Two Tigers to join Hogs

By: Henry Apple
Published: Thursday, November 9, 2017
Kam'ron Mays-Hunt, with parents Fess Thompson and Kamra Thompson, signs his national letter of intent to play baseball at Arkansas Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, at Bentonville High School's Tiger Athletic Complex.
Photo by Ben Goff
Kam'ron Mays-Hunt, with parents Fess Thompson and Kamra Thompson, signs his national letter of intent to play baseball at Arkansas Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, at Bentonville High School's Tiger Athletic Complex.

BENTONVILLE -- A little personal attention went a long way in determining where Kam'Ron Mays-Hunt would play college baseball.

The Bentonville High senior made Arkansas his choice and never swayed from it as he signed his national letter of intent with the Razorbacks during Wednesday's ceremony at the Tiger Athletic Complex. Mays-Hunt was one of three Tigers to sign as Tyler Johnson also signed with the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, while Nathan Lyons opted for Arkansas-Little Rock.

Mays-Hunt said it was a certain meeting with Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn that was the deciding factor on where he would continue his baseball career.

"Coach Van Horn gave me like a man-t0-man visit," Mays-Hunt said. "It wasn't like with everybody else. It was just me and him, and we talked. I really liked that."

Mays-Hunt hit .340 with two home runs, five doubles, two triples and 17 runs batted in last season for Bentonville. He's also been a three-year starter in football, where he became the school's all-time leading receiver earlier this season and has 52 receptions for 813 yards and 12 touchdowns.

He's been a shortstop and an outfielder for the Tigers, but he could become a relief pitcher at Arkansas, as well as play outfield. This comes as a result of a recent outing when he offered to pitch and hit 92 mph with his fastball, which caught some attention.

"It's going to be starting from the bottom and working my way back to the top," Mays-Hunt said. "But I get to do it with the friends I've been playing with. I feel like it will be fun."

One of those friends is Johnson, who lived out one of his childhood dreams to sign with Arkansas. He's mainly been a first baseman at Arkansas and said he hopes to continue playing that spot or perhaps an corner outfielder.

Johnson hit .346 last year for the Tigers and had .346 with three home runs and nine doubles while driving in 15 runs. He's also a two-year starter at tight end for Bentonville's football team, where he has 21 catches for 268 yards and three scores.

"I'm really excited to go there and show them what I've got and take advantage of the opportunities I'm going to get," Johnson said. "Since I was young, I've wanted to go and play at Arkansas. The facilities there are top-notch and blew me away.

"Now I just need to build up some strength in my arms before I get there and get better at first base. I'll also be working on hitting offspeed pitches and my swing some more."

Lyons hopes to play a middle infield position or third base after playing those positions in high school baseball. He hit He hit .271 last season with 14 runs batted in last spring, and as a quarterback with the Tigers, he's thrown for more than 2,000 yards with 25 touchdowns this fall.

He was drawn to UALR because he's so familiar with the area, and he couldn't be swayed away. He'll also be reunited with former teammate Carter Brown, who pitched for the Trojans last year after graduating from Bentonville.

"It's where my mom grew up, and most of my family is down in Little Rock and Searcy," Lyons said. "It's a really familiar area, and when they laid the line on the offer, I was going to jump all over it.

"I love the area, and it's a program that's on a serious rise. You'll be seeing us on TV, playing with some of the big dogs. That's where I want to be -- I want to be a Trojan."

Sports on 11/09/2017

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