Holtville seniors commit to junior college, prep schools

Joe Adgie / Tallapoosa Publishers Sheldon Reynolds (center) and Taylor Alston (right), as well as Malachi Shaw (not pictured), signed their commitment letters on Wednesday. Reynolds and Shaw will go to the Chilton Prep Academy, while Alston will go to Fort Scott Community College in Kansas.

Three seniors from Holtville High School signed their National Letter of Intent Wednesday to continue their football career elsewhere.

Taylor Alston will be going to Fort Scott Community College in Kansas, while Malachi Shaw and Sheldon Reynolds will be going to Chilton Prep.

Alston is going to Fort Scott, likely for the first year of his college career before moving on to another school after the COVID-19 pandemic concludes.

“Amidst the COVID (pandemic), this year was probably one of the hardest recruiting years I’ve ever been a part of,” said head coach Jason Franklin. “I’ve got some really good friends at the Division 1 level, and they said if you’ve got a guy that can play, the junior college route is not a bad option for guys this year. They’re all getting to continue their education, and they’re going to keep playing football, get film, and maybe move on after this mess settles down.”

Alston said that after talking to a number of coaches, he learned Fort Scott would be a great fit for him.

After Fort Scott, he said he wasn’t sure where he’d go next.

“Whoever really offers, I’ll pick between them,” Alston said.

Alston, a three-year starter for the Holtville Bulldogs, was an all-state left tackle.

“He’s a tremendous young man both on the field and in the classroom,” Franklin said. “You’re talking about a guy that’s got a 3.8 GPA and a 24 ACT, so the time he spends at Fort Scott could be minute if things open up and the NCAA doesn’t extend another year for guys and throws everything in a tailspin.”

Shaw was a two-year starter at guard and also played at defensive end.

“He was an all-county guy and he’s been a really good football player for us,” Franklin said. “I hate to see all of them go.”

Reynolds, meanwhile, was considered the team’s “jack of all trades” on the offensive line.

“He could play center, he could play guard, he could play wherever we needed him to, and he did that. With COVID this year, he had to be moved around and play different spots. For him to get another chance to go on and play is a great opportunity to Chilton Prep and continue on his education.”