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Oxford holds college signing day for five Chargers

On the opening morning of the early signing period for all NCAA sports, Oxford High School held a signing ceremony Wednesday morning for five seniors headed to play in college athletics.

Two baseball players, Sam Bianco and Owen Bruce, two girls soccer players, Kathleen Myers and Maria Jones and track and cross country runner Walter Johnson will be moving on to play at the next level.

Bianco is headed to the University of Louisiana. Bianco has started for the Chargers since his freshman year, hitting .370 with a .478 on base percentage over his first three seasons, stealing 71 bases. Son of Ole Miss baseball head coach Mike Bianco, Sam is the final member of a long line of Biancos on the Oxford baseball team.

“It’s kind of bittersweet. I’ll be in college next year and I’m excited about it. But it’ll be hard leaving my teammates behind,” Bianco said. “Every year I see it: I see my old teammates every year, and some of them graduate and come back. It gets hard, but this year it’s me. Hopefully we can go out on a good note. … My dad really made it a big thing that he wanted this to be my decision, and I’m really grateful for that. He’s a guy that could have given a lot of advice, because he deals with it all the time with his job. But I’m really blessed to have a dad like that to lead me in the right direction.”

Owen Bruce signed with Northwest Mississippi Community College. Pitching in just 13 games as a Charger, Bruce has a 9-0 record, eight of the wins coming as a junior. He’s struck out 55 batters over 56 innings with an ERA of 1.88.

Kathleen Myers signed on Wednesday with Southeastern Louisiana. Myers’ first year as a Charger was last season, coming to Oxford from Jackson Prep. She started 20 games a year ago, scoring 10 goals with eight assists and was voted All-District. So far this season, she is leading the team, with six goals and three assists.
“I love every single girl on this team. They welcomed me immediately. Everyone works hard and we all have the same goal, and that’s to win the state championship,” Myers said. “But when I visited Southeastern (Louisiana), it just felt right. It was somewhere that I felt like I was meant to be.”

Maria Jones will be headed to Itawamba Community College. Having been with the girls soccer program since middle school, she has started over 60 games since her freshman year on defense. She’s been voted to three All-District teams and was the team’s defense MVP a season ago as a junior.

Walter Johnson, just weeks removed from cross country states, signed Wednesday with the University of North Alabama. Johnson was a two-time All-State performer in cross country and track, having recently broken the Oxford High School record with a 5k time of 15:20.