ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — A new Panther on the prowl.
On Thursday in Meigs High School’s Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium, senior wide receiver Zach Bartrum signed his National Letter of Intent to join the Ohio Dominican University football team.
Bartrum — who hauled in 118 passes for 14 touchdowns and over 1,500 yards in four seasons as a Marauder — discussed why ODU was the right choice to continue his academic and athletic careers, and thanked those who’ve helped him reach this point.
“I chose Ohio Dominican after I went for a game visit this football season,” said Bartrum. “The campus was great and everything, but I didn’t really get to go anywhere because it was raining like crazy. We just went to the game, and I loved the atmosphere. We went to an official visit two months ago, and I just fell in love with the campus, the coaching staff and everything about the school. I knew it was the right fit for me and my family.
“Thanks to everyone, from the coaching staffs that I’ve had, to the teachers, the alumni, everyone who has always been behind me and the teams that we had.”
In his four seasons on the squad, the Marauders are 18-22, including 13-11 in the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division. In each his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, Bartrum was named to the All-Ohio special mention list, All-District first team offense, and the All-TVC first team.
Each of his final three years as a Marauder also featured a career-best in the receiving category, with 556 yards as a sophomore, six touchdowns in his junior campaign, and 46 receptions this past fall.
Even with all the numbers and accolades racked up, Zach’s father and high school coach Mike Bartrum — who recently moved on from the Marauders after seven seasons — talked about another reason his second-oldest son stands out.
“I suppose that Zach is pretty special because of his middle name, Fenton,” Coach Bartrum said. “Grandpa didn’t get to be here today, but I think he represented Grandpa pretty well in the last 3-or-4 years since Grandpa’s been gone. That’s more special than any accolades, on or off the field, just knowing that you’re representing Mr. Taylor, who was our Principal and our coach here.
“As far as at the next level, they want him to try out as a slot receiver. I think that’d be a good fit for him, not as a dad, but as a coach. He’s got some intangibles you can’t coach, as far as being able to go get the ball. He has decent hands, runs pretty good routes, but he needs to run better routes. He runs pretty fast, but he needs to run faster, and he’s pretty quick, but he needs to be quicker, especially at that level.”
Zach will join a Panthers squad led by head coach Kelly Cummings. Coach Cummings — who played against Coach Bartrum in a Marshall vs. Eastern Kentucky game — has completed three seasons as ODU head coach, and led the squad to a 9-2 mark a year ago.
Zach — who holds a 3.89 grade-point-average, placing him 15th in the MHS Class of 2019 — talked about his goals once he gets to Columbus, both on the field and in the classroom.
“Athletically, I just want to get in there and do whatever I can do to help the team win and keep building the culture that they already have there,” Bartrum said. “Academically, I’m going to pursue exercise physiology, exercise science, or kinesiology, one of those majors.”
Ohio Dominican is an NCAA Division II school that competes in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
In addition to playing football at Meigs, Zach has been a four-year member of the basketball team and a three-year member of the track and field team.