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Bates, Smith ink with Gulf Coast

Daily Leader / April Clopton / Brookhaven's Willie Bates has signed to play football with the Gulf Coast Community College Bulldogs. Pictured with Bates are his parents Monica Bates and Willie Bates Jr. Standing are his sister Abi Bates and Brookhaven head coach Tommy Clopton.

Daily Leader / April Clopton / Brookhaven’s Willie Bates has signed to play football with the Gulf Coast Community College Bulldogs. Pictured with Bates are his parents Monica Bates and Willie Bates Jr. Standing are his sister Abi Bates and Brookhaven head coach Tommy Clopton.

Ole Brook seniors Dedric Smith and Willie Bates on Wednesday signed a football scholarship with the Gulf Coast Community College Bulldogs.

Smith (6-1, 210) and Bates (6-0, 180) signed their official scholarship papers in the Brookhaven High School Library.

Joining Smith and Bates were friends, family members and Brookhaven head football and athletic director Tommy Clopton.

In Smith’s senior year, he finished with 42 tackles on the season. He plans to pursue a career in architecture.

In Bates’ senior year, he finished with 12 tackles on the season as Ole Brooks’ free safety. He plans to pursue a career in biomedical engineering.

“We are very proud of Dedric and Willie and look forward to watching them continue their careers at Gulf Coast,” said Clopton. “They are good football players but they are even better young men. It’s a blessing when good things happen to good people.”

Daily Leader / April Clopton / Brookhaven's Dedric Smith has signed a football scholarship with the Gulf Coast Community College Bulldogs. Pictured with Smith are his parents Debra and Dedric Smith Sr.  Standing is Brookhaven's head football coach and athletic director Tommy Clopton.

Daily Leader / April Clopton / Brookhaven’s Dedric Smith has signed a football scholarship with the Gulf Coast Community College Bulldogs. Pictured with Smith are his parents Debra and Dedric Smith Sr. Standing is Brookhaven’s head football coach and athletic director Tommy Clopton.