Miami Trace High School senior Wes Seyfang has taken a giant step forward in his young life by making known his choice of college for the next four years.
Seyfang, surrounded by family, friends, administrators and teachers, last week signed a letter of intent to attend Ashland University.
Those who follow the local sports scene, and Miami Trace’s part in that, particularly, know that Seyfang is an accomplished thrower on the Panthers’ track team.
“I’m going to go into digital media production,” Seyfang told the Record-Herald prior to the signing ceremony. “I’m going to be on Ashland’s track and field team.”
It won’t be just any former collegiate athlete coaching Seyfang.
The team is coached by Jud Logan.
Logan, an Ohio native, crowned his achievements by winning a gold medal in the hammer throw at the 1987 Pan American Games.
Logan was a member of the USA Olympic Track and Field team in 1984, 1988, 1992 and 2000.
“I’ll get to learn from him and throw for him,” Seyfang said. “I hope to do great under him.”
What has been the driving force or motivation behind Seyfang’s passion for track and field?
“I’ve been sort of an outcast most of my life,” Seyfang said. “I just kind of found track. It was just fun and I kind of clicked with it.
“Then, I realized I wanted to keep going with it,” Seyfang said. “So, I work hard at it.”
Outcast seemed a bit of a harsh word, but Seyfang explained.
“I was always the fat guy who got picked last in the games, like dodge ball and everything,” Seyfang said. “I didn’t like that, so, I tried to become something good. A lot of time in the weight room fixed that.”
Who are some of the teachers at Miami Trace who made a difference for Seyfang?
“Definitely, my English teachers, Mrs. (Suzanne) Boedecker and Mrs. (Courtney) Donson and Mrs. (Joyce) Wolfe,” Seyfang said. “Then, my history teacher, Mr. Noes. They were definitely my favorite teachers. And Mrs. (Laura) Hottinger, my video production teacher.”
The road ahead for Seyfang will feature many obstacles and more hard work to acheieve the level of success for which he is hoping.
Seyfang has already overcome a very serious health issue.
“I’ve got a lot of work to do,” Seyfang said. “I’m still gaining strength back in my leg from my injury two years ago. I broke my leg in football when I was a sophomore. I had three surgeries. There was metal put in my leg and it became infected. I almost lost my leg. It took me six months to even be able to stand. Then I had to learn how to walk again.
“Then I spent another few months in the upper gym, throwing a basketball against the wall, to get my shot put form down,” Seyfang said. “When I came back, I threw 32 feet in my first meet. And I just recently threw 50 feet for the first time. My leg is continuously getting stronger. It’s been quite a journey. By the grace of God, I was able to keep my leg.
“I’ve just got so much more work I can do in building strength and just perfecting my form. I’m hoping to do very well.”
When he was asked whom he would to thank, Seyfang did not miss a beat.
“Definitely God and my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ,” Seyfang said. “I’d like to thank my parents and my coaches (Chip) Wilt and (Brent) Noes and (Jeff) Bennett and (Bill) Beatty.”
“We’re just very excited for Wes and this next opportunity he has,” Noes said. “He’s worked very hard to get here. He comes from a great family; that’s where he’s learned his work ethic. His hard work is now paying off. He gets to go on to the next level and compete, which is what he’s been dreaming of.
“His leadership for us has been fantastic,” Noes said. “He reached a pretty big milestone as a thrower this season. He broke the 50-foot mark (50’ 2”) in the shot. Any shot-putter will tell you that that’s going to be a goal of theirs, to reach the 50-foot mark. He did that this year and I know that really meant a lot to him. It was a little bit of a payoff, if you will, for all of that hard work. All the time and dedication; he’s worked tirelessly since the end of last season.
“He’s worked all through the summer, the fall, the winter,” Noes said. “He put a lot of miles on the car, traveling to different meets, participating in different camps. It’s great when you see students have these kind of successes.”
Seyfang’s personal best in the discus throw is 147’ 0”.
His college choice came down to Findlay, Ashland and Malone.
“It all really came down to the area around it,” Seyfang said. “How the team themselves acted and the classes. I love the community around Ashland. The team acts like a family and the classes are exactly what I want to go into. It’s just an all-around fantastic college. I liked the other colleges, but, it just came down to classes, mainly.”
With God’s grace and a tremendous amount of faith and hard work, Seyfang’s path stretches out before him.