Ryan Dunsmore

When I started this job, I rarely put myself in the shoes of parents.

I was 28 years old, newly married with no kids.

But now, I have a extraordinary two-year old who is the light of my world.

And of course, as adults told me it would, having a child changed me.

And it is days like National Signing Day that have changed for me at my job.

Before my eye, only caught the student-athlete who was signing that day.

After all, that was my job. My goal was to get these kids in the paper.

But now my focus has shifted: not far from the kids but I also notice the parents.

I see the pride, the joy and the hard work that they and the son or daughter have put in.

I realize that what I often see only the end product. I see kids at the varsity level.

But many kids start down the path of sports at four and five years old.

The work that parents and kids put in each day during their those formative years is paid off on signing day.

And depending on the sport, time and money are spent send kids across the country to get a chance at collegiate athletics that is confirmed with a signature.

The weight of the day has only grown with joining the world of parents.

It furthers the reason that the Herald prides itself on making sure to give signing day each space in the newspaper.

And another reason that we try to get a word in with each student-athlete at signing events to make sure that these days are memorable and each signing has a clipping from the newspaper.

I want to make sure it more then just a picture in the paper.

To be honest, National Signing Day is one of our longer days at the newspaper.

The 2019 version started at Fulshear High School’s first-ever signing day at 7:15 a.m. and didn’t end until George Ranch’s annual signing day event with a start time at 6 p.m.

The Herald staff visited eight schools in total on Wednesday.

Each school has a different game plan for attacking signing day but all are worth sharing with our readers.

In the end, it is worth doing all that work to say congratulations to player that I’ve covered for three or four years and congratulations to their parents for seeing their kids off to college.

I can only hope that one day my son Jackson will have the same excitement of signing day down the road when he graduates with the class of 2034.

He has already started working on his jump shot and dunking form with his two-foot hoop to make that happen.

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