FORSAN — A pair of Forsan student-athletes — P.J. Horton and Brendan Roman — signed letters of intent to attend Arlington Baptist College on Friday. Roman will be on the private, four-year school's track and field squad, while Horton plans to run track and cross country.
Both seniors are excited to take their athletic ability to the collegiate level.
“I chose Arlington Baptist because they told me I would run. I won't have to redshirt. I will be running my freshmen year and the coaches told me if I'm in the top seven on the team, I will go to nationals.”
Horton also has an even bigger dream he hopes the college can help him prepare for — a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team.
“That is my long-term goal,” Horton, who has qualified and participated in four district championships, two regional championships and a state championship during his tenure at Forsan. “I figure running at the college level will bring me one step closer to my goal.”
Horton plans to major in coaching with a minor in Bible and education with hopes of becoming a youth minister in the future.
FHS Head Cross Country Coach Robert Hillger believes Horton has what it takes to succeed in Arlington.
“P.J. Is a great kid and a hard worker,” Hillger said. “He does everything we ask him to do. He's just a top-notch kid. He's been a big part of our success. I wish I could keep him for one more year. He's been an integral part of our team. I think he will be one of those in the top seven.”
Horton thanked Hillger and his parents for pushing him to become a better athlete.
Roman is also a well-rounded athlete. A three-time regional competitor, his events include the 100-meter dash and the 100-meter relay and he has earned All-District nods for his work on the football field as well.
It was the coaching staff which led Roman to choose ABC as the next stop in his academic and athletic career.
“I liked what they offered, Roman said. “The coach is a real good guy, we've already built a good relationship. What he had to offer is what I've been looking for.”
Forsan Head Track Coach Gary Huckabee praised Roman's work ethic.
“He's always been a hard worker,” Huckabee said of Roman, who along with Horton plans to attain a coaching degree and the education needed to serve as a youth minister. “He's a true competitor and he doesn't back down from any challenge. I think he will be a great fit at Arlington and it will give him a chance to become an even stronger athlete. He excels in track. I don't think he's even hit his top-end speed yet.”
Roman was equally appreciative of his time with Huckabee.
“(Coach Huckabee) has helped me a lot,” Roman added. “And I thank my parents for keeping me humble. I hope the younger guys can look up to me as a leader. I've always tried to build people up.”