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Three sign track scholarships

LANETT — Lanett High School capped off a very successful sports year with a scholarship signing ceremony in the school’s media center. Three student athletes, Octavia Wright, Eric Darden and Braylon Harrington, signed track scholarships to attend Highland Community College in Kansas.

In the 2017-18 school year, Lanett High won the 2A state championship in football, the 2A state title in boys basketball and had high finishes in track. The boys track team finished third in the state and the girls team finished sixth.

A big crowd of friends and family members witnessed the signing ceremony.

“I know this is a big deal to you,” Athletic Director Clifford Story told family members. “With these athletes on scholarship, it relieves you of the financial burden of paying for their education.”

Story told the parents not to be overly worried about their children being away from home.

“I know they will stay out of trouble in college,” he said. “They will do what they are supposed to do both in the classroom and out of it. I am so proud of them for what they have earned.”

Story admitted to being surprised with one of the scholarship offers.

“I knew that Highland was interested in Octavia and Braylon,” he said, “but their offer to Eric surprised me.”

It seems that Darden showed the initiative to email the track coach at Highland and send some information on what he’d done in track meets. The Highland coach checked it out and was impressed enough to come through with a scholarship offer.

“I am hoping and praying they will have a safe two years,” said their track coach, Terrence Price. “I am especially proud of Braylon. He has come a long, long way.”

“I want to thank God for giving me the ability to do what I can in athletics,” Harrington said. “I also want to thank my coaches for helping me along and my family for always being there for me.”

Harrington lettered in football, basketball and track this year. In football, he scored the game-winning touchdown in Lanett’s 33-15 win over Leroy in the 2A title game. His pass reception from quarterback Kristian “Ken Ken” Story gave the Panthers a lead they would not relinquish.

In track, Harrington ran the 110 and 300 meter hurdles and the 400 meter run.

Wright’s best events were the 300 meter and 400 meter hurdles and the high jump. Darden was exceptional in the long jump and triple jump.

“This is a great opportunity for these three students,” Price said. “They are most deserving to have a chance to do this.”