Bishop Gorman senior Madeline Raney saw her friends and teammates before her sign scholarships with Division I universities and hoped that she would one day join them.
On Friday afternoon, Raney became the 25th Lady Crusader to sign a D-I track and field scholarship under longtime track coach Rev. Jerome Milton.
Raney inked with Texas Tech University to be a heptathlete, one of three students to secure their futures at Gorman’s Holy Family Library.
Matthew Roe will compete in football and track and field at Southwestern University and Jerome Anthony Milton, Rev. Milton’s son, will join the UT Tyler track team and be an athletic manager.
In becoming a milestone signee, Raney acknowledged those who came before her, including recent signees Brie Smith (Texas A&M), Racquel Satterwhite (Dartmouth), Molly Richey (Oklahoma, soccer) and Makayla Prevost (Texas A&M).
“Since I was a freshman I have been influenced by the people who came before me,” Raney said. “They all taught me to do my best every day. I watched them sign and I hoped that I would one day too.”
Raney was drawn to Texas Tech because her father attended the Lubbock university. She had considered going D-II to play volleyball and run track, but a visit to Tech sold her.
“They really shelter their athletic programs — anything you need, they give it to you,” said Raney, who’s looking at studying accounting. “You’re not ever going to struggle in a classroom — they will get you a tutor no matter what. So that really inspired me to go there because most D-I schools say athletics first but they’re serious about students first.”
Rev. Milton expects great things from Raney, his 37th overall student to sign D-I in track in his 24 years at Gorman.
“Maddie’s such a special young lady,” he said. “She’s focused and she will immediately make an impact at Texas Tech.”
Rev. Milton called Roe, a 6-4, 300-pound offensive lineman, a steal for Southwestern, which will play its first season of football next year.
Roe said he’s looking forward to the academics offered by the Georgetown school where he plans to major in psychology and minor in business.
He also credits his wrestling for making him a better football player. Roe won the Texas Prep State wrestling championship at 285 pounds last weekend in dominant fashion.
“Football and wrestling taught me how to be aggressive; without the combination of the two I don’t think I would be,” Roe said.
Roe pinned every opponent in his wrestling championship and will compete for the National Prep Championship in Pennsylvania Feb. 22-23. Roe will be called upon to pancake the opposition for the Pirates, but nothing beats the feeling of a pin, he said.
“Pinning a guy on the mat, it’s one of the best feelings you’ll ever experience as a wrestler,” Roe said. “It’s probably one of the best things you’ll ever feel in your life. It’s just so empowering, it just feels great.”
Another wrestler who’s had his share of pins, Anthony Milton will leave behind the mat to be a manager and throw javelin for the Patriots while studying accounting.
After considering his father’s alma mater UCLA as a student, the Gorman senior opted to stay closer to home and continue his athletic career.
“Excellent job placement; good academics,” Anthony Milton said of why he chose UT Tyler. “I’ll be close to my family. I’ll get to see my little brothers and other relatives go to the games. That’s a nice perk.”
Rev. Milton’s daughter Lakesha signed to run track at Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire last year, giving the family two collegiate athletes following in the footsteps of their father, who ran track for the Bruins.
“My daughter signed last year, that was so, so special,” Rev. Milton said. “But for a father that was a former athlete to see your son go to the next level and carry on a legacy, Webster did not come up with the words that express the joy in my heart for my son.”
That his son is staying in town is just a bonus.
“It’s nice because naturally you get to see him, you get to see him play,” he said. “My daughter’s in New Hampshire, buried in snow, but it’s wonderful tonight.”