The weather postponed a lot of parties at area high schools on Wednesday, the NCAA's National Letter of Intent Signing Day. Instead of pomp and circumstance, most got a parking lot full of snow instead.
West Side had a great day as the Cougars had seven football players commit to play college football. Plus, two 2011 graduates also put their name on the paper for D-I offers.
But Mother Nature stopped the festivities.
West Side coach Jason Johnson said he spoke to many of the college coaches and they all told him to gather the paperwork on Tuesday night so he could fax it all in on time.
"I was at our school at 7:30 a.m.," Johnson said.
His son, JonVea', signed at Toledo. His nephew, Lonnie, signed at Western Michigan. Western planned to have a big announcement on a Detroit radio station, Johnson said, so he had to have Lonnie's paperwork in early.
Other current Cougars moving on are Avery Nash (DePauw), Charles Butler (Wabash), Marcus Carter (Kentucky Christian), Anthony Carter (Kentucky Christian) and Jaquan Ross (Hutchinson Junior College).
Also, 2011 West Side grads Jonathan Black (Hampton) and Antonio Smothers (Arizona) also joined the D-I club.
"Many years ago someone took a chance on me and that changed my life," said Jason Johnson, who played in the NFL. "So I am very proud of the kids in our program who did it in the classroom and on the football field to make their dreams come alive."
JonVea' Johnson spoke in a similar fashion.
"The snow didn't hurt anything because I've never made a decision this big," JonVea' said. "I don't know if a class has ever had this many college commits before. It's really exciting. I'm going to finish off the basketball season, get ready for track and then get my mind prepared for college."
One big story Wednesday was Andrean quarterback Matt DeSomer, The Times Offensive Player of the Year, signing to play football at Southern Illinois. DeSomer leaned toward playing baseball, 59ers coach Phil Mason had said, but the Class 3A state champion decided to play football with Merrillville's Ryan Neal.
Like West Side's party, Andrean's was postponed as well.
The other big winners in the area were Lake Central's Gelen Robinson, who will play at Purdue and E.C. Central's Martavius Carter, who will play at Northern Illinois. Andrean's Tylor Petkovich will play at Illinois State.