TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — It’s only a short distance between Eastern High School and Marietta College, and one Eagle has decided to take the flight.
Eastern senior Ross Keller signed his letter of intent on April 22, in the EHS lobby, committing to join the Marietta College football team next season.
“This means a lot, I’ve been playing football since I was in first grade and I love football,” Keller said. “Coach Waddle approached me at the end of my senior season, and it meant a lot to me to know that I have an opportunity to keep going. I love Marietta, it’s such a beautiful college and the coaching staff genuinely cares about the players. They want to get better, I can feel that the program is going places and I want to be a part of something like that.”
Keller — who was an offensive and defensive starter for three years at EHS — was named to the Associated Press All-District first team as a junior and a senior, while earning a special mention spot on the AP All-District squad as a sophomore. Ross is a two-time All-Ohio special mention selection and was named All-TVC as a senior.
In Keller’s four years at EHS, the Eagles were a combined 15-25 on the gridiron. For the past two season, Pat Newland has coached the the Green and Gold to a 7-13 mark.
“Ross is a very hard worker,” Newland said of Keller. “About halfway through his junior year, he started really realizing what it is to play all play, every play. We’ll miss him both offensively and defensively. When you lose a senior lineman that’s been starting for three years, it’s hard to replace.”
At Marietta College, Ross will major in Land and Energy Management. Keller — who currently holds a 3.65 grade point average — will look to play either defensive tackle or offensive guard for the Pioneers.
“Ross has all the attributes that we want to be associated with our program, from the character, to the type of student that he is, to the type of player that he is,” Pioneers head coach Andy Waddle said of Keller. “We want to help him develop into the best player that he can be, just like all of our players. We expect all of our guys to come in with the mindset of graduating and beyond that, we want them to be good people. From the things that I’ve seen, I don’t think Ross will have any problems in any of those areas.”
Marietta College is an NCAA Division III school that competes in the Ohio Athletic Conference. The Pioneers were 2-8 on the gridiron last fall.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.