Wellsville-Middletown senior Seth Oliver had been a mainstay for several of the high school varsity athletic programs over the past several years.
While his most recent accomplishments include helping the baseball squad make the class 1 title game and qualifying for the state track and field meet in Jefferson City, it turns out prior to all of this that he also signed his national letter of intent to play basketball at Missouri Valley College starting this fall.
"I signed back in May. (Missouri Valley) offered me a better scholarship than anyone else did. I also like the coach and it's located in a decent-size town," Oliver said. "It's a nice campus and a nice place to be. I like it a lot."
Even though basketball is the sport that allows Oliver to perform at his highest level, part of what made Wellsville-Middletown's postseason baseball run so unique is that the team began the playoffs with a record of 10-11 overall. When the Tiger's then couldn't host their one home postseason contest because the field was flooded, the program turned an invitation from Mexico to use its facilities into a launching pad that led them to much greater heights.
"It was real special. We were able to get hot at just the right time," said Oliver. "(When I get to college) I feel like I'm going to do the right thing. I'm going to work hard and achieve the goals I've set for myself, but I haven't spoken with the coaches about how I might fit in during my first year. I just want an opportunity to play basketball and do all I can to help the team out."
Last season Oliver, a point guard, helped the Tigers finish with a record of 16-10 overall, 5-4 Eastern Missouri Conference. This included ending the regular season with home wins over Silex 58-35 on Feb. 14 and Wright City 75-70 on Feb. 17.
"I was also considering Culver-Stockton. I plan on being a Physical Education major so I can teach high school and coach basketball," said Oliver. "(At Wellsville-Middletown) the coaches were fun. At basketball practice we always had a good time, but got serious when we needed to. Coach (Darin) Sehlke was always a nice guy."
During the 2017 hoops tournament, Wellsville began district No. 10-1 by beating Missouri School for the Deaf 90-56 on Feb. 20 and North Shelby 67-45 on Feb. 22. That led to a shot at the district championship on Feb. 24 against Chamois at Madison that it lost 70-63.
"I took Seth to a tryout and campus tour at Missoui Valley in the middle of April. He was one of about 25 athletes at this tryout," said former Wellsville-Middletown Athletic Director and varsity boys basketball coach Darin Sehlke. "He played and drilled very well and I knew he had a shot. He already had an offer to play at another school but once we started talking on the ride home I knew he was hoping for an equal offer from MoVal, which I'm glad he got. I look forward to seeing Seth compete."
Last season the Vikings finished at 15-17 overall, 9-13 Heart of America Athletic Conference. Missouri Valley also stood out in the National Association of Collegiate Athletics by coming in 12th in field goal percentage at .720 and was 16th in steals with 257.
"Seth is the most dedicated player I've been around. He has the knowledge, dedication, athleticism and will-power to excel in whatever he puts his mind to," Sehlke said. "You can ask any of his coaches and they'd say the same. He's also one of the quickest Class 1 players I've ever seen in person. He battled through injuries and sickness his Senior year but he had the mentality of not wanting to ever miss a play in practice or game. He's really grown into an outstanding young man, leader and a role model."