Edmond Memorial High School was swarming in the lower commons area Wednesday morning as the school celebrated nine student-athletes receiving college scholarships.
Remarkably, a trio of soccer players, signing adjacent to each other Wednesday, began playing soccer together back in the second grade. Reagan Ballard, Amanda Dial and Lana Duke will finally go their detached ways upon May graduation.
Since the girls were eight years of age, Rick Marchant was their trainer/coach who is partially credited with building their successful soccer careers today. Tragically, Marchant was killed in a motorcycle accident last October.
“He was definitely missed today at their signing,” Marianne Ballard, the mother of Reagan said following the ceremony.
Dial, who led Memorial in scoring in her freshman year, inked with Oral Roberts; Duke with Oklahoma State and Ballard with the University of Central Oklahoma.
Edmond Memorial girls soccer has never had below a team 3.8 gpa.
In football, the Bulldogs will dispatch five gridiron athletes to prospective colleges in lineman Jordan Weltzheimer (Air Force), kicker Justin Marchá (Emporia State [Kan.]), lineman Trayvon Gamble (Langston), cornerback Ashton Antwine (Northeastern Oklahoma A&M) and fullback Sam Rolle (Hastings [Neb.]).
“You don’t win without good kids,” Memorial football coach Justin Merideth said at the signing. “We had a ton of seniors and many other kids who could have been signing today who aren’t for whatever reason.”
The Bulldog football team boasts a 3.1 gpa, the highest it has been at the school.
“That is great for 100 kids,” Merideth noted.
Since Merideth came to Memorial in 2009, the ‘Dogs have been city champs three of the five seasons and made the playoffs four of five years including his intitial campaign.
Weltzheimer, who stands at 6-3, 300 pounds, earned entrance into the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs with a 28 ACT and a 3.7 grade-point average. “Big Red” played right tackle for the Bulldogs and also garnered interest from Army.
Marchá, a very accurate and strong-legged kicker, booted a 43-yard field goal in a triumph over Deer Creek and was 8-for-13 on the year. He will go into pre-engineering at Emporia State while carrying a 3.89 gpa.
The remaining Memorial student-athlete is Grey Howard, a weighty cog in the Bulldogs’ cross country and track & field teams, who signed with Tulsa. He was a state champion on the mile relay in the spring and was the deciding factor in uplifting Memorial to a state runner-up placing in May.