Four Bixby Football Standouts Ink Letters
2.5.15 by Ron Holt
Investments of time, dedication and hard work paid dividends for four Bixby High football players who signed collegiate letters-of-intent Wednesday during a signing ceremony in BHS's multi-purpose building.

Signing football scholarship letters were defensive end Austin Grotts, defensive back/wide receiver Blake Cooper and defensive back/wide receiver Justin Williams, while linebacker Zach Reynolds signed a baseball letter.

Grotts signed with the University of Tulsa, Cooper inked with Central Missouri, Williams signed with Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Reynolds signed to play baseball at Connors State. All four played significant roles in the Spartans' charge to the Class 6A Division II State Championship this season.

"We're excited about these guys signing college scholarships. The best I can figure we have about $400,000 dollars of scholarship money that these guys are getting," said Loren Montgomery, the Spartans' head football coach. "The fact that we have players that want to finish in our program and continue on playing football is what it's all about.

"These guys are going to be great college players. It's important for our program for the younger guys to see these guys sign. We signed four today and will probably end up with five and maybe six signing."

Grotts, an all-state defensive end, drew attention from college recruiters with his dominating performances, especially in the win over Lawton in the state championship game. He had other offers but felt at home at Tulsa.

"As soon as I stepped on the Tulsa campus I knew I was going to get the best education possible," said Grotts. "It's a beautiful campus. There's no doubt that there's a lot of excitement around the program with the new coaching staff and I'm super excited to be a part of the program.

"We'll just see where my body takes me but I'll probably end up at defensive end or playing inside on the defensive line," he added.

Cooper, who battled back from an injury to play pivotal roles for Bixby this season, is also excited about his opportunity to play for Central Missouri, a Division II power.

"The school itself is phenomenal, academic wise and athletically," Cooper said. "It's exactly what I was looking for because there are only about 15,000 kids there.

"It offers great competition and should be a lot of fun. They are going to play me at corner and free safety. I'll miss playing receiver but I want to play in the secondary."

After exploring other options, Williams decided NEO was his best opportunity to advance his dream of playing Division I football.
"It came down to Abilene Christian and NEO. What I liked about NEO is that the coaches treated me like family. It's a good program and will be a good opportunity for me to improve my chances of going to a Division I school," Williams said.

"At NEO I'll be playing defensive back. This year was my first year of playing corner and I improved to the point I got looks from colleges. Another year of playing corner will help my chances to go on."

Reynolds, who plays catcher for the Spartan baseball team, is excited about his opportunity to play baseball for a powerhouse program like Connors State.

"I just liked everything about the program when I visited. I heard a lot of good things about Connors," said Reynolds, who is expected to play in the outfield in college. "I just had a good feeling about it and I'm excited about going there."