Glencoe soccer, track athletes make college choices
School is winding down, but letter-of-intent season is still red hot.
Two more Glencoe student-athletes recently made their college choices official, signing on the dotted line in a ceremony in the Commons at Glencoe High School. Seniors Chris Downey and Justin Lazenby inked their commitment in front of coaches, family and friends: Downey to Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Lazenby to Eastern Oregon University in La Grande.
Downey, a first team All-Pacific Conference soccer player for the Crimson Tide, will be playing soccer for the Raiders and chose SOU due to what he deemed great camaraderie, along with the school and city that he feels will benefit him both on and off the field.
"I chose Southern Oregon University due to the brotherhood between the players and coaching staff," Downey said. "Plus, Ashland is such a beautiful area and offers so many great areas for recreational fun, that I will be having fun both on and off the pitch."
The Raider-to-be spent just one year at Glencoe after moving north from New Mexico, but in his short time was a part of a Tide team that went undefeated in league play and won the Pacific Conference championship in the first year of the league's reconfiguration — Glencoe's first conference crown in nine years. Downey said he plans to study either pre-med or pre-physical therapy in college, with an eye on becoming either a pediatrician or physical therapist specializing in the physical development of children.
He had a number of people to thank for getting to this point, but specifically noted his old coach back in New Mexico, Coach Hesser, for rekindling what he felt was a diminishing spark for the game of soccer.
"I went through a period in time during high school where I had thought my passion for soccer burnt out," Downey said. "He was the one who told me that things would get better next year and was the main piece outside of my parents that kept me in the sport."
Lazenby, too, faced adversity on the road to success, suffering a torn ACL and MCL in the Tide's first football game last September. The senior running back, who'll be competing in track and field at EOU this coming fall, managed to come back from the catastrophic injury in time to not only compete for the Tide last spring, but qualify for the state meet in both the high jump and pole vault.
Much like Downey, Lazenby chose his school based on an affection for the surrounding area, but also cited what he called their "elite track program," along with his desired major as an allure to La Grande.
He wants to major in exercise science with a minor in either anatomy or kinesiology.
Despite his injury, Lazenby competed in the 100 meters, 200, and 4x100 relay on the track, along with the javelin, while posting personal bests in the long jump (20' 10), high jump (6' 2) and pole vault (14' 0).
He wanted to thank his mother for being "his biggest supporter," his friends for "keeping me on track," and Glencoe head coach Ian Reynoso for "always pushing me to be the best person and athlete I can be."
And what will he remember most about his time at Glencoe?
"How supportive the coaches were, along with the amazing group of students I was able to compete with," Lazenby said. "It's been a great experience."