MISSION — Sharyland Pioneer senior Lavar Lindo made program history Wednesday afternoon as the three-sport athlete became the first Diamondbacks football player to receive a full football scholarship with Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches.
Lindo signed a national letter of intent in front of a standing-room only crowd in the Pioneer High School gym with his mother and sister by his side.
“The chance to play football at Stephen F. Austin is exciting. I’m excited to start already,” Lindo said. “I just want to grind up there, show them what I got and why it was good for them to pick me to be at that school.”
As a senior, Lindo led the Diamondbacks to the District 16-5A DII championship and an 11-2 overall record. He hauled in 38 receptions for 714 yards and brought in 12 receiving touchdowns, including a highlight reel-worthy 91-yard catch and run during Pioneer’s third-round playoff game against Boerne-Champion.
“My teammates and this coaching staff, they’ve all been there pushing me and guiding me through it all. These guys helped me get better every day,” he said.
Now, Lindo will be going from the Diamondbacks’ red and gray to the Lumberjacks’ white and purple, his favorite color.
He said the recruiting process by SFA was huge as inside receiver coach Kevin Bleil and head coach Colby Carthel established a solid relationship with one of the Rio Grande Valley’s top receiving threats.
“The coaching staff from Stephen F. Austin was in constant contact with me. Coach Bleil was in my life. He made sure he knew who my family was. He came to some of the games supporting me and pushing me, telling me what I could do better to improve myself,” Lindo said. “I went to visit and they showed a lot of love. I like the campus and the family atmosphere they have over there.”
Although Lindo lined up wide right his entire Diamondbacks career, he’ll be playing tight end for the Lumberjacks. At 6-foot-5, his versatility, athleticism and skill make Lindo a mismatch anywhere he lines up on the football field.
“I feel like I’m adding a lot of energy, a lot of strength, motivation, and I’m going to show them that I could learn anything they’re teaching me. I could learn on the fly, and if you tell me how to do it, I’ll execute no matter what,” he said.
As a standout on the basketball court and track for the Diamondbacks, Lindo credits all three sports for helping shape him into the athlete he is today.
“Track helps me with my speed, my mobility. Of course, football helps me with my hands and strength. And basketball helps me with my agility and quickness. So every sport has built me up to who I am right now,” he said.
But he gives the most credit to his mother.
“She sits with me, she watches films with me. If I do anything bad, she’ll let me know. She’s straight up like that with me making sure I keep improving and not letting anyone tell me different or doubt me or anything like that, so massive shout out to my mom,” Lindo said.
Before departing for Nacogdoches, Lindo will look to close out his senior year with the District 31-5A champion Diamondbacks basketball team and as a runner for Pioneer’s track team, competing in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, and relays.