CORINTH – While temperatures outside Friday morning were in the mid-20s Friday morning, seniors Edith Branch and Trent Pollard each signed a National Letter of Intent inside the warm comforts of the school's gymnasium.
Surrounded by coaches, family and teammates, Branch signed with Texas A&M University-Commerce for track and cross country, while Pollard made it official with the University of Texas at Tyler for men’s golf.
Pollard followed through on a goal that he had set out since he was in the seventh grade. He has captured a district title, is a three-time regional qualifier, and as a sophomore, came within nine holes of becoming the first male golfer at Lake Dallas to advance to the state tournament. Pollard has a scoring average in the 70s throughout high school.
"I was driven from a really young age,” he said. “I picked up golf and I was immediately obsessed with it. Every waking moment that I spent, it was about golf. It's a dream come true. I'm really excited."
UT Tyler announced on July 1, 2020 that it moved from the American Southwest Conference of Division III to the Lone Star Conference of Division II.
"I'm just pumped,” Pollard said. “Some of the venues that we're going to play in during the fall are just spectacular, like Hawaii, Colorado. It's exciting. Can't wait."
Branch, meanwhile, regained her passion for long-distance running her senior year after spending her junior year focusing on softball.
"I think it was not being able to run my junior year for cross country and then coming back to running after playing sophomore year that whole time, playing during the summer, and never really getting the chance to run,” she said. “With COVID, I was able to run during the fall. I got to focus on running and not softball. I really like the way that it made me feel."
Branch said that she fell in love with Texas A&M-Commerce after a visit with head coach Trent Phelps.
"I love the coaches and how encouraging they area, and coach Phelps' story from high school to throughout college,” Branch said. “He went from breaking his knee his senior year to running and making it to a really high ranking nationally. If he can work that hard, just imagine how he can coach other people."
Branch started running in the seventh grade and through hard work became a regional qualifier in cross country both her freshman and sophomore seasons.
"She sets a goal and puts every ounce of effort towards achieving that goal,” said Jessica Prickett, Lake Dallas head cross country coach."I'm just sad that she's leaving so soon. I'm so excited to watch her run and will always stay connected as a friend. To her coaches in college, she will not disappoint."