KHS Student Athletes Sign to Compete at the Next Level – Part I


36 student athletes across Humble ISD signed letters of intent to participate in college athletics on November 9, 2022 . Photo Credit: By Public Communications

Just over 7% of high school student athletes (1 in 14) advance on to play at the next level in college. That percentage goes down to less than 2% who play at NCAA Division I schools. As you can see, the odds are slim for most high school students. 

Kingwood High School had several student athletes commit to compete in the NCAA this fall.

We were able to connect with some of the athletes to learn what kept them going on the journey to college sports and hear what advice they would give to students and peers coming up behind them in their sports. 

“36 student athletes across Humble ISD signed letters of intent to participate in college athletics on November 9, 2022. KHS celebrated these eight students above along with more to come in the spring of 2023.”

In this article, we highlight the journeys of some of Kingwood’s student athletes as we celebrate each of them making it to that coveted next level of play.

Emma Montes – McNeese State University – Volleyball

“My family kept me going to keep pursuing volleyball all the way up to the collegiate level. I started out playing because my big sister used to play in high school and one of my cousins played college ball for a little bit. Now I can say that I am the first D1 athlete in my family and I owe it all to them.

The best advice I can give to student athletes coming after me is to find an accountability partner. Whether they’re a teammate, a coach, or a family member, it’s important to have someone who can push you to do your best. When you don’t feel like going to practice or you feel like giving up, that person can help remind you of how much you love the game you play and help to keep you focused.” – Emma Montes


Joshua Pelfrey – University of Texas at Tyler – Baseball

“Sports have always been a part of my life but there was a time around middle school when I wanted to stop playing baseball. At first, I kept going because of my family and how much it means to them that I play these sports but after it was my friends that I met through sports that kept pushing me to pursue my sports. The friendships I’ve made through sports are ones that I will keep for a lifetime. My advice toward the lower classmen is to cherish each moment with your teammates whether that’s on the field or off the field because the 4 years of high school went by in the blink of an eye. You don’t wanna have any regrets when you leave that field for that last time.” – Josh Pelfrey

Tara Wolocko – University of Minnesota – Softball

“I would definitely say something that kept me going every day was the idea of getting to prove all the people wrong who told me my goals were “too big” or “unrealistic”. The people I’ve met through the sport have also played a huge role in my dedication throughout the years. As fun as it is to achieve personal success, it’s that much better to share those experiences with your best friends and teammates who all want it as much as you do. Not only did my teammates in my summer ball teams help me along the way, but the girls at Kingwood who I’ve known for over half my life have been by my side every step of the way and have shaped me into the person I am today. Similar to my teammates, my family and more specifically my dad have always set a very high bar when it comes to expectations and without their undivided support and encouragement I would never be where I am today.” – Tara Wolocko

Jenna Carter – Texas Tech University – Track

“What kept me working towards this goal for four years were the people around me.The cross country program at Kingwood is known for its success and that is thanks to the people.The coaches are very knowledgeable and passionate about the sport.Both Coach Dye and Coach Dorris put countless hours in researching and planning workouts and spend their weekends ,that could be with family , with the team instead.They provide each athlete with infinite knowledge and support.Without their guidance I would not have been what the runner I am today.I take each lesson they give me to heart.They also truly believe in me and that inspires me to rise up to their expectations and be my best.Advice I would give to future cross country runners would be to not waste time and to give it your all starting freshman year.Running isn’t a sport about talent it’s a sport about heart.Those who are willing to put in the time and effort will always come out on top.” – Jenna Carter

Meredith Schmitt – University of Texas at San Antonio 

“What kept me going is trying to make my family proud and how much I love the sport. In a way softball kept me going and it’s been great having something to work towards every day. Some advice I would give to the girls behind me is to always remember why u started playing in the first place and keep your love for the game the reason why you work hard” – Meredith Schmitt

Brendan Studdert – Texas A&M University – Swim

“What kept me going all this time was the constant positive and competitive environment that I have enjoyed being a part of swim since I was little. I would tell future mustangs is to find people that you enjoy being around and who encourage you to be at your best every time.”- Brendan Studdert


Natalie Westwood – Lehigh University – Soccer

“I love the game.  I’ve been kicking around since I was three and it’s the sport I watch and follow most, both live and on TV.  I even wrote my college essay about the team my family supports.  At the beginning of high school and throughout, I had mixed feelings about continuing.  Playing both club and school requires a lot of time and travel and sacrifice. You have to balance your school commitments with your training schedule, and there isn’t always a lot of time for weekend trips and social things.  You really have to love all of it to keep going.

My piece of advice to players who love the game and want to continue playing is to never let anyone make you feel like you can’t do it.  Believe in yourself. Work hard. Keep learning the game and keep trying to grow as a player. Talk to people who are playing in college and learn from their experiences and be open to different opportunities.” – Natalie Westwood

Ty Boatright – University of Texas at Austin – Football

“The recruitment process for me was very slow and honestly demoralizing. The thing that kept me going was my own ability to really want it and the cherishing of my supporters. When you work and dream for opportunities to go to the next level people will always hate on you, weather it be directly or indirectly. You just have to remember what you’re working for and push through. My mother played college softball and she is always there to give me advice and help when I need it. That was a huge part of my motivation and confidence. Finding someone like that in your journey is just as important as anything else. My advice to future athletes is to trust the process. Although it is long and difficult, hard work will always provide results, one way or another.” – Ty Boatright


There are many student athletes and champions that we look to and admire for the game they played at college and professionally. Below is a soccer favorite, Mia Hamm, who played for University of North Carolina and went on to become one of the greatest women’s soccer players for Team USA  sharing her perspective.

“Mia Hamm playing for UNC Women’s Soccer in a game against Duke in 1992.”
Photo Credit: Bob Donnan (Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

“Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back… play for her.” – Mia Hamm

Last but not least is Earl Campbell, who played for the University of Texas and earned the Heisman Trophy among many other awards of his professional football career.

“I talk to student-athletes. I try to get them to remember that they’re not just athletes, but student-athletes. You need to get an education, keep your hands clean and try to represent the university.” – Earl Campbell

“Earl Campbell’s Senior Year – 1977 undefeated regular season for the University of Texas.”
Photo Credit: Malcolm Emmons – USA Today Sports

We are looking forward to highlighting the next group of athletes in the spring. Please contact Tamir Shaw or Emily Moore if you want to be included in the spring signing day article.