There are just a couple weeks left of school for students at Madison-Plains High School. For the seniors that means the end of their high school careers.
A pair of Golden Eagles athletes signed commitment letters to continue their athletic careers at a pair of Ohio Division III universities.
Blair Bryant will compete on the track and field team at Capital University and Cameron Near will play football at Muskingum University, both made their decisions during a ceremony held in their high school gymnasium Thursday.
Bryant a standout high jumper fell in love with the Bexley campus.
“I just really liked their track program, it was a better fit for me,” she said. “It came down to Capital and Wittenberg and I just liked the area a lot and the people there. It was just really welcoming, I liked it there a lot.”
Bryant hopes to not just compete in the high jump in college but has ideas of competing in a number of other events, including the heptathlon. The track and field event includes seven different events including the 100-meter hurdles, the 200-meter dash, the long jump, javelin, shot put, high jump and 800-meter run.
Health issues nearly ended a chance to run in college barely after her high school career began.
“I have a really bad back, I wanted to quit my sophomore year, but I kept doing it and I’m really glad I did,” Bryant said. “Because just me getting to regionals last year, to states in indoor this year and hopefully during outdoor, will really help my experience going into college.”
Near, played a major role on the football field for the Golden Eagles the last four years, his ability to run, catch and throw if need be will play major dividends going on to the next level.
He felt Muskingum offered a little bit more than his other options.
“Really when I first stepped on campus I felt that it was the place I wanted to be at for four years,” Near said. “My passion for football kind of clicked with their coaching staff, it was the right decision. It was basically down to Muskingum and Marietta (College), I liked Muskingum a little but more.”
Near who lineup in the backfield, played in the slot and out on the edge for Madison-Plains High School coach Jason Hunt, has a skill set Muskingum is looking to use a lot.
“They said they graduated a few receivers and think I can step in and be a dominating force my freshman year,” he said. “It all takes work ethic and I’m ready to go there and work.”
One thing that will help at the next level is the fact as an Golden Eagle he played three seasons in the Mid-State League Ohio Division. The league routinely produced strong teams with high-end college-caliber athletes.
“Playing in the MSL really gave me a huge boost of what college is going to be like,” he said. “The league is just stacked, we’d play dominant teams and good athletes every game. Coach Hunt really pushed us to be better and that helped prepare me for college.”
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.
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