Multiple Lions to further athletic careers


By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

Calling it a “dream come true” for several Lockhart High School student-athletes and their families, the future destinations for six Lions’ football players and a cheerleader were officially announced during a program at the school gymnasium in front of students, family members, and friends.

Record-setting quarterback Ashton Dickens signed with the Army Black Knights, where he had been long committed. However, teammate and offensive lineman Brady Stephenson, who had also been committed to Army, announced he would be attending Texas A&M University, a move LHS Head Football Coach/Athletic Director Todd Moebes said had changed within 72 hours of National Signing Day on Feb. 7.

Trey Brown signed to play with Hardin-Simmons University, Tyler Station with the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, Alex Richardson with Sul Ross State University, and Zakaya Gathings with Treasure Coast Junior College in Florida.

Azalea Shelton signed to become a cheerleader at Missouri Valley College.

The Vikings of Missouri Valley College are located in Marshall, Missouri, east of Kansas City.

“I just want to say thank you to my mom and dad, especially for my mom for being there when I need her the most,” Shelton said. “Thank you to the cheerleaders for being there through the hard times.”

Among others, Shelton thanked her teachers.

A 6-foot-2-inch, 197-pound dual-threat quarterback, Dickens will play for Army Head Coach Jeff Monken at West Point. Army, a member of the American Athletic Conference, opens at home against Lehigh on Friday, Aug. 30. The Black Knights will also play the likes of Air Force, Navy, UAB, East Carolina, Rice, UTSA, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Temple and Tulsa.

Dickens thanked God for “guiding me to this point,” while also thanking his family, coaches, and friends.

“I think the sky is the limit for Ashton,” Moebes said. “Ashton was a tremendous quarterback for us. I think he has an opportunity to be a great quarterback at Army. He is so athletic and big and strong and fast. All of those things are going to continue to enhance an option for a football coach to be able to be a multi-position player. I’m not sure there is anybody more talented in that role than Ashton. There’s probably six or seven different positions in the game of football he can play. I’m not so sure I’ve ever coached a guy like that who could play six or seven Division 1 positions. It’ll be great to see where his path ends up taking him.”

Dickens set the all-time single season rushing record (2,013 yards) at Lockhart as a junior.

Stephenson told Black Knight Nation they were getting “an amazing player” in Dickens.

“(Dickens) is one of the most athletic kids I have ever seen and his ability to run and pass the ball effectively makes him extremely dangerous,” Stephenson said.

The 6-5, 270-pound Stephenson was the day’s biggest surprise, switching from Army to in-state Texas A&M at College Station. He thanked everyone who had supported him, particularly his mother, who he said had “helped broaden my recruiting.”

“There was some late competition,” Moebes said. “Brady had an opportunity to go and visit College Station and he just fell in love with it. He’s going to be competing against guys playing in arguably one of the best conferences in the country (Southeastern) and practicing against some players who are some of the best in the country. I think there is nothing but an upside to Brady.”

Texas A&M opens at home against Notre Dame on Aug. 31, and among others, plays at Florida, Mississippi State, and South Carolina, and home against Missouri, LSU, and Texas on Nov. 30, and at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium against Arkansas.

Brown signed with the Cowboys of Hardin-Simmons in Abilene. He thanked his family, all supporters, and his trainers at Lockhart.

“Trey is the essence of Texas high school football and what makes it special,” Moebes said. “With the other five guys, I could sit here and say they have a certain stature, measurables, height, weight, length, those types of things. Trey doesn’t necessarily match those when you’re looking for a football player at any division for that matter, but he’s a very, very smart kid and a fearless football player.

“The compliments I got from our opponents we played throughout the year were about how physical he played the game, how well he tackles. He’s just a self-made guy. Hardin-Simmons is a tremendous football program. He’s going to have an opportunity to go up there and shine. I’m proud of all these guys, but there’s nobody more proud of Trey than me.”

Staton will be playing for the Texas-Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros, who will begin their football program at Division I in the fall of 2025. He thanked his teammates, friends, and coaches.

“Everything is in front of Tyler,” Moebes said. “He was a great player for us and he’s going to a program that’s just starting a football program. This next fall they’re just going to be practicing. I think it’s a great opportunity for him to be able to work his way to compete in a Division 1 football program. He got a lot of offers from Division 3 and Division 2 schools.”

Offensive lineman Alex Richardson will play for the Lobos of Sul Ross State University in Alpine. He thanked God, his family, and Lockhart’s “amazing coaching staff.”

“Alex was very heavily sought after,” Moebes said. “He went to a couple of out-of-state visits. Sul Ross is a program making the transition from Division 3 to Division 2, so they were able to give some financial aid.

“Alex has been a tremendous leader. It’s great timing for him the intangibles he brings to a football team trying to transition from one division to the next.”

Gathings will play for Treasure Coast Junior College in Port Saint Lucie, Florida on the Atlantic Coast. He thanked his father, stepmother, and Coach Moebes.

“They are looking at Zakaya as a linebacker,” Moebes said. “I thought he had a great high school career. He was extremely productive for us. I think he’s got a lot of measurables. If he continues to grow, he’ll have a lot more opportunities outside of Treasure Coast.”


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