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River View athletes set to compete in college

| May 29, 2020

Donnie Kehl signed his letter of intent to play lacrosse at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. He is pictured with his mom and dad, Tara and Rob Kehl. (Josie Sellers)

At River View High School’s most recent signing day, three more members of the Class of 2020 celebrated their opportunities to compete at the next level.

Donnie Kehl, who played football and basketball for the Black Bears, plans to head to Mount Vernon Nazarene University to play lacrosse and possibly JV basketball.
“We are pretty excited for him, but these four years have gone by quick,” Kehl’s father Rob said.
Rob Kehl said they actually went to Mount Vernon to talk about basketball, but the lacrosse coach was the one who ended up showing them around the campus.
“It sounded really interesting, and Donnie decided he wanted to try something different,” Rob Kehl said.
Rob Kehl said he likes that Mount Vernon is a small school and close to home. “The people there are really friendly, and I think it will be a good fit for him,” he said.
Donnie Kehl plans to major in phycology at Mount Vernon.

Aliya Stevens is headed to Indiana Wesleyan University for track. She is pictured with her dad and mom, Zach and Janae Stevens. (Josie Sellers)

“I really liked that there were student workers almost everywhere on campus,” Donnie Kehl said. “It seemed like there were plenty of ways to make money while working on campus.”

Donnie Kehl also is thankful for his parents’ help in being able to take this next step in life. “They were always trying to get me to get good grades so I could go to college,” he said.
Donnie Kehl had a few words of wisdom to share with his younger teammates from high school. “Don’t be afraid to try something new because you never know what might happen,” he said.
Donnie Kehl’s mom, Tara, is excited to see him try a new sport. “College sports are fun to watch, and lacrosse is totally different than anything we are used to,” she said.
Next to sign her letter of intent was Aliya Stevens, who is headed to Indiana Wesleyan University for track to continue competing in distance events.

DJ Marshall signed his letter of intent for track at Marietta College. (Josie Sellers)

“It’s exciting,” said Janae Stevens, Aliya’s mom. “She’s only ran for two years, and she’s really enjoyed it.”

Janae Stevens said Aliya looked at several schools to find one that had a good art program where she also could run.
“Indiana Wesleyan is going to be a good fit for her,” Janae Stevens said.
Aliya Stevens’ father Zach agreed with his wife. “It’s pretty cool seeing her sign,” he said. “She’s worked hard at track and art. I’m going to miss her though. I tried to talk her into staying closer to home. It took her a little while to find her school, but Indiana Wesleyan had the running and art, so it’s a good fit.”
Aliya Stevens plans to major in studio arts and is excited to continue to grow as an artist and runner. “I love the feeling you have afterward when you run,” she said. “A lot of people call it runner’s high. You feel accomplished and know you pushed yourself. I’ve heard in college you drop time, and I’m looking forward to that and being on the team. I came to this high school late and didn’t know a lot of people. Running helped me find my friends.”
River View track coach Megan Philabaum is excited to see Aliya Stevens move on.
“She’s a phenomenal athlete,” Philabaum said. “She is very determined at setting goals and has high expectations for achieving those.”
Philabaum also was on hand for DJ Marshall’s signing. He plans to head to Mariette College to run track and double major in computer science and psychology.
“He has very good work ethic,” Philabaum said. “He’s also a great leader. I know he will learn from the older college kids’ experiences and move up the ladder.”
Marshall looked at a few other colleges but really liked Mariette for track. “We go there for ECOL every year, so I knew the track,” he said. “I visited the campus and thought it was nice.”
Marshall competed at the state meet last year in the 4-by-100 and 4-by-200 and plans to continue sprinting in college. “I like them because they are short, sweet and to the point,” he said.
Marshall is thankful for all his coaches, friends, family and especially his late grandpa for pushing him and keeping him going with track.

Category: High School, Sports

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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