Six Leander athletes commit to play in college

Marissa Porras playing soccer at Colorado State, Alex Hensley to play football at Lewis and Clark College


Alex Hensley has never seen trees so big. Marissa Porras fell in love with the Mountains. 

Hensley will be playing football at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon and Porras will play soccer at Colorado State next year. 

They’re joined by basketball players Kassadie Sanders (Mary Hardin-Baylor) and Allyssa McByers (Webster University), soccer player Madison Mallach (St. Edward’s University) and softball player Emily Walton (Avila University) in signing to continue their athletic careers in college at Leander on Wednesday. 

“I’ve dreamed about (playing in college) since I was little so it’s a dream come true,” Hensley said. “I’ll remember the boys and all the friends I’ve made here.”

Sanders said it was always her goal to play for the Crusaders, while Leander girls’ basketball coach Kiara Marshall praised McByers for her tenacity on the court and willingness to d whatever asked of her.

Walton will join her sister on the softball team at Avila University in Kansas City. 

Mallach is a three-year captain for the Lady Lions soccer team and was first-team All-District last season. She will join a trio of former LISD soccer players already on the St. Edward’s women’s soccer roster.

Porras said she was recruited after she participated in a showcase in Las Vegas. The school emailed her and invited her to come to campus, she went and the rest is history. 

After taking a break from high school soccer last year to participate on the club team, Porras returned to the Lady Lions for her senior year. 

“Senior year, my last year and I really wanted to help the program,” she said. “My friends really convinced me to (come back). I’ve learned self discipline and patience from the sport and it’s improved my skills.”

Both of the said the recruiting process was a long and stressful road and things picked up in the last couple of months. 

“I like the atmosphere,” Hensley said of his new school. “It’s just a really nice place to live. At first, it was slow and tiring and I didn’t really expect anything from it. Once I got my first offer, they just kept coming and coming.”