Badger’s Reeher, Lakeview’s Becker sign with colleges

CORTLAND – Track and field coach Kurt Ward was getting a big ice tub out for some of his Badger athletes, who needed to get out the kinks on Sunday.

Then, they all looked up and saw teammate Owen Reeher running.

“Of course it’s Sunday and here comes Owen, going for a run,” said Ward of Reeher, who signed this week to go to Shawnee State University. “Every time one of the kids says, ‘Owen is just really good at everything,’ you tell them this is why. He puts the work in. There’s no secret formula to distance running. You simply have to go out and run more than everyone else.”

Several other area athletes also announced their college commitments this week, including a trio of Lakeview female athletes.

Addison Becker signed with Capital University to play basketball, Alaina Lytle signed with Geneva to play volleyball and Taylor Horn signed with Grove City for golf.

Another track and field signing was announced in Canfield where thrower Andrew Hallof announced he will continue his athletic career at Youngstown State.

Two other Mahoning County athletes announced their commitments recently. Kaelyn Puhalla of Austintown Fitch will attend Westminster College to play socer and Poland’s Dante Ginnetti will continue his wrestling career at Baldwin Wallace.

As far as Reeher goes, he said he found out about Shawnee State from his brother, Ty, who got mailings from the university. Owen was intrigued and found out their cross country and track and field times were pretty fast. He talked to Shawnee State’s Eric Putnam, who is the men’s cross country and track and field coach, and decided to go there to run and major in sports management.

This is Badger’s first boys track and cross country signee since Aaron Titus went to Westminster. Titus’ last year with the Titans was the 2009-10 season.

“It’s a little surreal to be honest,” Ward said. “He’s not my first, but he’s definitely the first one in quite a while.”

Reeher is running at the next level because of his work ethic.

“I just like to run,” he said. “That’s why I run track and cross country in high school. I really don’t like taking days off. I think if you take a day off, that’s a day your opponent has over you.”