PIQUA — After helping the Piqua football team to back-to-back undefeated seasons and earning first team All-Southwest District and All-Ohio honors in D-II, Piqua High School seniors Caleb Lyons and Jasiah Medley made their college choices official this week.
And in both cases, it was schools who had pursued them from the beginning.
Over the past two seasons, Piqua went 20-2 — advancing to the regional finals this year for the first time since winning state in 2006.
Lyons will go on to play at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, while Medley will play for Youngstown State University.
And both were two-way players for the Indians.
”These two guys are both really hard workers and they are going to do well at the college level,” Piqua football coach Bill Nees said. “In both cases, those schools were one of the first two recruit them and followed through on everything throughout. They were interested from the start so when you have that, it is a good fit.
It is always good for them (young players) when you have players sign. We have all the players coming down for the signing and they get to see that. Those are two of the most competitive conferences in the FCS. That includes two of the Final Four teams.”
The son of Tony and Kelli Lyons, Lyons will play offensive guard at Furman.
He helped Piqua to the top offense and defense in the MVL.
On offense, the Indians had 3,445 yards passing and 1,591 yards rushing.
On defense, Lyons had 16 tackles and one force fumble from his defensive tackle position.
And he said the choice of Furman was an easy one.
“I loved it when I visited there,” Lyons said. “It’s been my dream for the longest time to be a college football player. I am really excited about the opportunity.”
He also loves playing on the offensive line.
“Let the other guys (skill positions) have the limelight,” he said. “I just like going out there and blocking and doing my job.”
Lyons knows he has hard work ahead.
“I feel like I have a chance to go in there and compete (for playing time),” Lyons said. “I know I can still get better on the field and get stronger.”
The son of Jason Medley and Tabitha Long is coming off one of the top season for a Piqua High School running back and was named the D-II All Southwest District Player of the Year.
He rushed for 35 touchdowns, gaining 1,992 yards on 214 carries.
Medley also caught 10 passes for 127 yards and one touchdown.
He also had 42 tackles on defense from his safety position, two forced fumbles and an interception.
Medley, who will play on defense at Youngstown State, also said it was an easy decision.
”I liked it when I visited there and I know some players on the team,” Medley said. I am really excited about it.”
He will start out as a safety.
They gave me a choice,” Medley said. “Right now, I plan on playing safety, but that could change. They said I can play whereever I felt comfortable on defense. I love playing defense, but I love everything about football. “
He said he will miss playing on offense.
“Definitely, I am going to miss running the ball,” he said. “But, I may try to find some way to work myself in there. But, I will be a kick and punt returner so I will still be touching the ball. They are in a rebuilding culture right now and I like that. I know I am going to have to work hard.”
Something both players have been doing since they first donned shoulder pads an helmets — helping Piqua to back-to-back undefeated seasons.