Categorized | Baseball, Basketball, News, Sports

Burnet athletes Marissa Escamilla, Dalton Harned sign letters of intent

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

Burnet High School senior Marissa Escamilla signs her National Letter of Intent on Nov. 10 to play basketball for Tarleton State University. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Burnet High School senior Marissa Escamilla signs her National Letter of Intent on Nov. 10 to play basketball for Tarleton State University. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

BURNET — Two Burnet High School seniors fulfilled childhood dreams to play collegiate sports Nov. 10 when they signed National Letters of Intent.

Marissa Escamilla will play basketball for Tarleton State University, while Dalton Harned will be a pitcher for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor baseball team.

Escamilla said the Stephenville school’s environment is why she chose to be a TexAnn.

“It’s a fun community,” she said. “When I went to visit, I fell in love with the university and the girls. It made me feel at home.”

The Stephenville coaches liked her ability to play all but one position — point guard — on the court.

“They told me I have a lot of room for development,” Escamilla said. “(TSU head coach Misty Wilson) wants to develop me into a better player.”

The three-sport athlete, who averaged 24 points and 12 rebounds a contest last season for the Lady Dawgs, had scholarship offers for volleyball and track and field, but she chose to play basketball only because it is her favorite.

“Basketball is my outlet,” she said. “It helps me focus. When I’m struggling, I go to basketball.”

The daughter of Laura Escamilla and Mark Escamilla will major in biology to become a dental hygienist.

Burnet High School head girls basketball coach Rick Gates noted the feat of signing to play on the next level.

“This is a milestone accomplishment,” he said. “We’re excited for her and her family. I’m sure she’s going to represent her family, this high school, and this community well as she becomes a TexAnn.”

Escamilla believes she’s well-suited to learn a new system, noting she’s playing for her third basketball coach in four years at Burnet High School.

“Keep thriving and adjusting,” she said. “It helps me get a better understanding of the game because of different coaching and their IQ.”

Burnet High School senior Dalton Harned is all smiles before he signs his National Letter of Intent on Nov. 10 to pitch for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor baseball team. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Burnet High School senior Dalton Harned is all smiles before he signs his National Letter of Intent on Nov. 10 to pitch for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor baseball team. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Harned, who played select baseball for Marucci Elite, said the Belton university was the first to reach out to him, which prompted him to take a hard look at the program.

“I got to know the coaches on a personal level,” he said. “They really emphasized a Christian setting. The campus itself is amazing; it’s up-to-date.”

The right-handed pitcher throws an 85-mph fastball.

His favorite part of pitching?

“You can control the pace of the game,” he said. “I feel, personally, (baseball is) one of the more time-demanding sports and takes a long period of time to reach your highest potential.”

The son of Tonya and Coley Harned will major in biology with plans to become an orthopedic assistant.

Burnet High School head baseball coach Russell Houston said the signing ceremony represents many years of hard work for Harned.

“It’s a culmination, not just the last four years, but for Dalton, since he was six or seven years old,” Houston said. “Mom and Dad came to every single game and every single practice.”

Harned said he has learned a lot about the sport as a Bulldog that will help him on the next level.

“There’s an emphasis on great coaching and striving every day to get better,” Harned said. “(The Burnet team is) a close-knit group and everyone has everyone’s back.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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