Delaney Eakins has a good head start on her further education beyond high school.
The Miami Trace senior on Thursday signed a letter of intent to attend Heidelberg University, located in Tiffin, Ohio, where she will continue her athletic career and her academic career as she studies computer science.
She was joined by her parents and her brother, as well as many friends and teammates for the signing.
Eakins has been taking college classes while being a member of the Miami Trace volleyball, basketball and now, softball teams.
Eakins has already earned an Associate’s Degree.
“I actually planned on going to a different college,” Eakins said. “Ever since I was in the seventh grade, I planned on going to the University of Rio Grande. I used to go to their basketball camps and everything.
“One of the coaches who helped run the camps, he coached at Heidelberg for the women,” Eakins said. “I went up there for a visit and I just loved it. I loved all the people. They have great academic opportunities, so, that’s really what made my decision there.
“I just got my Associate of Arts and Science, so, I’m going to continue and get my Bachelor’s in computer science and my Master’s in business,” Eakins said. “I started my sophomore year at Southern State. I’ve been full time ever since my sophomore year. It’s great.
“I’m planning on becoming a software engineer,” Eakins said. “Writing code and stuff. That’s what my dad and brother do. I’m kind of following in their footsteps.”
Eakins began her schooling at Hillsboro. She attended Hillsboro schools through the ninth grade.
“What made me leave was the basketball program here,” Eakins said. “Ben Ackley and Kayla Dettwiller; really just great people here. There are great people at Hillsboro, too. They’ve just welcomed me and been so great. All the teachers and the staff here are nice people, just great.”
At Southern State, Eakins said her favorite subject was chemistry and her favorite teacher was Don Storer.
Eakins took all of her classes at Southern State.
“My parents and my brother have really helped me out a lot,” Eakins said. “All of my coaches — Ben Ackley, Kayla Dettwiller, Doug Mace (volleyball) and Joe Henry (softball) — they have really helped me out a lot.”
Eakins is the daughter of Michael and Geneva Eakins. She has a brother, Dawson Eakins.
What will it take to be successful at the next level?
“I think just dedication, just keep going along the way I am,” Eakins said. “I just need to make sure I stay on top of things, don’t procrastinate, just do what I need to do.”
“When Delaney came here her sophomore year, she was a great addition to the program,” Miami Trace assistant varsity basketball coach Kayla Dettwiller said. “There isn’t a kid who has a better character than her. She came in every day and worked so hard. She was a number one teammate to all of her teammates.
“She suffered a back injury as a junior high kid and she kind of suffered through it as a sophomore,” Dettwiller said. “She had days where she couldn’t even participate in practice. But, she was still there, pumping up her teammates, encouraging them. That never really wavered in her time with us.
“She’s going to be a great addition at Heidelberg,” Dettwiller said. “When they get her, they’re going to be so happy to have her. She’s going to make a great asset, pumping those kids up. Not only what she gives to them in being a leader, but, also what she does on the floor.
“I don’t think I’ve ever coached a kid who never complained,” Dettwiller said. “I’ve never heard her once complain. She doesn’t string 20 words together half of the time. That might be part of it. As a basketball player, she never shied away from anything we challenged her with. She would be one of the first kids to thank you for pushing her to make her better.
“She drives her teammates every day,” Dettwiller said. “We’ll see her loss next year when she’s at Heidelberg. That’s Heidelberg’s gain next year. She’s definitely going to make an impact on that program over the next four years.”