Arab seniors Will Hudson and Brooks Malone celebrated signing college scholarships Wednesday at the school’s new gym.

Hudson, who just finished his final high school football season, signed to play baseball at the University of North Alabama. Malone, just starting his senior season in bask-etball, signed to play golf at Calhoun next year.

That means both have signed scholar-ships before their senior seasons in their respective sports. That only adds to what the players’ dads said during Wednesday’s dual signing ceremonies.

“It’s not been easy” for Will/Brooks, said both fathers, Chad Hudson and Jason Malone.

And it’s true – and not just for these two. Every athlete who competes in a sport gives up a little of his high school life for his or her team and teammates. It’s the price they pay, and almost every one of them would do it again.

But that’s not the point. They do pay a price, and they deserve our admiration and appreciation.

It’s not always about scoring a touchdown or sinking a 3-pointer or hitting a home run.

For Brooks Malone, it’s been about “a lot of hard work, a lot of golf lessons and a lot of hitting golf balls at Twin Lakes,” said his dad and high school coach.

“You miss a lot of things when you play sports.”

The same goes for Will Hudson, who has practiced and played baseball since the second grade.

“It’s been a dream of mine for a long time,” Will said Wednesday. “You think back to all the hard work you put in while you were younger to get (here), and there’s been a lot of hard work.”

Then think about the commitment of playing two sports or in some cases three or even four. Then I think about athletes at 3A Brindlee Mountain and the sacrifice some of them make to try to play three sports or more, some occasionally at the same time.

It’s a real commitment, and parents, teachers, other students and fans ought to give them an encouraging word every now and then.

They deserve it.

• Archie Anderson picked up some extra info while covering the Hartselle at Arab Junior High basketball games Tuesday night.

The Tigers are coached by Blake Harbin, a 2011 graduate of Arab High who was a standout player for the Knights. Harbin this summer married Kayla Key, the daughter of former Arab varsity coach Faron Key, now the varsity coach at Hartselle.

According to Archie, Tamisha Key, Faron’s wife, was in a bit of a predicament Tuesday with three children playing in three different places. Tamisha made the journey to Arab to watch Kohl, but had a phone in one hand watching a live stream of son Kiah playing in his first varsity game at Hartselle and another phone watching daughter Kayla, who plays for Faulkner.

“I hate to miss any of their games,” she said.

For the record, daughter Karmyn got the sports bug, too, and now plays volleyball for Blue Mountain College in Mississippi.

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