Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Cecil N Graham Sawyers charged in sex for heroin plot Group demands changes at ELSD Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann Kids enjoy a ‘Touch-a-Truck’ event in Mt. Orab New police chief takes over in Fayetteville BC Chamber moving forward on 2017 SummerFest Two killed in wrong way crash in Mt. Orab Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Corbin testifies before Ohio Senate Five arrested in Hamersville drug bust Neil Diamond tribute band coming Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors OHSAA announces 2017 football regions and playoffs format Western Brown volleyball camps a success with over 100 in attendance Rigdon finishes high school running career with 10th place finish at state track and field championship meet Grace E Fite Women return to county jail as funds start to run low Georgetown Council takes action on vacant structures Veterans honored in Mt. Orab John McGee Timmy Burson Patricia A London Mary J Hall Kenneth R Behymer Western Brown’s Joe Sams commits to Marietta College WBHS to hold girls youth basketball camp Huseman signs with UC Clermont Day to continue baseball career on collegiate level at UC Clermont Western’s Pack signs with NKU WBHS to host youth boys basketball camp Eastern’s Rigdon, Hopkins are STATE BOUND James Ratliff Robert P Lesko Armstrong sentenced to twenty years on child porn possession charges Russellville hires new Village Clerk Russellville Council approves purchase of two ambulances

Hart heads for Bethany

Fayetteville-Perry Rockets senior fullback Justin Hart signs his scholarship letter to play football at Bethany College. Hart is flanked by his mother Shelley Gacek and father Joe Hart, while Fayetteville Athletics Director Tim Carlier stands in the back.

By Daniel Karell

dkarell@civitasmedia.com

FAYETTEVILLE — The Fayetteville-Perry Rockets football team has churned out another college-ready player.

Last April, fullback Justin Hart committed to attend Bethany College in West Virginia to continue his football career. Located on the northern tip of West Virginia, the Bethany Bison compete in NCAA Division III in all sports and they play in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference, which consists of small-school colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Bethany also competes in the Eastern College Athletic Conference.

“It’s just a great feeling, I’ve been dreaming of it my whole life,” Hart said after making his commitment and signing his letter of intent at a ceremony at Fayetteville High School. “I finally get to go play (college) football.”

The signing put and end to a long recruiting process that began after Hart’s junior year. Hart had interest from Morehead State and even had a one-on-one visit from a coach, but a text message from Bethany College running backs coach Gage Lotozo following Hart’s senior season changed things in a hurry.

“We started talking and after my first visit, I fell in love with the place,” Hart said. “We decided that I would play football there.”

Listed at 5-feet 8-inches tall and 225 lbs., Hart played as a fullback for most of his career with the Rockets. That will change though when he joins up with the Bison, as they play with a spread formation, leaving only one running back in the backfield.

“They want me to actually be a true running back up there,” Hart said. He added that while he thinks his speed and strength will help him at the next level, he needs to continue working on his backfield vision, knowing where the gaps are in the offensive line to run through.

When asked about his favorite memories with the Rockets, Hart pointed to two moments during his senior season; His first touchdown of the season, and what ended up being the only touchdown in a 19-7 defeat to Clermont Northeastern, and his last high school game, when the Rockets beat Miami Valley Christian, 30-23, with a touchdown on the last play of the game.

“I remember I got the ball off a dive play and I bounced it outside because the inside was clogged up,” Hart said. “I just barely got in because I slipped in a little puddle of mud.”

Reach Daniel Karell at 937-378-6161. Follow him on Twitter @GNDKarell

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