At a Nov. 8 signing ceremony, Rocket seniors Michael Lang and Grace Turner signed National Letters of Intent, committing them to college athletics starting with the 2018-2019 school year. Lang signed to play baseball for Ohio Dominican University, and Turner committed to volleyball at University of Virginia.
Lang will be attending Ohio Dominican University beginning in fall 2018 as a member of the school’s baseball program. He has played baseball for fourteen years, since he was four years old. He was three years old when his interest in baseball began. Lang attributed his original love for the sport to his uncle who played baseball with him whenever they were together. “No matter where we were, we’d just get a ball,” Lang said. Lang said that his reason for choosing to play college ball was, “I really love baseball; I have a love for the game and I really love playing.”
Lang spent four years playing baseball for McNicholas, freshman year on junior varsity, and sophomore through senior year on varsity, with his senior season starting this spring. He chose Ohio Dominican because “It felt like the right fit. It’s a small school and I felt like I’d fit in there.” Lang said, “I report for training the first day of college.” Lang earned $21,000 in athletic and academic scholarships, accounting for more than half of his tuition. Lang’s mother, Kelley Lang, said that “[Michael]’s at a school that’s a really good fit for him… We’re really proud of him. We’ve seen him work really hard since he was really little.”
“I’m looking forward to another four years of baseball, getting better, and having fun with the team,” Lang said. He will be studying business with a minor in finance.
Turner will be a student athlete at the University of Virginia starting in fall 2018 as a member of their volleyball program. She has played volleyball since third grade, but “sixth grade is when [she] really became interested” as she had “wanted to play soccer in college” prior. She has been with McNick’s varsity volleyball for four years and played on junior varsity her freshman year, sitting on varsity games. Her college training begins in late spring 2018, with the season starting in the fall, culminating with an NCAA tournament. She received several other local offers and about a dozen out-of-state. She received a full athletic scholarship covering tuition, room and board, and books at University of Virginia.
She chose Virginia because “the academics are incredible, the campus is beautiful, [and there are] four seasons in Virginia, so it reminded [her] of home.” She said Virginia’s volleyball team’s “sense of community and family is something you can’t find anywhere else… It felt like home to me and I know that the volleyball program will not let me down.”
Turner said that her time playing at McNicholas High School “taught me to be a leader and that you always need to be a positive influence on the court,… [and] to be a very versatile player.” She said that all of her teammates have had a positive influence on her but that “[senior] Paxton Albrinck has always been somebody I can go to and has grown to be a sister.” Turner said that she is looking forward to “forming a family bond with [her] teammates and coaches” in college.