West Point has four sign LOIs; Oak Hill's Collins to EMCC


James Bailey Dispatch Sports Correspondent



WEST POINT -- The West Point High School football team was well represented Wednesday on National Signing Day. 


Four Green Wave players signed letters of intent to take their skills and talents to the next level. 


West Point football coach Chris Chambless spoke eCollins to EMCCnthusiastically about his players and the direction of Green Wave football. 


"We want to build relationships," Chambless said. 


This involves reaching out into the community as well as establishing long-lasting relationships with area colleges. 


It has paid off. 


West Point ended its 2008 season 8-3 and advanced to the Region 4, Division 4A playoffs. 


Wednesday''s signees played an integral role in last year''s success. 


West Point players Gabe Rupert, Curtis Hall, and Quincy Lane signed to play the 2009 season with East Mississippi Community College in Scooba. 


Middle linebacker Rupert has been impressed with the EMCC coaching staff''s commitment to academics and athletics. 


"I like EMCC because coach (Buddy Stephens) stresses books and getting your education," Rupert said. "Each position is competitive. The players there work hard, and I want to compete for a position." 


Chambless describes Rupert as a team leader and a hard hitter who made big plays last year for the Green Wave. 


"He will continue to contribute both in the classroom and on the football field," Chambless said. 


Hall will join the Lions'' receiving ranks. 


"I feel good since it was my first year coming out," Hall said. "I''ll have to go out and compete for the team (EMCC) and will play wide receiver. I will know some of the players and that will help out." 


Hall played only one year for West Point, but Chambless was impressed with his effort. 


"He has hands of glue and is a speedster," Chambless said. "He will fit in well at EMCC and the offense they run." 


EMCC will gain an aggressive pass-rusher in Lane. He will compete for a defensive end spot. 


"The coaches at EMCC are about books and ball," Lane said. "They stress education. They said my pass rushing skills would be used. I plan to work hard, lift weights in the off season and be ready." 


Lane sat out his junior year recovering from shoulder surgery. Chambless believes he can make an immediate impact at EMCC. 


"Quincy had a lot of big tackles for us," Chambless said. "He''s the type player that teams would run away from him. He also got quite a few sacks for us." 


Wide receiver Jordan Ruth will travel all the way to Oskaloosa, Iowa, signed with William Penn University. 


"I know a couple of players at William Penn," Ruth said. "I will play mainly receiver. But I may play some different positions. They run a wing-T and a spread. I want to contribute to the team and will do anything help them." 


Chambless acknowledged Ruth''s work ethic and willingness to adapt to the needs of the team. 


"Jordan played special teams and made some big catches," Chambless said. "He played wherever we need him and he was a good utility man." 


Oak Hill''s Collins signs with EMCC 


Oak Hill Academy''s Walt Collins said the opportunity to play for a championship-caliber football team influenced his decision Wednesday to sign a letter of intent with East Mississippi Community College. 


At EMCC, Collins will compete for the long-snapper position on special teams. 


"I really like the coaches," Collins said. "They had a good team this year, a championship team. It seemed they wanted me to be a part of it. They think I can help them, and I think I can help them out." 


Collins played offensive line, defense, and long-snapper last season for the Raiders. 


Oak Hill football coach Leroy Gregg states that Collins set high standards for himself and his teammates. 


"Walt was one of our leaders on the practice field, in the dressing room, and in the weight room," Gregg said. "He helped push the other players and set a good example. 


"Any time one of your own can go off to the next level and sign a scholarship and make a contribution to a really good football team, it is encouraging," Gregg said.



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