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Seniors sign for scholarships

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Stuart Viator and Mitchell Lee sign to play collegiate football.

Stuart Viator and Mitchell Lee sign to play collegiate football.

Isa Weizenegger

Isa Weizenegger

Stuart Viator and Mitchell Lee sign to play collegiate football.

Andrea Steward

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Most senior athletes only dream of continuing their football careers after high school, but for Mitchell Lee and Stuart Viator that dream is becoming a reality. Yesterday afternoon, Lee signed with Southeastern Louisiana University and Viator signed with Stephen F. Austin State University on football scholarships.

Viator said even though he talked to about five other colleges before signing, he ultimately chose SFA and will leave for Nacogdoches one week after graduation in May.

“The atmosphere up there during my official visit was great,” Viator said of his decision to choose SFA. “The campus is beautiful and the athletics department is exactly what I was looking for.”

This past season, Viator made First Team All-District and was also chosen to play on the All-Orange County Football team. He said some of his best memories from high school have been playing on Friday nights and making it to playoffs his junior and senior year.

Viator has also had a solid support system over the years, including Mike Denmon who has encouraged him to give his all during workouts and knows how to get the most out of him. He said he has also been encouraged by Caleb Harmon, who has spent countless hours with him making him faster. Viator is also thankful for his family for supporting him through all of his endeavors.

“They have encouraged me every step of the way,” Viator said. “They never let me quit.”

To prepare for college-level football, Viator has already begun working hard so his transition will be a little bit easier. He will work out with the team beginning June 8 through July 24 and practice with the Lumberjacks will begin on Aug. 1. Right now, he is staying busy finishing up his senior year.

“I work out twice a day, seven days a week, along with studying and keeping the best grades possible,” he said.

So far, Viator has met some of his Lumberjack Football teammates and said they were all excited that he was signing with SFA. He also said getting the chance to play college football is one of the greatest feelings he has ever had in his life.

“I’m looking forward to playing on ESPN3 every Saturday, making new friends and getting the chance to do something most high school athletes don’t,” Viator said.

Lee, another tight end for the Bears, will leave at the beginning of July to begin his workouts with the team at Southeastern Louisiana University. After talking to about five different universities, Lee said he chose SLU because of the town and the coaches.

He has already begun putting in work to get ready for the collegiate level of football and has been running and working out consistently. Lee has been named as the All-District tight-end for the past two years and was also chosen as the Orange Leader tight-end one year. This past season, he helped out the Bears by scoring a total of four touchdowns.

“Some of my best memories from playing high school football are playing under the lights with my best friends that I grew up with,” Lee said.

According to Lee, his father and head football coach Randy Crouch are two of his biggest inspirations because they convinced him to play football. He also said other family members and friends have supported him a great deal over the years.

Lee said he has already gotten the chance to meet some of his new teammates at SLU and said it was a good experience for him.

“They are cool,” he said. “We all just can’t wait to be playing together.”

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