By Don Rush
On a blistery May 8, about 100 people showed up to the Oxford High School Performing Arts Center to show their support for six student athletes.
Family, friends, coaches, teachers and administrators watched as seniors Emily Archer, Luke Berney, Alex Dawood, Elizabeth Rice, Jada Whittal and Logan Wilmot all signed their letters of intent to play sports at college next year.
Oxford Athletic Director Tony DeMare organized the size students at a table before the audience.
“I would like to welcome our students, teammates, classmates and friends of the signees,” DeMare said. “I would also like to welcome staff and administrators who are present today. And I would especially like to recognize family members of our signees. Congratulations to you and thank you for all that you have done through this journey. I don’t think we’ve had this many people before.”
DeMare said the six students signing on that day, brought the total number of signees for the school year to 22.
“Of the 22 student signees,” DeMare said, “They represent 12 sports. The students are heading to 18 different colleges and universities. Four of those schools are out of state; 18 are in-state. There are seven Oxford athletes who will play Division III, eight in the NAIA, five in Division 2 and two at the Division 1 level. Also what is notable, is that our entire group of signees now totals approximately 1.5 million dollars in athletic scholarship money.”
DeMare then gave each student the opportunity to make a quick statement. Each student thanked their family and coaches, two thanked God. They then all signed their letters of intent at the same time.
Archer signed for Competitive Cheer with Rochester University. Berney signed for Track & Field with Ferris State University. Dawood signed for Soccer with Rochester University. Rice signed for Track & Field with Oakland University. Whittal signed for Volleyball with Post University; and Wilmot for Lacrosse at Northwood University.
DeMare closed the ceremony by saying, “There are many traits that are personified here today.
Traits like determination, hard work, perseverance, trusting a process and even teamwork. That’s what we all witnessed today. So we thank each of you for being determined, for working hard, for persevering, for trust the process and for being excellent teammates. I want to thank the parents for their support the long nights and long road trips behind the wheel. I would like to say a special thank you and can we recognize our Oxford coaches who put so much time and effort into what they do. We appreciate you.”
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On Sunday, May 7 the Oxford Sports Banquet recognized senior athletes. The four main awards given were to: Aubrey Greenfield (Female Scholar Athlete); Kyle DiMaLanta (Male Scholar Athlete); Rachel Townsend (Helen Smith Female Athlete of the Year); and Tate Myre, posthumously (George Prince Award).