GALION — Galion High School senior Shelena Wilcox will continue her academic and athletic career at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
Wilcox will join the Cougars bowling program when she arrives on campus in the fall. She signed a letter of intent during a ceremony last week at Galion High School.
Wilcox, who was born in Mount Vernon, said the fact that MVNU is a Christian college played a key role in her decision to attend school there.
“It really fit into the Christian atmosphere for me. That’s always been a big part of my life,” she said.
Further research into Mount Vernon Nazarene showed Wilcox that it was the right fit for her, she said.
“I started learning more about it and found out they have a great academic system,” Wilcox said. “And then they have my favorite thing to do, which is bowling, so it’s like, this is perfect. When I went to visit, I instantly fell in love with the campus. It was so pretty and so welcoming. It was just amazing.”
Wilcox plans to major in biology and wants to pursue a career as a physical therapist.
Mount Vernon Nazarene is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Crossroads League, which has 10 member schools in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. For bowling, MVNU is a member of the Ohio Bowling Conference, since the Crossroads League doesn’t sponsor bowling as a league sport.
Ron Garlinger is the head bowling coach and his daughter Amber Brubaker is the assistant coach. They started the program three years ago. Garlinger said he’s looking forward to Wilcox joining the program.
“We’re always looking for mission-fit students that have the ability to perform the sport,” Garlinger said. “We’re excited to bring her in this fall and hopefully improve her skills and see her do some good things.”
Wilcox said she was impressed with the close-knit nature of the bowling program at Mount Vernon Nazarene.
“They all support each other and the school supports the bowling team,” she said. “It’s not a ‘Oh if you do that, you’re weird,’ everybody cares and they’re always going to support you. They pick each other up. It’s a great learning opportunity for me.”
Wilcox said she’s enjoyed her time as a student at Galion High School. She is the president of the student council and vice president of the National Honor Society this year.
“I stay connected with the school,” she said. “I try and make things fun doing different activities for different holidays. (As a member of NHS), I’m able to give back and help and try to recruit people to show that learning is fun and it pays off when you do well. I’ve created some special bonds with a lot of the teachers. They make it a better place to come to every day.”
Wilcox said she will miss her times with the Galion bowling team.
“I enjoyed being in the environment with girls who have the same interests as I do and having fun and doing good,” she said.
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