GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Coaches at Christian Collegiate Academy in Gulfport say it's been more than six years since a player has been signed to play college football. However, things have changed in 2016.
During the last two seasons, quarterback Devan Roberts threw for 52 touchdowns and ran for another 39 touchdowns. Roberts says his game day success didn't come easy.
"A lot of responsibility. You have practice every day," Roberts said. "You have games a lot of days. You have to keep up with your work, too, in order to be successful."
The hard work paid off and earned Roberts a football scholarship to Lyon College in Arkansas. Also playing college ball will be teammate Micah Williams, who will head to Minnesota to the University of Northwestern - St. Paul.
Williams excelled in athletics at the academy while achieving a 4.0 grade point average.
"I think it teaches you a lot of character and you have to have composure; and you have to have self control. You have to learn how to win, and that will help you in life," said Williams. "And you have to learn how to lose as well."
Coaches, players and parents say everyone is family at Christian Collegiate.
"We want to see our players to be able to excel. Not only in the classroom, which is the most important, but we also want to see them excel on the field." said Head Football Coach Joe Roberts. "Them making it to this point is a good indicator for us that we're doing things the right way, and we're moving forward in a positive way."
Roberts and Williams both hope to inspire other Bulldogs.
"Now since they've found out that both of us are signing, I've heard some of them say they want to follow in our footsteps and sign as well," said Williams..
Roberts added, "I am very nervous. It's kind of a new chapter in my life for me, but I'm very excited for this opportunity too. Excited to go play football at Lyon College."
Christian Collegiate Academy football players were the South State champions for the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools last season. Although Roberts was a high school quarterback, both players will play receiver in college.