Seven Bronco football players sign to play college football

Seven Zachary Bronco football players signed scholarship offers from universities on national signing day, Feb. 7.

Keyshawn Sullivan, Blake Anderson, Martel Fontenot, Trae Shropshire, Rodaren Alexander, John Burrell and Bailey Thomas were recognized by teammates, coaches, family, friends and other school officials at a signing ceremony held at the Broncos Gym where they made their commitments official by signing scholarships from their respective schools.

This group was partially responsible for leading the Broncos to four 5A semifinals games and winning two State 5A championships.

Head coach David Brewerton called the group "dear to my heart because they came in as freshmen my first year.”

These and the other Broncos seniors leave behind a football legacy at Zachary that will challenge future classes.

Sullivan, who played defensive line for the Broncos, signed with U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Brewerton referred to him as “the quiet monster that gets it done on the field and in the classroom.” He signed a certificate of commitment to attend West Point and will go through the U.S. Military Academy’s appointment process. Sullivan indicated that he chose Army because of the academic prestige and the personal development opportunities.

In Blake Anderson, the New Mexico Military Institute will be getting a 4-year starter at guard that consistently set the tempo and provided the physical attitude for the Bronco offense. Anderson was a composite All-state, All-Metro, and All-District selection in 2017. “The coaches at New Mexico Military are interested in my academic and athletic future,” Anderson said. Brewerton said Anderson has played the most football games in Zachary history.

Fontenot will take his punting and kicking skills that were crucial to the Broncos playoff and State title runs this year to Southern University. Fontenot signed previously during the early period in December. Fontenot was attracted to Southern because “it felt like home, and the coaches and players felt like family.” Fontenot was a composite All-State, All-Metro and All-District selection in 2017. Though his kicking was evident in his late game heroics at West Monroe and during other games this year, Brewerton noted that, “in 15 games this year, the punt team gave up a total of 9 total yards,” demonstrating the importance of Fontenot to the Broncos and the dual threat the Jaguars will have next year.

Shropshire and Alexander will take their talents to Blinn College. The Buccaneers were 6-4 last year and will be relying on Alexander to shore up the defense and Shropshire to provide the deep threat that he has provided for the Broncos for the past three seasons. Shropshire, whom Brewerton referred to as the “go-to guy with the highlight catches,” indicated that he was excited to continue playing at Blinn with Alexander.

Brewerton called Alexander “one of the smartest football players on the field that I have ever been around.”

Louisiana College will be getting a team leader in safety John Burrell. Brewerton described Burrell as “the ultimate team player that the younger players respect and look up to because he does things the right way.” Burrell said he selected the Wildcats because they are giving him a chance to extend his football career (he is expected to play in the defensive secondary) and to pursue a degree in physical therapy/sports medicine.

Bailey Thomas played football his last two years at Zachary and was initially a wide receiver. “A humble player and a great teammate,” Brewerton said. During the 2017 football season, Thomas was asked by the Broncos coaching staff to change positions and agreed to move to defensive end. At defensive end, he was critical to the state title run with his great pass rushing skills and overall speed. Thomas is projected to play defensive end at Mississippi College.

Bronco track teams compete in 'Last Chance Qualifier'

The Zachary boys and girls track teams competed in the “Last Chance Qualifier” at the Carl Maddox Field House on Feb. 3.

Top girls finishers included Orsciana Beard, with a first-place finish in the 60 hurdles with a time of 9.28 and a win in the triple jump with a leap of 38-03/4; and Kristian Jackson in the shot put with a throw of 41-2.

On the boys side, Sean Burrell had a first-place finish in the 60 hurdles with a time of 8.28, and the 4x400 relay team that consisted of Chandler Whitfield, Sean Burrell, Kermit Johnson and Kendall Cleveland finished second with a time of 3:30.86.

The State Championship Indoor meet will be held Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Carl Maddox Field House on the LSU campus.

Warren Brady covers sports for The Zachary Advocate & Plainsman. He can be contacted at zachary@theadvocate.com.