Dakarion Judge, Darren Anderson graduate from Mustangs football, set sights on college success
Published 12:20 am Monday, February 6, 2023
WEST ORANGE — It’s like family for coach Hiawatha Hickman.
The West Orange-Stark High School athletic director helped oversee the scholarship signings of Dakarion Judge and Darren Anderson, who are each moving from the Mustangs to pursue their crafts in the realm of college football.
“Those are two great young men who were very important to this program,” Hickman said. “I couldn’t be happier for them.
“It’s kind of like sending your kid off to college. It’s part of your family that is leaving. You spend four years building those guys and getting them where you want them, and they leave your program. But, then, they put a lot into the program, so it’s always good.”
Mustangs fans have become familiar with the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in recent years, as it has been the home of former West Orange-Stark great K.J. Miller.
Now, the newest member of the Crusaders is Dakarion Judge.
Hickman sees Judge playing inside slot receiver in college, delivering a threat in the middle of the field for his quarterback.
According to Hickman, Judge returned seven combined kickoffs and punts for touchdowns while in high school.
“I think he is going to give them a lot of action in kickoff and punt return, which he did for us,” Hickman said. “He is going to be a guy who can do a lot of things for them.”
Judge is known by his coaches and teachers for strong classroom work, and Hickman noted the senior’s parents have really stressed education in the home.
Midwestern State University signed Darren Anderson to play defensive back.
“They are getting what everybody likes today — a tall rangy cornerback with long arms who can guard those 6-3, 6-4 receivers,” Hickman said. “When the guy came in recruiting him, that is what they loved about him.”
Coaches note Anderson’s twitchy hips and smooth moves that work well with his 6-3 frame.
“Darren is an early college high school guy,” Hickman said. “He is probably going to have an associate’s degree when he graduates high school. His mom and dad are both educators, so he is superb in the classroom.”
The Mustangs (5-6) final game of 2022 was a tough loss to undefeated Bellville (11-0) in the Class 4A Region III bi-district playoffs, 27-20.
The Mustangs fought through some players who left the squad and had to battle through tough injuries.
“We went into our first district game with Silsbee, missing four starters that started the season for us,” said Hickman. “It was tough at times but we had some young kids really step in and performed for us.”
The Mustangs have another grueling non-district schedule in 2023 and another tough District 9-4A Division II to get ready for.