Four Rhea County High School (RCHS) Golden Eagle football players signed their national letter of intent on Friday, March 13, to play the sport they love at the collegiate level.
Family, friends, loved ones, teammates, coaches, administrators and pastors gathered in the RCHS commons area to show their support of the four college-bound athletes, which included quarterback Kyle Carr, running back/linebacker Bradley Goodwin, running back Jackson Langley and lineman Jacob Stringfellow.
Look for Langley and Stringfellow’s signing pictures and stories in upcoming editions of The Herald-News.
Prior to all four signees inking their letters on the proverbial dotted line, Eagle head football coach, Mark Pemberton, congratulated and commended the signees on their hard work in the classroom while at RCHS, and encouraged the remaining underclassmen to acknowledge what it takes to get to a signing day.
“One thing about these guys, and we tell you other players this all of the time, the higher the academics, the more doors it opens up,” said Pemberton to the underclassmen Eagle football players who were on hand at the signing. “[..] Do the job in the classroom. You can’t wait two years, then, decide all of a sudden try to find a path. You have to do it as a freshman all the way through.
“Academics opens more doors for athletic coaches,” continued Pemberton.
Kyle Carr – Tennessee Tech University
First year starter at the quarterback position, Carr, signed a Preferred Walk-On (PWO) agreement with Tennessee Tech University (TTU). Carr guided the 2019 RCHS Golden Eagles to the second round of the TSSAA playoffs, as he and his team posted an overall 9-3 record last fall.
For an excited and enthusiastic Carr about his opportunity, from an early age, Tennessee Tech has always been in the picture.
“I’m very excited [for the opportunity]. It was just like everything lined up like I wanted it to,” explained Carr on his decision to sign with TTU. “I’m going to my dream school, and I get to play football on top of that, which is cherry on the cake.
I’m going into Mechanical Engineering, and I’ve always had my heart set on engineering, ever since sixth grade, which is when I started thinking about what job I wanted to have,” continued Carr on his longtime career ambition.
Carr, whose eventual college goal is to earn an outright football scholarship and fight for the starting QB position someday, discussed what it means to him to extend his football career.
“I think if you’re playing football in college, it’s everybody’s dream to play in the NFL,” explained Carr. “But, with these four extra years [of football], I’m not going to take it as, I didn’t make it to that last step, I’m going to take it as, I have four more years to play the sport I love.
This is a dream come true for me, and I’m just excited and looking forward to my opportunity,” added Carr.
Carr stated his favorite moment on the football field happened this past season, on senior night. Carr said the “atmosphere was different.”
“I mean, you look at it, it could be your last time playing on that field, but then again, we played the game,” said Carr. “It wasn’t like that, everybody was more upbeat, and it was more of a fun game for us, and we ended up breaking the [single game] scoring record. I think that will definitely top my list.”
TTU is located in Cookeville, Tennessee, and competes in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC).
Bradley Goodwin – University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Goodwin signed a Preferred Walk-On (PWO) agreement with the University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC), and plans to be a pre-med student, with plans to continue his education at a medical school after UTC.
A standout linebacker and running back, Goodwin helped lead the Golden Eagles to the second round of the 2019 TSSAA playoffs, as he and his team posted an overall 9-3 record last fall. Along with playing in two postseason all-star games, Goodwin was named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association and the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association All-State Teams.
Goodwin is looking forward to his future academic and football opportunities.
“I’m really excited, honestly,” said Goodwin of his opportunity. “I can’t wait to get up there and get to work. I’m just really excited and it’s going to be a good deal.”
Goodwin stated his eventual goal is to be an orthopedic surgeon, specializing in knees and shoulders, so he can help athletes get back on the field of their respective sport. Goodwin added his own personal experience contributed to his career path decision.
“I’ve had to be in orthopedic a lot with my knee, and seeing how they do it, and seeing all the stuff, listening to them and talking to them about how they help people get back on the field, I feel like I can make a difference and help people out,” explained Goodwin of what initially sparked his career path decision.
Goodwin is also looking forward to the opportunity to extend his football-playing career as well.
“I can’t wait to get out there, and I’m really excited to get a shot,” said Goodwin. “Most people don’t get a shot to play Division I ball, and go out there and use all of the resources they have and to see how good you can be as a player.
I can’t wait to take advantage of all the opportunities that I’ve gotten, use all the resources and see how far I can go,” added Goodwin.
UTC is located in Chattanooga, and competes in the Southern Conference (SoCon).