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Fairland High School softball star Emily Bowen didn’t have to venture far to understand the experience of being a college student-athlete.

Bowen relied on advice from her brother, Eli, a former catcher at Marshall University. Now, she will apply his wisdom as a softball player at Davis & Elkins College. Bowen considered several other schools, such as Ohio Valley University, Fairmont State, Notre Dame College and Ohio Christian, but the lefthanded pitcher/utility player said D&E won her over.

“It’s close to home and I like the competition,” Bowen said. “I give glory to God.”

Bowen said she loves her youth group at the Rome Church of Christ, where she signed her National Letter of Intent, as well as Justin Bieber and her brother.

“He’s the reason I started playing softball,” she said of Eli. “I wanted to be just like him.”

Dragons coach Scott Wilson said the Senators are getting a terrific person and player.

“Emily is an all-out player,” Wilson said. “She’s very good. Nothing gets past her and she’s a very good pitcher and hitter. I wouldn’t trade her for the world. She’s a very disciplined batter and she puts in the extra work.

Bowen was one of several area players to sign in the last few days. Rose Hill Christian’s Baylee Trimble signed with Alice Lloyd College. She is the first Royal to sign to play college ball since 2007 when Laura Terry signed with Louisville and Emily Queen with Middle Tennessee State.

Lincoln County basketball star John Blankenship signed with the University of Charleston. Ashland soccer standout Mimi Moore signed with Berea College. South Webster’s Emma Bailey signed to play softball and run indoor track at Cedarville University.

In other recruiting news, Alderson Broaddus offered Huntington High girls basketball standout Imani Hickman. Ironton linebacker Trevor Carter was offered by Tennessee. Former Huntington Prep basketball star Rasir Bolton committed to Gonzaga, while his teammate Maki Johnson was offered by Nebraska.

Belfry running back Isaac Dixon de-committed from WVU an reclassified as a 2022 prospect. Sharpsburg (Georgia) Trinity Christian’s Christian Hanson, son of former Marshall University and NFL punter Chris Hanson, received a scholarship offer from Akron.

CONDOLENCES: Prayers are requested for the friends and families of former Fairview football player Chris Brewer, Woodrow Wilson basketball player Dwayne Richardson and longtime photographer Jim Parsons.

Brewer was found dead on Saturday. Richardson was shot to death on Sunday. Parsons, 91, died Sunday. He was the dad of Cabell Midland coach and athletic director Chris Parsons.

AMAZING STATS OF THE WEEK: Rock Hill’s Brynna Kellogg high jumped 5 feet, 10 inches to tie an Ohio Division III state record.

Ironton Middle School’s 4x200 relay team of Braxton Slusher, Matthew Sly, Braylon Sturgill and Izaac Cox has the No. 1 time in Ohio at 1:38.28. Cox also owns the top 200-meter dash time in the state at 24.02 and the No. 2 long jump leap at 19-7 3/4.

Chesapeake’s Sophi Hutchison broke the Chesapeake Middle School pole vault record, going 8-3. Pikeville’s Tait Lakin faced the minimum number of batters in pitching a no-hitter against Ashland. Matthew Barr broke the Meigs pole vault record, going 12-9 1/4.

Fairland pitcher Tyler Sammons threw 72 strikes in 90 pitches in an 8-3 win over Chesapeake. Point Pleasant softball player Havin Roush drove in seven runs against Independence. Tug Valley’s Kalea Baisden set a West Virginia state tournament record with nine 3-pointers against Pendleton County.

Former Huntington High track star Ryan McGuffin of Gardner-Webb University long jumped 23-11 1/2 to move himself into the top 75 nationally.

Poca’s Joe Starcher broke the school’s 100-meter dash record in 11.43. Last week, Athens’ Cameron Niese threw a no-hitter vs. Meigs. On April 9, Meigs’ Ethan Stewart no-hit Athens. Boyd County baseball’s 11-0 start was the best in program history.

NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES: Prayers are requested for former Hurricane Middle School football coach Perry Estep, who underwent heart bypass surgery.

Former Fairland runners McKenna Pannell and Deanna Hall, both of Shawnee State, placed third and seventh, respectively, in the Mid-South Conference 10,000-meter run, which was won by former Dragons star Jessica Price. Huntington St. Joe’s Shannon Lewis was named the National Federation of High School’s West Virginia coach of the year.

Former Chesapeake track star Cecil Fletcher Jr. was named the Ohio Wesleyan University male athlete of the week. Harrison County coach Mac Whittaker won his 1,145th career game, breaking the Kentucky record for coaching victories.

Vinton County’s Rod Bentley, the 2021 Division II girls basketball coach of the year in Ohio, resigned. Huntington-Ross hired Kyle Uhrig as girls basketball coach and Kyle Bradley to coach boys basketball. Uhrig was an assistant at Circleville. Bradley was head coach at Adena.

Hannah Hopson, daughter of former Marshall University assistant football coach Jay Hopson, won a state singles title om Mississippi. Nitro’s girls state championship Saturday was the first in basketball in school history. Former Capital defensive lineman Dorian Etheridge of the University of Louisville signed with the Atlanta Falcons.

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