ALBANY -- The media center at Sherwood Christian Academy was packed Friday afternoon with students, coaches and teammates, all of whom gathered in honor of Tomorrias "T.A." Hicks.
The star defensive tackle for the Eagles signed a letter-of-intent to play for the College of DuPage in Illinois.
"This is exciting for me, a chance for me to get a college education and play football," Hicks said.
Hicks' parents were among the many present for the occasion.
"This means a lot to me because for 12 years we have watched him grow and he's got an opportunity now to go off somewhere and get a good education and play football," said Hicks' father, Murray. "I want him to take away all of the good things he's been taught, and as long as he keeps the Lord in his future, everything will be fine."
Hicks' signing was the fourth for Sherwood after three players signed letters last month with Saint Augustine's College in N.C. And Hicks may not be the last: Quarterback Terrence Burnette and linebacker Javaz Williams are both receiving interests from schools with available scholarships.
Sherwood head coach Reggie Mitchell, who has 13 seniors leaving, said it will be tough to replace the departing players, especially Hicks.
"This is what I coach for: to see these young men have an opportunity to further their education and do something they love doing in playing football," he said. "This is an exciting time for the program."
Mitchell added that Hicks' strength, quickness and intensity will serve him well at the collegiate level.
Hicks recorded 43 tackles and four sacks last season for the Eagles.