Ryan football

From left, Ryan athletes Ke’Ori Hicks, Ty Marsh and Jay Sheppard take a photo with football coach Dave Henigan during National Signing Day on Wednesday at Ryan.

Ty Marsh knew that wherever he went to play college football, he’d have a chance to play for a great program with excellent facilities.

Not many Division I programs out there can compete with paradise, though.

Marsh, the defensive MVP of last month’s Class 5A Division I state title game, caught everyone’s attention last week when he verbally committed to Hawaii. On Wednesday, he made his trip to Oahu official at a special National Signing Day ceremony inside the Ryan field house.

“I most definitely see myself as an island boy,” Marsh said with a laugh. “As soon as you walk outside the coach’s office, the field is right there, and it’s surrounded by palm trees and stuff. I’m thinking, ‘That’s clean.’ And then you look to the right, and there’s an even bigger stadium, and I’m like, ‘That’s unbelievable.’ We have nice facilities here, but you go out there, and it’s sunny every day.”

Ty Marsh

Ryan’s Ty Marsh is looking forward to playing for the University of Hawaii. “We have nice facilities here,” he said, “but you go out there, and it’s sunny every day.”

Marsh was one of three Ryan athletes to sign Wednesday, joining running back Ke’Ori Hicks (Texas A&M-Commerce) and defensive tackle Jay Sheppard (UT Permian Basin).

But Marsh may have taken the biggest recruiting gamble of the three. Originally pledged to Houston, he decommitted Dec. 10 and admitted that he questioned whether that was a good decision so late in the process. Clearly, everything worked out. The senior safety was on Hawaii’s radar within a matter of weeks and perhaps sealed his next opportunity with one particular play in the title game. Following a huge catch by Cedar Park receiver Josh Cameron, Marsh didn’t give up on the play and forced a fumble before Cameron could get into the end zone. Marsh also came away with the recovery, fueling an eventual 59-14 win.

“That play was one of the first things they mentioned when we spoke,” Marsh said.

Marsh had been making plays like that all year, finishing with 87 tackles, including 12 for loss, with 11 pass breakups, four fumble recoveries, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two defensive touchdowns. In the title game, he had six tackles and three pass breakups to go with a forced fumble, fumble recovery, interception and a blocked extra point.

“At the end of the day, it all paid off,” Marsh said. “We played for 26 weeks, and even long before that. Just to get here is amazing.”

Elsewhere around the Denton area, Guyer and Argyle each had 10 signees, while Braswell had seven and Denton four.

Guyer signing

Guyer High School student athletes sign their national letters of intent during National Signing Day on Wednesday.

Four members of the Wildcats football team, which advanced to the state semifinal for the second consecutive season, were celebrated at signing day ceremonies.

Dotun Olanipekun and Tyson Johnson each signed with East Central Oklahoma. Guyer’s kicker, Michael Mayfield, signed with UT Permian Basin, while Jaden Fugett inked with Evangel University.

The Lady Wildcats basketball team, which clinched at least a share of the district title for the third consecutive season on Tuesday night, was represented by Madelynn Hallmark. She signed with Jacksonville College.

Guyer's Madelynn Hallmark

Guyer basketball coach Aimee Kilgore, left, gives a speech about Jacksonville College signee Madelynn Hallmark during National Signing Day on Wednesday.

At Argyle, the Eagles had five members of its undefeated state championship football team sign with their respective colleges.

Quarterback CJ Rogers inked with Baylor, receiver Cole Kirkpatrick signed with Texas Tech and Cash Walker signed with Houston. Reece McCue signed with Oklahoma Baptist and Chase Bunnell signed with Arkansas Tech.

Argyle football

Argyle High School football players pose for a photo during National Signing Day events Wednesday.

Down the road at Braswell, the Bengals had five football players sign, highlighted by Ole Miss pledge Erick Cade. Quarterback Tristan McClary inked with Tarleton, while Jaylon Banks signed with UT Permian Basin. Braylen Butler and Dee Gafford will be attending Ouachita Baptist and Oklahoma Panhandle, respectively.

The Denton Broncos had two members of their football program sign, as Cole Hager inked with Buena Vista University and Ashton Davis with Southeastern Oklahoma State.

Denton’s Caden Greanead signed with Vernon Junior College in baseball, and the Lady Broncos’ Emily Williamson signed with Howard Payne in girls soccer.

See the full list of Denton-area signees below.

Guyer

Football

Dotun Olanipekun, East Central Oklahoma University

Tyson Johnson, East Central Oklahoma University

Michael Mayfield, UT Permian Basin

Jaden Fugett, Evangel University

Volleyball

Vicki Johnson, New Mexico Military Institute

Girls basketball

Madelynn Hallmark, Jacksonville College

Girls soccer

Launa Torrez, Southwestern Oklahoma University

Swimming

Thomas Morley, Ouachita Baptist

Water polo

Kayleigh Carter, California Baptist

Olivia Dimka, Macalester College

Ryan

Football

Ty Marsh, Hawaii

Ke’Ori Hicks, Texas A&M-Commerce

Jay Sheppard, UT Permian Basin

Denton

Football

Cole Hager, Buena Vista University

Ashton Davis, Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Baseball

Caden Greanead, Vernon Junior College

Girls soccer

Emily Williamson, Howard Payne

Braswell

Football

Erick Cade, Ole Miss

Tristan McClary, Tarleton State

Jaylon Banks, UT Permian Basin

Braylen Butler, Ouachita Baptist

Dee Gafford, Oklahoma Panhandle

Baseball

Nic Bennett, University of the Ozarks

Boys soccer

Rennato Ramos, Southern Nazarene University

Argyle

Football

CJ Rogers, Baylor

Cole Kirkpatrick, Texas Tech

Cash Walker, Houston

Reece McCue, Oklahoma Baptist

Chase Bunnell, Arkansas Tech

Girls soccer

Rebecca O’Neal, Lawrence University

Golf

Blake Kelly, Kentucky Wesleyan College

Softball

Lilly Coleman, Tyler Junior College

Blyth Wickstrum, Oklahoma Wesleyan University

Tennis

Wade Paquin, Mary Hardin-Baylor

Aubrey

Football

Cody Newton, Missouri Valley College

Aubrey's Cody Newton

Aubrey senior Cody Newton signed with Missouri Valley College on Wednesday.

Sanger

Football

Tallyn Welborn, Butler Junior College

Girls basketball

Chloe Malone, Ranger College

Softball

Mercedes Ibarra, Southwestern College

Cross country

Korbin Shumate, NCTC

Krum

Football

Trey Cook, Oklahoma Baptist

Ponder

Football

Chase Taylor, Hendrix College

Pilot Point

Football

Max Hollar, Missouri Valley College

Jay Cox, Cisco College

Jacob Scott, Lincoln University

REECE WADDELL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @ReeceWaddell15.

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