By ROB HAMILTON
Three Highland athletes will be continuing their athletic and academic careers after graduating high school this year, as they signed to compete collegiately on Wednesday.
Brogin Denman signed to play volleyball at Clark State Community College, Shane Carney will continue his baseball career at Adrian College (Michigan) and Lydia Morgan will throw the discus at Indiana Wesleyan.
“I think part of our responsibility is to open kids’ eyes to sports in college,” said Highland athletic director Mike DeLaney. “There are plenty of opportunities to look into for athletics. I want to inspire students to move on in their academic careers and if athletics can help, I’m all for that.”
Denman, the daughter of Rich and Brenda Denman, will be looking to help a fairly new volleyball program at Clark State. “The campus was amazing,” she said. “Everything there was beautiful and I love my coach. She’s more like a best friend than a coach. I can’t wait to start my volleyball career.”
Denman, who is planning to major in cybersecurity with a goal of working with the FBI, noted that another positive of going to Clark State is the opportunity to immediately be a contributor. The program is in its second year of existence.
“She (the coach) actually told me I’d be starting and playing all the way around,” said Denman.
Carney, the son of Kevin and Trish Carney, will be majoring in environmental science. After visiting Adrian, he knew he’d found the right college.
“The facility is exactly what I was looking for,” he said. “The coaches are great and it’s exactly what I wanted to do future-wise.”
Carney also noted that he could see playing time sooner, rather than later.
“I’ll play outfield and they’re graduating a few outfielders, so I’ll have the opportunity to go in and have playing time as a freshman,” he said. “It depends on how hard I work.”
Morgan, the daughter of Shawn and Glenda Morgan, is adjusting to a new event in her senior year. While she’s a state qualifier in the 300 hurdles, a bulging disc in her lower back forced her to give up that and take up throwing the discus.
“I’ve always been kind of interested in it and after my injury, my dad was like, “What about the discus?’, and when I tried it, I loved it. I’ll just have to get a lot of reps in and practice. I’ll just have to work hard.”
Morgan is undecided on her major, but plans to minor in Spanish. She noted that she liked Indiana Wesleyan and also found the coaches to be supportive of her after her injury.
“I just liked meeting up with the track coach and really liked the Christian atmosphere,” she said. “They really just care about you as an individual.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS