A trio of Rouse football players will represent the Raiders in college.
Center Zach Pelt will play at Hardin-Simmons University, running back Trevor Provencher is headed to Doane University in Nebraska and kicker Jacob Zepeda is headed to Texas A&M Commerce after signing day on Wednesday afternoon.
“I wasn’t really worried about getting recruited during the season,” Pelt said. “I just wanted to make the best decision for me and go through my family and not make any rash decision. I think I ended up with a good choice.”
Pelt was a first-team All-District center last season and one of the leaders on the offensive line, one of the strengths of a team that made it to the playoffs for the second time in the last four years.
Hardin-Simmons finished last season 9-2 overall with its only regular-season loss to eventual DIII finalists Mary Hardin-Baylor. The Cowboys made it to the first round of the playoffs, losing to Linfield.
“I learned so many life lessons from my coaches at Rouse,” Pelt said. “The biggest one is probably to never stop believing. Just never get too high or low. Every summer we had our strength and conditioning program and that’s when we just came together as a team.”
Both Provencher and Zepeda are on the Raiders’ boys soccer team. Rouse head soccer coach Darrell Knight was on hand to take a few photos with the athletes that play the ‘other football’ as well.
Provencher said he chose Doane because it had the best combination of academics and facilities and he’s aiming to become a physical therapist.
Last season, Provencher ran for 183 yards and a touchdown and caught a pair of passes for 24 yards and one score.
“Rouse is properly the most encouraging school in Texas,” Provencher said. “There’s always so much support no matter if you’re in AP classes or people cheering you on in sports. I’m going to hope to get playing time, but off the field is what really matters.”
He went to five different kicking camps over the summer, including one at Virginia Tech and another at A&M Commerce before he eventually committed to the Lions.
Zepeda hit 30 of 36 extra points and had a season-long field goal of 41 yards en route to being named to the all-district honorable mention list.
“(The recruiting process for kickers is) pretty much the same thing, it’s just a little bit delayed,” Zepeda said. “They’re looking for the same thing as a receiver or a defensive back. If you have it, you have it. I like Commerce because they care about the academics more than the football.”