By Rob Kiser
Lehman Catholic seniors Wyatt Long and Kaitrin O’Leary may play very different sports.
But, they have several things in common.
First, a lot of untapped athletic ability and potential — and both making their college decisions on the same day.
Long signed with Capital University to play football, while O’Leary signed with Franciscan of Steubenville to play soccer.
Long a multi-sport talent for Lehman, said his choice of Capital was an easy one.
First, I want to go into biology and they have the program I want,” the son of Bill and Kim Long, said. “And you have make sure with the financials and all that, that everything lines up.”
Long, who had 144 tackles over the last two seasons, with three sacks and two forced fumbles, also sees a chance to get on the field quickly.
“I feel like there is a great opportunity for me at Capital,” Long said. “They graduated a lot of guys and they are going to be a young team.”
And it fulfills a longtime dream for Long.
“Obviously, when you are a little kid, you are thinking about playing for Ohio State one day or playing on TV,” he said. “But, it is Division III football Capital has a good program. Football is football. I am excited.”
And it is a chance to be united with former Lehman teammate Kris Lee.
“That’s the other thing,” he said. “Our family is close with their family. It is always nice to be playing with someone (Kris Lee) who your family is close too.”
The 6-foot, 205-pound linebacker will play that position at Capital.
But his talents are hardly limited to football.
He missed by just one match of placing at the state wrestling tournament this year.
“I think it is a good fit for Wyatt (Long),” Lehman Catholic football coach and athletic director Richard Roll, said. “I think his best football is in front of him. Wyatt is just a good athlete. He made it to state in wrestling and made the league finals in the 400 in track. That just shows the kind of athlete he is and he will do well for Capital.”
The daughter of David and Emily O’Leary was a forward on a Lehman girls soccer team that has been to the district finals or regional semifinals the last four years, said her college choice was easy.
“It is where a lot of my family has going to school,” she said. “I have had a lot of aunts and uncles go there, so that was pretty much where I was going to go.”
O’Leary was an integral part of the Lehman team the last four years and is also a standout hurdler in track.
She had three goals and five assists for Lehman this season.
“You are always excited whenever a player goes on to the next level,” Lehman girls soccer coach Jeremy Lorenzo said. “Kaitrin (O’Leary) is just a great athlete.”
Who is still learning the game.
“Kaitrin (O’Leary) is an exception in that she has never played club soccer or focused strictly on soccer,” Lorenzo said. “So, I think there is a lot of potential there for her in the future.”
O’Leary wouldn’t argue that point.
“I agree with coach on that,” she said. “Because I never played club soccer, I feel like focusing on the sport, my best soccer is ahead of me.”
She is excited to have the opportunity to continue to play the sport.
“I have played the game since I was four years old,” she said. “I have just always loved the game of soccer. Honestly, I never thought I would get the opportunity. But, the opportunity presented itself and I took advantage of it. I am excited.”
She is not sure how quickly she will see playing time.
“I will have to wait and see until I get up there for tryouts in August,” she said. “Then, I will have a better idea where I fit.”
But, there can be no argument that both signees have plenty of untapped athletic ability ahead of them.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.
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