There wasn’t a seat to be found inside Bullard High School’s Panther Gymnasium during the afternoon of Wednesday, March 1, as a host of family members, friends, and teammates were eye witnesses watching a total of four BHS athletes sign their letters of intent to take their talents to the next level.
Participating in the collegiate signing ceremony at BHS were senior quarterback/defensive back Tre Crayton and senior offensive/defensive lineman Derek Landrum, both signing to play football at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall; as well as senior pitcher Peyton Miller, selecting to play baseball at Panola Junior College in Carthage; and senior wide receiver/defensive back Joey Padrucco, signing to play football at Trinity University in San Antonio.
“These four young men are true and blue Panthers,” said Shannon Wilson, former Bullard ISD athletic director. “They’re just unselfish and they’re great teammates. They bring everything we want to instill in our athletes to the table. On the playing fields, they’ve each had tremendous careers. For them to be able to go on and represent Bullard will be fantastic.”
Crayton, the son of Andre Crayton Shimeka Boyd, said the atmosphere surrounding ETBU was key in his selection to sign with the Tigers football team.
“It felt pretty good to sign today,” said Crayton. “It’s always been a dream of mine since I was little. It’s like a dream come true. I was attracted to ETBU because of the beautiful campus and the environment around the campus. The football facilities are just amazing, as well.”
At BHS, Crayton has been involved athletically on the Panther football, basketball, and track and field teams. He’s also been a member of the BHS Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Spanish Club organizations.
While attending ETBU, Crayton plans to major in athletic training.
Also signing to play for ETBU at the ceremony was Landrum, son of John and Kelly Landrum, who described signing with the Tigers’ football team as a goal he has now accomplished.
“Ever since the fourth grade, it’s been a goal of mine to play college football,” said Landrum. “Now, It’s like a dream come true; it’s very surreal, but I’m very happy to be doing this. I went to ETBU and just fell in love with the campus. The coaches are very energetic. Just being there, I really felt that something good was about to happen, and I want to be a part of it.”
As a student at BHS, Landrum has participated in the Panther football, basketball, track and field, and powerlifting programs. He has also participated in the BHS Spanish Club and FCA organizations.
According to Landrum, he plans to major in kinesiology at ETBU.
Miller, the son of Brent and Angie Miller, selected to sign with the Palona Ponies to be able to work on his game at the junior college level, as well as have the opportunity to play with his brother.
“It’s very exciting to be here with all of my friends,” said Miller. “We’ve really shaped each other while having a great time during our high school careers. I chose to sign with Panola because it’s a great school and it’s close to home. It also gives me a chance to hone my skills at the junior college level, with the hopes of eventually going to a university and making a difference of a team at that level. Panola has a great pitching staff and it allows me to play one more year with my brother, Ty, who signed with Panola last year. We grew up playing baseball together, and I just want to finish with him.”
While attending Panola, Miller plans to major in nursing in hopes of becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist.
Padrucco, the son of Karen and Anthony Padrucco, said he chose to sign with the Trinity University Tigers football team after having been invited to a football camp, where his eyes were opened to the possibility of playing college football.
“I’m actually very excited for today,” said Padrucco. “I’m glad to be able to experience today with my other friends who are signing, as well as my friends, family and coaches who are here with me. I chose to play football for Trinity University because it’s a wonderful campus with great academics. It’s a small town college, but in a big city. Up until about my junior year, I didn’t think there was a chance for me to play at the next level, but once I was invited to Trinity’s football camp, I began thinking I might have the opportunity to play.”
While attending BHS, Padrucco has been involved with the National Honor Society and BHS Theater and One Act Play. Athletically, Padrucco is also a member of the varsity boys track and field team.
While attending Trinity University, Padrucco plans to major in either economics or environmental science.