Eight Loveland Tiger Student/Athletes committed to continue their athletic career at the college level

By Chuck Gibson (Photography By: Alex Eicher, LHS senior and photojournalist)

LOVELAND, OH (April 16, 2021) – Loveland High School (LHS) celebrated Spring Signing Day Wednesday with a ceremonial signing for eight (8) student athletes committing to continue their academic and athletic career in college.

LHS Spring Signing day for eight student/athletes moving on to college (Photo by Alex Eicher)

All eight student athletes were on hand to sign their letter of intent committing to continue their athletic career at the next level. Most parents were on hand to support their child, some coaches and even siblings and some friends were on hand for the special moment. The ceremony was held in the Media Room where student passing by on the walkway above could watch through the windows. LHS Athletic Director Brian Conatser served as emcee introducing and congratulating each student athlete and their family members as they stepped up to the table for their official signing.

Here are the LHS Tiger athletes who signed at the Spring Signing ceremony Wednesday afternoon, April 14, 2021:

 

Jerra Harcourt with parents Valerie Daugherty and Josh Harcourt (Photo Alex Eicher)

Jerrah Harcourt: Softball, Miami University-Hamilton

  • Supported by her parents Valerie Daugherty and Josh Harcourt.
  • Jerrah currently has a 3.2 GPA
  • She played Varsity Softball all 4 years of high school and was also involved with Marching Band.
  • Jerrah played travel softball for 5 years.

Miya Brines with her parents Chad and Lisa and her LHS track coach (Photo Alex Eicher)

Miya Brines: Run Track & Field, The University of Iowa

  • Supported by her parents Chad and Lisa
  • Miya currently has a 3.2 GPA
  • Miya holds the record at Loveland High School for Long Jump, High Jump, and 100 meter Hurdles. She has earned 2019 ECC Team Champions, 2019 1st Team All-Conference Long Jump and 100 Meter Hurdles. She placed 4th in the 2019 State Division I tournament in 100 meter hurdles. She is the Adidas Nationals Indoor Champion in High Jump. 2021 Division I indoor Long Jump State Champion and 60m Hurdles State Runner Up. Miya is 2021 Girls Track Team Captain.

She is also a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Loveland Young Life

Weston Manske signs his letter while parentsparents Janette Wendt & Lee Manske look on with LHS coach (Photo Alex Eicher)

Weston Manske: Lacrosse, Trine University

  • Weston is supported by his parents Janette Wendt & Lee Manske.
  • He currently has a 3.8 GPA
  • Weston is a 4 year varsity lacrosse player and a senior captain.
  • He was also a part of the football team, Jazz Orchestra, and is a member of the National Honor Society, and National Society of High School Scholars.

Brian Conatser, LHS Athletic Director emceed the Spring Signing Ceremony (Photo Alex Eicher)

Athletic Director Brian Conatser talked about what it means to the Loveland High School Athletic Department to see eight senior athletes signing to continue their athletic career at the collegiate level.

“Our kids are talented, committed, and have the foundation built here to have success in high school and carry that over to college,” said Conatser. “It helps pay for their academics. That’s what this is all about. We’re glad, the coaches are glad just to be a part of that; to be able to watch them grow and move to the next level.”

The diversity of sports played by this group of eight athletes stands out for Conatser.

“We have both boys and girls playing,” he said. “I think it shows Loveland provides opportunity for both females, males and we support the entire spectrum of athletic programs. Whatever you want to do, there is opportunity for the kids to grow, develop and play at the next level.”  

Ethan Libby with his parents Nathan and Tricia (PHoto Alex Eicher)

Ethan Libby: Tennis, Wittenberg University

  • Supported by his parents Nathan and Tricia
  • Ethan currently has a 3.89 GPA
  • He is a 4 year Varsity player and 2021 Co-Captain. He earned
  • 2nd Doubles Champion and overall ECC Champions.
  • Ethan has also been involved in teaching clinics at Normandy Swim & Tennis Club for 3 years. He is a member of the Students Athletic Leadership Team and French Club.

Aidan Kruse with his parents Michelle and Tony (Photo Alex Eicher)

Aidan Kruse: Lacrosse, Wittenberg University

  • Supported by his parents Michelle and Tony.
  • Aidan currently has a 3.8 GPA
  • Aidan has been on varsity for 3 years and he is also a captain.
  • He is involved in Tigers Inc. and Ultimate Frisbee club.

Next up was Kees (Pronounced like CASE) Ciric. He was coached throughout his high school career by LHS Tiger Men’s Soccer Coach Mike Dunlap. Coach Dunlap was on hand to support his player. It’s a good feeling for him to see a player navigate the recruiting process and come out with an opportunity to continue learning and playing. 

“As a coach and teacher, it’s very rewarding to see my players able to move on a play at a higher level,” said Dunlap. “It’s great for our program. I love to see a player move to the higher level.”

Kees was a “very coachable” player among other standout qualities Coach Dunlap cited. Those are the kids you get that understand what you’re trying to do, what their position is and what their responsibility is.

“He’s very coachable, works very hard in practice and always gives 120-percent,” Dunlap said. “Those are the kids you want to have in your program. There is no doubt Wittenberg will be really pleased with what they get in Kees.”

Kees Ciric with parents Michelle and Vladimir and Coach Mike Dunlap (Photo Alex Eicher)

Kees Ciric: Soccer, Wittenberg University

  • Supported by his parents Michelle and Vladimir.
  • Kees currently has a 4.16 GPA
  • Kees earned 2019 second team All-Conference, 2020 Captain, First Team All-Conference, Conference player of the year, 1st team All-City, Second Team All-State, First team All-Region.

He is also involved in Track and Field, National Honor Society, NEST, Tigers in Service, Tiger Care Callers.

Kees talked about this next step in his life moving on to college and continuing his athletic career at the next level.  

“To me it’s another step in the process of life, playing soccer my whole life,” said Ciric. “It’s something I’ve done since I was four I think. I’m going to a new team now. I’ll see how I fit in.”

He also talked about how the experience at LHS has impacted him and his future.

“The players I’ve been able to play with and the coaching staff has always been great,” Ciric said. “I almost felt like it was a college team at the level we played and the level Coach Dunlap coaches. It’s almost like I’m already playing college.”

Maggie Nance signs as her sisters, Abby and Jenna Nance and her aunt, Shelly Eckert look on. (Photo Alex Eicher)

Maggie Nance: Lacrosse, Otterbein University

  • Supported by her sisters, Abby and Jenna Nance and her aunt, Shelly Eckert.
  • Maggie currently has a 4.18 GPA
  • Maggie is a 4 year Varsity starter and has earned 2018 and First Team all ECC.
  • She is also a member of The National Honor Society, Student Athletic Leadership Team, Co-Leader of Do it in a Dress, and The Chamber Orchestra at Loveland High School.

Austin Lodor with parents Eric and MaryLynn (Phtot Alex Eicher)

Austin Lodor: Football, Baldwin-Wallace University

  • Supported by his parents Eric and MaryLynn.
  • Austin currently has a 3.0 GPA
  • He is a 4 year Varsity Player.

A name plate was placed on the table bearing the name of each individual athlete along with the Loveland Tiger logo

After signing their letter, the player flipped the name plate to reveal the college name, logo and their own name. They all received a rousing round of applause as they signed their letter. Athletic Director Brian Conatser closed the ceremony wishing each student/athlete congratulations and thanks.  

“Thank you to our seniors and their families,” Conatser said. “Continue to always represent our Loveland Tiger values of Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, and Pride. We wish you the best in all of your future endeavors. Forever, Go Tigers!”

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