For a few fortunate football players, National Signing Day marks an important milestone — boys become men.

That happened last week for Zachary’s Khari Lowe and Northeast’s Darryl Adams, who signed national letters of intent to play college football.

Lowe, a 6-foot-2-inch, 204-pound free safety, signed his letter of intent with Howard University in Washington D.C., and Adams, a 6-foot-2-inch, 175-pound quarterback and defensive back, signed with Nicholls State University in Thibodaux.

Lowe is projected to play strong safety for the Bison, which won their final four games last season to finish 5-7 and 3-5 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Howard is coached by Gary “Flea” Harrell and is expected to contend for the MEAC title in 2015.

“I’m thankful to my coaches and my teammates, my family and to God; I thank everyone,” Lowe told the assembled crowd. He said he was impressed by his official visit to Howard. “It’s a really nice campus, but it was really cold,” said Lowe, who plans to study chemical engineering.

Lowe was the only one of 25 seniors on the District 4-5A winning Broncos to sign a letter of intent on signing day.

ZHS coach David Brewerton was pleased for Lowe.

“This is a great day for our program and a great day for Khari to be signing a scholarship,” said Brewerton, whose team finished 14-2 in his first season including a playoff loss to eventual champion Acadiana in the semifinals. “This is great for him and his family; he represents Zachary very well.”

Adams suffered a broken fibula scoring on a 65-yard play in the third week of the 2014 season. Up to that point, he was projected as one of the top recruits from the Baton Rouge area.

Adams was able to return for Northeast’s loss to eventual state champion Many in the Class 2A semifinals.

“I’m really excited about signing with Nicholls,” said Adams, who is projected to play defensive back for the Colonels. “I still think I could’ve played my senior year, but I was happy to get an offer anyway. I’m looking forward to being there and playing more football.”

Adams plans to study business management in Thibodaux.

The Colonels are coming off an 0-12 season, and play in the Southland Conference. They recently hired Tim Rebowe as head coach.

“It’s OK to want to better your lives through football, but the goal is to get that sheet of paper, your diploma,” said Northeast coach David Masterson. “My guys know, and I always stress that the priorities should be: God, family, school, and then football. Darryl is a great kid and will do well, as long as he keeps his priorities straight.”

ZHS sprinter O’Connor stands out at ‘Last Chance Qualifier’

Zachary’s Janie O’Connor continued her dazzling indoor track season at last week’s “Last Chance Qualifier” at LSU. In preliminary heats, the sophomore sprinter notched a 56.90 in the 400 meters, which ranks among the top 15 times in the nation.

Earlier, O’Connell won her heat in the 60-meter dash in 7.69.

A possible showdown with Episcopal star Rachel Misher didn’t materialize because Zachary coach Chris Carrier opted to rest O’Connor in preparation for the LHSAA Indoor Championships on Feb. 21.

Bronco wrestlers come in fifth at city meet at Brusly

The Bronco wrestlers earned 139 points, enough to finish fifth at last week’s City Wrestling tournament at Brusly. Catholic High won the meet with 245 1/2 points followed by St. Amant (168), Live Oak (148 1/2), Brusly (147 1/2), then ZHS.

Two Zachary wrestlers were defeated in first-place matches. Junior Sam Johnson lost 2-0 to Dutchtown’s Brandon Cowell in the 147-pound division. Junior Kennan Tate was edged 3-2 by East Ascension’s Austin Guedry at 197 pounds.

In third-place battles, Bronco seniors Chris London won his 287-pound match against Brusly’s Ja’vonte Wheeler 2-1 on a tie-breaker, and Brice Ortego pinned East Ascension’s Tyler Joyeux in 3:35 at 140 pounds. Senior Nick Wallis lost 6-3 to St. Michael’s Logan Knox at 172 pounds .

Next up for the ZHS squad is the LHSAA state meet Feb. 20-21 at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.

Send your sports news, photos and stats to Howard Arceneaux at harceneaux@the