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A pair of high school athletes from the county recently made their college choices official.
Shelby County senior Chase Manica signed last Thursday to play football for the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, and Collins senior Dvontre Coleman signed to run for Thomas More College in Crestview Hills.
Manica was the leading rusher and second-leading receiver for the Rockets, who went 9-3 this past season. He rushed 87 times for 672 yards (a 7.7 yards per-carry average) and nine touchdowns and had 22 catches for 453 yards with seven touchdowns.
Manica, who led the team in touchdowns (18) and finished second in scoring (108 points), also had nine kickoff returns for 147 yards (16.3 yards per return).
“I’ve never played with anybody who works as hard in practice or in the weight room,” senior teammate Jacob Hudgens said.
Manica rushed for 469 yards and four TDs as the team’s fullback during his junior season before moving to wingback in the fall. He also started the season at linebacker on defense before relegating that duty to his cousin, Malik.
“It’s been a great ride with Chase,” Shelby County Coach Todd Shipley said. “He has a strong chance to be a starter as a freshman on kickoff return. He has the hard work and determination to be successful.”
When he took the podium Manica thanked God, his mother – “Without her, I don’t know if I would’ve made it through football,” he said – and his grandmother. He also got emotional when thanking Shipley and Rockets assistant coach Cliff Dawson for their support.
Manica said he chose Mount St. Joseph because “it was the right fit for me.”
“It’s a nice campus, the coaches are doing a great thing up there, and it’s just a great program to be a part of,” he said.
Manica said he plans to major in athletic training and would like to be a trainer for an NFL team one day.
Coleman ran track for the Titans as a junior and senior – after some convincing.
“Andrew Page [a 2012 Collins grad] told me to come out and run track, and I did and liked it,” Coleman recalled.
This season he also ran for the cross-country team.
“Dvontre's development shows what hard work and dedication can do,” Titans cross country head coach, and track & field assistant coach, Stephen Drawbaugh said. “His dedication really shows what you can do and what you can accomplish.”
Coleman, who competed in the 1,600-meter relay at the track & field state championships last Friday, said he chose Thomas More because it gave him, “an opportunity to run.”
Coleman said he hopes to major in computer science and eventually become a computer software engineer and design video games.