ARGYLE — For years, people in Argyle knew the class of 2014 was going to be special.
Then the Eagles won their first football state championship. On the heels of that accomplishment, five players signed national letters of intent to Football Bowl Subdivision schools on national signing day.
Argyle might need to a find another word to describe its graduating seniors.
Wide receiver Ian Sadler (Texas Tech), kicker Cole Hedlund (Arkansas), defensive back Connor Wilson (Texas Tech), linebacker Sam Sizelove (Kansas State) and defensive lineman Micah Capra (Air Force) are headed to FBS programs after leading the Eagles to the 3A Division II championship.
Argyle head coach Todd Rodgers said that not even in his wildest dreams did he anticipate having the signing class that he did Wednesday afternoon.
“They won a state championship and brought additional recognition to our community,” Rodgers said. “And for them to get the individual recognition today, for them to be signing with their respective universities, it brings even more national attention to what we were able to achieve this year.”
Sadler perhaps is the most heralded recruit of the five. The do-it-all wide receiver compiled 1,001 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns to tack on to his 665 receiving yards, 12 receiving touchdowns and three kick-return touchdowns.
A few years ago, he wasn’t even set on playing football.
“When I was kid, since I was playing soccer my whole life, I wanted to play professional soccer in Europe around this age,” Sadler said. “Obviously things changed.”
Hedlund was named a Parade All-America selection, adding to the many accolades he’s earned. The Arkansas-bound kicker set the national record for career field goals made (56), adding to the record for most field goals made in a season (25) he set as a sophomore.
Sizelove, Wilson and Capra helped anchor a strong defense that helped the Eagles finish the season with a 16-0 record.
Sizelove said that a long time ago he could saw his senior class being a prolific one.
“I’ve always kind of seen it coming ever since I was in middle school,” Sizelove said. “I was like, ‘We have so many great athletes. There’s no way we don’t have multiple guys going [Division I]. It ended up happening, and it was crazy. It’s been a great experience — all these guys working together to get those scholarships.”
Sizelove joined a few of his teammates Wednesday afternoon in the school’s main gym, as applause thundered down to the group for one of the final times.
“It’s definitely been a great experience,” Hedlund said. “I’ve enjoyed playing with a lot of my good friends and we’ve definitely made some great memories these past three years, but I’m just so thankful for this opportunity. It’s been a great ride.”