It was a day Darren Stanley had dreamed about for years.
But as he prepared to sign a Letter of Intent (LOI) to attend Dartmouth University, the Conway wide receiver couldn’t help but feel a little pressure.
“This is a weird feeling,” he said. “I never pictured there would be so many eyes on me.”
Fortunately he was not alone in that sentiment, sharing it with fellow senior standouts in quarterback Peyton Derrick and linebacker Jonah Booth, the three of them making their verbal commitments official during National Signing Day activities Wednesday morning.
Each of them were key cogs for the Tigers this past season, contributing to them winning two playoff games and advancing to the Lower State 5A semifinal round. Often sharing their team’s success with the community they represent, Derrick said it was only right that the group did the same on such a grand occasion.
“I got a lot of pride out of everyone showing up,” said Derrick, who signed to play at Appalachian State. “These last four years at Conway have been great, and I’m ready to take it to the next level.”
Said Stanley: “It was great to see that those who cared show up … it’s also great to see how many we influenced.”
Holding a bevy of passing records at the school, Derrick verbally committed to play for the Mountaineers a year ago. One of the Tiger quarterback’s favorite targets during his tenure at the school, Stanley pledged in December to attend Dartmouth.
Booth’s commitment to Limestone, however, came a tad closer to signing day. Such late timing makes it no less special, though, as he is eager to take on the challenge that is college football.
“Big relief … it’s been a long time coming. A long, long process,” he said. “Just getting it over with is a big relief.”
More importantly, the trio leaves with an assortment of life lessons, none more poignant than one often deriving from Conway football coach Chuck Jordan — “Forget it, and drive on.”
“That’s going to be a big thing the next four years,” Derrick said. “Being coachable, I’ve learned the past four years that Coach Jordan is going to coach you, he’s going to yell at you, but you have to take it. I’m going to use that coachability I learned from Coach Jordan on the next level.”