Friends and family gathered on Wednesday, April 27 to witness 11 Branson High School athletes officially sign their National Letter of Intent (NLI) to play college athletics. The athletes extended the list of college commits from Branson’s senior class who signed on NLI day in November. 

The celebration was primarily spring sport athletes including seven different teams. 

Hayes Stark has been a major contributor for the Pirates’ varsity tennis team as the No. 2 singles player and on the No. 2 doubles team. Hayes will continue to play tennis for John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. 

The Pirate football team added two seniors to their college alumni group with running back David Hadaller signing to play at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri and wide receiver Cooper Saxton signed to play at Evangel University.

Two Pirate softball players also signed their NLI’s Wednesday including Langley Miller who will attend Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas and Peyton Bonsey who will attend Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. 

The Pirates’ strong baseball program has helped three players continue their careers in college. Shortstop Lance Strahan will stay close to home next year and play for College of the Ozarks. Pitcher and third baseman Carter Jenkins will play for State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Missouri, and catcher Heath Cole will play for Evangel University. 

All-District and COC Conference player Brayan Barboza signed to play soccer at North Arkansas College in Harrison, Arkansas. 

Versatile Ella-Mae-Kirkland has represented the Pirates on the varsity volleyball team as a middle hitter and a standout thrower in the shotput and discus for the track team. Kirkland will continue both sports next year for Evangel University. 


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