Barbers Hill football players Christian Kaopua, left, and Casey Collier, celebrate their National of Letter Intent signings Wednesday at the school. Kaopua is headed to the University of Houston and Collier is USC-bound. (submitted photo

A dozen area football players announced where their college destinations in the sport are going to be heading into next season.

Those players include, Crosby’s Hunter Bailey (Texas Wesleyan), Barbers Hill’s Cavin Branin (Texas A&M-Commerce), Anahuac’s Quintrell Coats (Blinn College), Barbers Hill’s Casey Collier (USC), Sterling’s, Tayvion Haggerty (Prairie View A&M), GCM’s Emerson Haywood (Incarnate Word University), GCM’s Holden Hill (Southern Nazarene University), REL’s Joseph Jones, (Southeastern Oklahoma State University), Barbers Hill’s Christian Kaopua (University of Houston), REL’s Isaiah Mogere (McPherson College), Barbers Hill’s Rees Allison (Trinity University) and REL’s Ijenea Wooley (East Central University).

For Kaopua, the District 12-5A II Most Valuable Player, the quarterback played a big role in the Eagles run to the regional semifinals where they lost to Manvel and finished 11-2 overall.

Kaopua is heading to Houston as a preferred walk on.

“Houston has been a dream school for a long time,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to stay close to home so the opportunity to play there was perfect for me.”

Despite not being a scholarship athlete, Kaopua is still optimistic that he can make a run at a playing spot for the Cougars.

“I feel good about playing in the future,” Kaopua said. “When I get my opportunity, I’m going to take full advantage of it and show I could be a top guy there.

“A main focus for me is getting bigger. I know these summer workouts will help a lot so I’m ready for that.”

Kaopua attended Barbers Hill Middle School and then left the area for three years before transferring back to Mont Belvieu to wrap up his playing career.

He wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“I appreciate my season here a lot,” Kaopua said. “Coach (Tom) Westerberg taught me a lot of things and the offense we ran helped me have a great season. I wouldn’t have  wanted to finish my high school career anywhere else.”

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