A pair of Highland athletes signed their collegiate letters of intent in a late-May ceremony at the high school.
Bridget Oder will play volleyball at Otterbein University, while bowler Autumn Burson will continue in that sport at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
For Oder, whose career with the Scots resulted in All-Ohio recognition and one trip to the Final Four, Otterbein simply felt like a good fit.
“I chose Otterbein because its a small campus and much like Highland,” she said. “Coach Monica (Wright) is an amazing coach. She comes to any other sport you’re in and sees what you’re involved in.”
While she looked into several other schools, both in and out of Ohio, Otterbein was the call. Not only did she like the community, but had experience with the school, having previously gone to volleyball camps there.
“I wanted to keep my options open, but the more the years went on, I knew that was the right campus,” she said.
Oder plans to major in speech therapy, while minoring in communication.
When thinking about her progress from youth volleyball until now, she gave her high school coach, Rob Terrill, a lot of credit for preparing her for college.
“He’s always helping me and giving opportunities,” she said. “When I was freshman, it was an amazing opportunity to play varsity. To play Libero as a freshman is amazing.”
Being a varsity player for four years on a successful program provided Oder with a lot of fun experiences with none topping her sophomore season and that trip to the Final Four.
“My sophomore year was probably the most fun year I had,” she said. “It was intense in the gym every practice. The previous year, we had gone to regional finals, so we knew we wanted it to be our year to go to state.”
Burson also said she was grateful to her high school coaches — to the degree that when Scot coaches Ron Garlinger and Amber Brubaker started coaching the Mount Vernon Nazarene University program, she decided to follow them to that school. She said that Brubaker, in particular, helped her in preparing for college.
“Amber helped a lot helping me get my school work done and helped me study for the ACT,” she said.
When she started with the Scot bowling team, she had very little experience with the sport, so she also gave her coaches a lot of credit for helping her improve as a bowler.
“They taught me a lot of new things,” she said. “When I started out, I didn’t know a lot about bowling. It was hard not knowing how to bowl. It got a lot better over time.”
Burson, who will major in nursing at MVNU, is excited about moving on from high school to college.
“I’m excited to meet new people, continue bowling and meet new teams,” she said. “And start my career in nursing.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS