Marble Falls High School celebrated three of its student-athletes on National Signing Day, Feb. 3.
High jumper Kason O’Riley will compete at the University of Oklahoma, runner Bailey Goggans at Texas A&M University, and baseball outfielder Luke Nail at Blinn College in Brenham.
KASON O’RILEY & BAILEY GOGGANS, TRACK
O’Riley and Goggans, who are both ranked near the top of their events in the state, signed and faxed their letters during the early signing period in November, but Marble Falls Independent School District officials wanted to honor their hard work and dedication during the Wednesday ceremony.
Since signing, the two spent their winters differently.
O’Riley has been a fixture on the basketball court, where he’s averaging 20 points a game for the Mustangs. His private high jumping coach has been sending him workouts he does once basketball practices end.
“I work out a couple of times a week,” he said.
Head track coach Chris Schrader summed up O’Riley in one word: tough.
“He’s done an amazing job on the basketball team,” he said. “He’s still jumping out of his shirt when he comes out (to the high jump pit).”
Meanwhile, Goggans has been running in indoor meets across the country. Most recently, she was on a world record-setting 4×800-meter relay team at the VA Showcase in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Since then, Goggans has been resting her body – sort of. Though she hasn’t been on the track, she is swimming two times a day, lifting weights, and is a member of a bicycle spin class.
“It’s fun and very intense,” she said.
Schrader noted that Goggans’ accomplishments — three-time Class 5A state champion in the 400 and 800 meters — speak for themselves.
“What do you say about somebody who can outrace just about everybody on your team,” he said. “Bailey is rare and is once-in-a-lifetime kid. She isn’t just talented; she works her guts out. She’s an amazing athlete, and she deserves every accolade she’s earned.”
The track-and-field season starts with the Cavalier Relays on Feb. 19-20 at Lake Travis High School, 3324 RR 620 South in Austin.
The Mustang Relays are March 19 at Mustang Stadium, 2101 Mustang Drive in Marble Falls.
LUKE NAIL, BASEBALL
Nail said signing with Blinn was easy because it felt like home.
“They were the first school to recruit me,” he said. “It felt right to go there. There’s something about that first school and first opportunity.”
Blinn is a two-year school, so Nail plans to work on his skills with the aim of earning a scholarship to a four-year university. He said he’s always wanted to be a college athlete and has worked diligently to get there despite the obstacles.
“Not giving up on the dream is what drives me,” he said. “I like to play and started playing well in the summer. I really fell in love with it. I wanted to pursue it as a college athlete and maybe one day a career.”
Nail plans to be a business major.
Head baseball coach Tyler Porter, who is entering his second season at the helm, said his first task heading into the 2020 season was observing the skills of each of his players and determining who could help the varsity immediately.
“We found out quick that (Nail) is good,” he said. “You get to find your guys. It became evident he was one of our guys. No one is going to outwork him. He asked me if the batting cages are going to be open after the signing ceremony. That’s who he is and that’s why he is signing with one of the best junior colleges in the nation.”
Athletics Director Rick Hoover wasn’t surprised that Nail was fulfilling his goal of playing on the next level.
“He was a leader, he took charge no matter if it was football or baseball,” he said. “We’re really proud of Luke. He’s grown up to be a great young man. We’re very happy he’s been a Mustang for so long.”
The Mustangs welcome Fredericksburg for an 11 a.m. scrimmage Saturday, Feb. 6, at Scearce Baseball Field, 2101 Mustang Drive in Marble Falls.