Crestview’s Hicks, Miller sign with Ohio colleges
Saturday, April 05, 2014 12:00 AM
By John Parent
Crestview senior Kirstin Hicks (center) is joined by her parents, Glenn and Diana Hicks, as well as coaches Owen Pugh and Carl Etzler and athletics director Dave Bowen.
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
CONVOY — A pair of decorated Crestview student athletes made official their collegiate plans on Friday afternoon.
Kirstin Hicks, a four-year varsity letter-winner in three sports, signed an official letter of intent to continue her education and her softball career at the University of Northwestern Ohio next fall. Shortly after Hicks committed to UNOH, classmate Scott Miller entered the board room at Crestview High School and committed to attending Wilmington College next year, where he will play football.
For Hicks, the decision to attend UNOH was based largely on proximity.
“The other schools were too far away, and I wanted to stay close to home, Hicks said of her choice to attend school in Lima. “Plus (UNOH) is a smaller school and all the other schools I was looking at were bigger. I like the community feel at UNOH.”
That small school atmosphere is something Miller noted as well, speaking of his choice to attend Wilmington.
“(Wilmington) has a very small-town feel, small like Crestview, only about 1000 students on the whole campus,” Miller noted.
While the chance to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level certainly played a factor in their decisions, for Hicks and Miller, plans beyond athletics influenced their choices as well.
“Wilmington has a very good agriculture program - the only private college in Ohio with an ag program,” Miller explained. “It’s a good fit, going there for agriculture. Football was almost like a second choice, but I’ll be glad to still be playing football.”
“I’ll be majoring in health care administration,” Hicks added. “In the first two years, I’ll be doing medical technology and the last two will be health care, so it’s kind of a two-plus-two program.”
Hicks was a starter on the state champion Lady Knights softball team in 2012, but will be joining a fledgling Lady Racers program. The softball program at UNOH is in its first season of competition this season. Helping to build the foundation of a program is something that has Hicks excited.
“I’m pumped. I’m ready to go,” she explained. “The facility is nice, it’s brand new. I’m excited for next year.”
Meanwhile, Miller sees similarities between the Quakers football program and the one he helped lead into the playoffs at Crestview this past season.
“I compare it to where Crestview was a few years ago. They have a great coaching staff that they’ve just implemented, so I think we’ll be making good strides. I know it will be hard in the conference they’re in (OAC), which is one of the toughest in the nation for small schools. There will be big strides, but (success) will take a little bit (of time).”
For the coaches who have been mentoring these students-athletes for the past few years, there was a common theme.
“He’s a two-year captain, and a full-time leader,” Crestview football coach Jared Owens said of Miller. “Since he’s been in our program, nobody works harder in the weight room or in the classroom. Something you can really appreciate about Scott is his academic performance and the importance he puts on that.”
“No doubt, no question, he’ll be a sure-fire success at the next level, both in his academics and in sports.”
“When you think of Kirstin, the word is leadership,” Crestview softball coach Carl Etzler said. “Even as she came into the program as a freshman and has worked her way up, the girls on the team have respected everything that she does. Kirstin is about team; there is no ‘me’ in what Kirstin does.”
“Next year, our program is very happy and proud that Kirstin is moving on,” Etzler added, “but, we are going to miss the leadership she brings to our team, both on and off the field.”