By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer
NEOSHO, Mo. —
Three Neosho High School athletes elected to continue in their respective sports by signing with colleges on Wednesday.
Maddy Liedtke signed to play soccer at Hannibal-LaGrange in Hannibal, Mo. Derrick Shadwick will play football at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. Ryan Taylor will continue his track and field career at Maryville University in St. Louis.
Liedtke, a goalkeeper, said she is excited to play for the Trojans. She will join Neosho graduate Eric Morris on the Hannibal-LaGrange team.
“They have a winning tradition,” she said. “The coach is very nice. They are Christian school, so they are based on good values. We had another Neosho girl go there and sign for soccer, too. I met the team and really liked it.”
The NAIA school finished 8-9-2 in 2012.
Shadwick (6-3, 225) is slated to play offensive line for the Yellowjackets. He will try to help a Graceland team that finished 5-6 last year.
He said he’s had his eyes on Graceland for a while.
“It’s where I always wanted to go,” Shadwick said. “My church found it a long time ago, and it’s where my heart’s been.”
He also said that he liked the coaching staff and will work through the weight program to gain 30 to 40 pounds.
“I went out to Iowa and met the coaching staff,” he said. “I like how they handle themselves and what they do as an offense. You can tell they care about the players.”
Taylor, who was the district champion in the 400 meters last year, put a lot of time in before making his decision.
“I picked Maryville because they’re an up and coming program,” Taylor said. “They just built it, but they are building fast in all of the programs because they just moved up to Division II. I also picked them because academically they are the top private institution in the nation for small private schools. They also are No. 1 in athletic retention as far as staying in school.”
Taylor said he plans to run the 400 meters and 200 meters in college. He said the coaches also are talking to him about trying the 400-meter hurdles at the next level.
First, Taylor said he has some goals for his senior track season this spring.
“I want to repeat as district champion, qualify for state and break the school record,” he said.