A boyhood dream came true Wednesday morning when Monett High School senior Beau Bounous signed a national letter of intent to play football at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. Bounous choose to sign his letter at the high school on National Signing Day.
"I've been dreaming of playing college football since day one, when I started playing Mighty Mite football," said Bounous, the son of Susan and Brook Bounous. "I have always wanted to kick butt at the college level."
It is Bounous' love for the game of football that inspired him to work hard and make his dream a reality. When it came time to decide where he wanted to play college ball, Bounous said it came down to Missouri Southern offering him the kind of program that fit him best.
In high school, Bounous enjoyed a standout career that included back-to-back All-State first team selections as defensive end his junior and senior seasons.
During his senior season this fall, Bounous was credited with 117 unassisted tackles and 16 sacks. His performance on defense earned him All-Big 8 Conference and All-District Defensive Player of the Year honors along with selections to the All-Big 8 and All-District first teams.
Bounous also made his presence known on the field as a member of the Cubs' offensive line. In that role, the 6'4", 230-pound athlete earned second team All-District honors. He also was named to the All-District second team as punter.
Monett Football Coach Alan Spencer had nothing by praise for Bounous, describing him as an all-around talented athlete who possesses strength, speed and toughness.
"Those qualities are important to be a good football player," said Coach Spencer. "Beau is also a great leader on the field as well as off."
Spencer said Bounous was an easy player to coach.
"He was always eager to succeed, so he understood what it took to be successful," said Coach Spencer. "With his leadership skills, Beau understood the responsibility he had as a team captain and worked to make himself and his team better."
At MSSU, Bounous, who was recruited as a defensive end, will be playing for Coach Bart Tatum in the very competitive MIAA Conference that includes the Division II national champions Northwest Missouri State University. Last season, the MSSU Lions were 3-7 overall and 3-6 in the conference.
Yesterday, Coach Tatum announced that MSSU had signed 26 high school and three junior college recruits from Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Florida and California.
"I believe we've met our needs," Tatum said. in annoucing his 2010 recruiting class. "We had a strong need at defensive end and needed to pick up a couple of good young offensive lineman, which I believe we did, and we've got a good nucleus of fast young players and I believe this signing class is going to solidify our speed and quickness as a team."
Coach Spencer believes Beau has what it takes to succeed at the college level.
"As with all incoming freshmen, Beau will compete against older players with more experience," explained Coach Spencer. "With continued hard work and the desire to excel, I feel Beau will rise to his level of competition and meet the challenges before him."
When Bounous puts on the green and gold Lions uniform, he'll be joining former Cub teammates Clint Cloud and Scotty Wilson, who are both squad members at MSSU.