By Don Rush
As school was nearing an end on Nov. 16, five Oxford High School athletes, their parents, friends and coaches all gathered outside the Performing Arts Center for one reason: to watch the students sign letters of intent to play athletics at different colleges.
“Our five student athletes who are signing here today are doing something that is quite unique,” said Oxford Athletic Director Tony DeMare. “Some of you may ask ‘what’s unique about this?’ That’s an excellent question. Throughout the country just over 1 percent of senior athletes actually do what these five student athletes are doing today. Just over one percent actually sit down and put their names on a letter of intent. It’s an extraordinary achievement to get to this point and this accomplishment.”
The students represented four different sports, volleyball, softball, baseball and bowling.
Kaylee Misialek signed her letter to play softball at Cornerstone University.
Rachelle Townsend signed her letter to play volleyball at Saginaw Valley University.
Ashyln Witt signed her letter to play softball at Cleary University.
Caden Bailey signed his letter to play baseball at Calvin University.
Jason Paslean signed his letter to bowl for Huntington University.
Each student was given time to share their thoughts on the day’s activity. They each thanked their families, coaches, friends and a few thanked God.
“This is just not a snapshot,” DeMare said. “What you see here isn’t something that is quick and instant. This is a body of work. What goes into this is a lot of toil, a lot of time, a lot of effort and sweat. It means training early in the morning. It means conditioning. It means a lot of time and commitment. It’s an overall effort that culminates on what we are seeing here today.”
He also recognized parents for their sacrifices. “Parents, we know how much you do and we know the significance of the roles you play,” he said.