make two Final Four appearances.
On the Cleveland State roster is Kyeisha Dalton, who played high school basketball at Fulton, in District 4-AA with the Lady Highlanders.
Both West and Summers were recruited to Cleveland State by Jake Wright, who spent two seasons as an assistant on Thompson’s staff before recently being named head coach at Scott High.