Five Troy athletes make college choices


TROY — It was a busy morning in the Trojan Activity Center Wednesday as five Troy athletes made their college choices.

Parker Nichols

Nichols, the son of Kirk And Melissa Nichols, understood what Wednesday was about.

Which made his decision to play football for Davidson University. The Wildcats play in the Pioneer Football League, along with Dayton.

“Davidson has great academics,” Nichols said. “There are a lot of things you can do with a degree from Davidson. I know I will be getting a great education.”

Nichols was a pivotal part of the Trojans offensive success from his offensive tackle position.

The 6-foot-3, 265 pounder helped Troy rush for 2,987 yards and 51 touchdowns on 525 carries.

Troy also threw for 908 yards and Nichols hopes to help Davidson do some of the same things.

“I felt like it was a place where I could get on the field early in my career,” Nichols said. “I like the school and the coaches and I am excited about the opportunity.”

Devon Strobel

Strobel, the son of Angie Strobel, is a multi-sport standout at Troy.

He dominated on both sides of the ball for the Trojans this fall and will play for Ferris State University (Michigan) next year.

“Ferris State was the one school that took an interest in me,” Strobel said. “And that meant a lot to me.

As a tight end, Strobel had 21 carries for a 158 yards and four touchdowns and caught two passes for 51 yards.

The 6-foot-2, 230 pounder excelled on defense from his defensive end position, which is where Ferris State will use him.

Strobel had 48 tackles, 18 for loss and 9.5 sacks. He also forced a fumble.

“I know I am going to have work really hard,” Strobel said. “I don’t know about playing right away. They have a lot of good football players there.”

Before that, Strobel looks to have more success this spring throwing the discus.

“I guess it would be nice to make it to state in both (discus, shot put),” Strobel, a state placer in the discus last year, said. “But, my focus is on discus. I want to go back to state in the discus and place higher this year.”

Caleb Akins

Akins, the son of Tim and Elena Akins, is a standout in both football and basketball for the Trojans.

He will continue his career at Millikin University in Illinois.

“They weren’t really on my radar,” Akins said. “My summer coach made me aware of them. I like it there and they have great facilities.”

Akins batted .341 last spring for the Trojans and had had six doubles, 19 RBIs and 12 stolen bases.

He is a versatile player who can play second base or catch and had a 1-1 record on the mound a year ago in limited opportunities with eight strikeouts.

“That probably helps (to be able to play multiple positions),” Akins said. ‘They said I might throw a little. I am not really sure whether they will have me catch or play second base. I am excited to have this opportunity.”

Kiley Kitta

Kitta, the daughter of Krystal and Greg Covington, will continue her running career at Bluffton University.

“I really like it there,” Kitta said. “I began running in middle school, but it wasn’t until I was freshman and realized I was good that I really started to like it. Honestly, I never thought about running in college until this year.”

Kitta, who runs both cross country and track, is hoping for big spring and continuing on that success in college.

“I am just now starting to get healthy,” she said. “I had low iron and I had some injuries to deal with. Definitely, I think my best running is ahead of me if I can stay healthy.”

Kendra Kovacs

Kovacs, the daughter of Dennis and Michelle Kovacs, was the heart and soul of the Troy girls soccer team before going down with an ACL injury early this fall.

And she can’t wait to get back out on the pitch when she continues her soccer career at Capital University.

“I really liked it up there,” Kovacs said. “I liked the coaches and the players. And it is not too far for my family to drive, so they can go to my games.”

She was coming off 10 goals and 17 assists in her sophomore and junior seasons combined and was set to lead the Trojans to a big season, but tore her ACL in her third game.

“I should be good to go by July,” she said. “So, I am going to work hard and I should be ready by the time practice starts. I am really looking forward to the challenge.”

Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]

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