While Markell Jones was setting the state rushing record at Columbus East in 2014, Steven O’Neal saw some action as a cornerback, slot receiver and backup tailback.
Then, after Jones graduated, O’Neal spent his senior season as the Olympians’ featured tailback. He ran for 1,798 yards and 22 touchdowns in helping lead East to an 11-1 record and a Hoosier Hills Conference title.
Over the next four years, O’Neal could have an opportunity to play any of those positions — plus safety — at Marshall University.
“They put me in as an athlete, but they said they’d put me in as a tailback and a little bit of safety and slot,” O’Neal said. “Then, wherever I fit is where they’ll put me.”
The 5-foot-9, 175-pound O’Neal recently picked the Huntington, West Virginia, school over Indiana State. Both schools had offered him the opportunity to walk on.
O’Neal also was a four-year letterman in track and was a state qualifier in the 200 meters this season. He also was a two-time state champion in reigning horses and is training horses in Scottsburg this summer.
At Marshall, O’Neal plans to major in physical science, with the hope of becoming a strength coach.
“I love the feel of Marshall, and I like the coaching staff and everything,” O’Neal said. “When I went there, I liked it. I really like the campus. It just made sense.”
Jets to play in college
Two more recent Hauser graduates have committed to play baseball at the collegiate level.
Will Rose plans to continue his career at Ancilla, and Nathan Branum is headed to Vincennes. They join Jared Schoen, who earlier this year committed to Franklin.
Hauser honors athletes
Hauser has announced its award winners in softball, track and field, boys golf and girls tennis. Baseball winners were announced last week and appeared in last week’s prep sports notebook.
Tessa Sims was selected MVP of the Jets’ regional champion softball team. Sydney Schoen was named Most Improved, Leslie Sims had the highest batting average, Tessa Sims was named Outstanding Pitcher and Abby Kidwell won the Best Defensive Award.
In track and field, Pete Trotter and Grace Hasler were the boys and girls leading point scorers. David Seelye and Hasler were named Most Valuable Runners, Trotter and Brea Metz won Most Valuable Field Events, Seelye and Naomi Gollmer won the Mental Attitude Awards and Joe Sweet and Erin Newcomb won Most Improved.
Justin Compton was selected MVP on boys golf. Nick Neafus was named Most Improved Player, and Spencer Seim won the Reserve Most Improved award.
Alana Owen was named MVP of the girls tennis team. Tannyr Davis and Natalie Taylor had the best record, Taylor was selected Most Improved, and Veronica McKinney was Reserve Most Improved.
North football to host outing
The Columbus North football program will host Golf for the Gridiron on July 15 at Harrison Lake Country Club.
Proceeds will help provide uniforms and safe equipment.
For more information, contact Michelle Payne at 812-350-1780 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
East hoops holding fundraiser
The Columbus East Men’s Basketball Sixth Annual Golf Outing will be at noon July 22 at Timbergate Golf Course. Registration begins at 11 a.m.
Cost is $400 per team and includes food prior to the round and a chance at prizes, including a new car for a hole-in-one. Proceeds will support the East Basketball Fund.
For more information, contact Mark Meier at 812-344-4991 or email@example.com.