Even though the field athletes are sometimes the forgotten heroes of a varsity track and field team, on Monday North Callaway's Nicholas Douglas stood front and center as he signed his national letter of intent to compete for Hannibal-LaGrange University starting this fall.
"In college I hope to compete in shot put and maybe hammer throwing. Discus and javelin have never ended up going well for me," Douglas said. "I've only had a few chancers to meet my college coaches (Andy Lemons and Carissa Eichmeyer). We got along pretty well. I'm not sure what my first year is going to look like. I'm jut going to try and do my best."
While Douglas and the Thunderbirds left right after his signing for their first meet of this season, the Trojans have competed just once in 2017, as well, placing eighth at the 12-team Central Methodist University Open on March 18. During the indoor season from Dec.-Feb. Hanibal-LaGrange was also in action five times. Highlights included coming in 12th at the 19-team Jim Green Invite at Illinois College on Feb. 4 and at the 13-team Snow Bird Open on Jan. 21 the squad finished eighth.
"I went to the campus in January for a day visit. I liked it. It's really nice," said Douglas. "Up until a few weeks ago I didn't think I had a shot at competing in college athletics. Then I met coach Lemons. I busted my tail for four years. My mom and dad have been supporting me. It's been great."
With a major in elementary education on the horizon, one goal Douglas and North Callaway have this season is qualifying for the class 3 state meet after just missing the cut in 2016.
As for the Trojans, last year they wrapped things up by taking sixth at the seven-team American Midwest Conference championships on May 7. They were also 21st at William Jewel College on April 16 and second at Culver-Stockton on March 24.
"When I got to high school I had no athletic talent at all. Thanks to the staff here and the work they've allowed me to put in, they helped me achieve this," Douglas said. "It's all thanks to the school."
Coming up for Hanibal-LaGrange is the Culver-Stockton Invite on March 25 in Canton and on March 31 the team is in St. Louis for the Washington University Invite.
North Callaway is at Montgomery County today and hosts the Thunderbird Open on March 28.