Harrison inks track scholarship to Shelton State

Published 11:38 am Thursday, May 9, 2024

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Maplesville High School standout distance runner Will Harrison signed a scholarship to run cross country at Shelton State Community College on May 1. Harrison was joined on stage by his family and Shelton State coach Charles Tiller, and he signed in front of an auditorium full of friends and supporters.

Harrison has been a standout distance runner for the Red Devils for many years advancing to the state championship meet on multiple occasions. He recently ended his high school running career with a pair of 13th place finishes in the boy’s 1A 800-meter and 1600-meter runs at the 2024 Class 1A-3A State Championship Meet at Cullman High School. Now, he knows where his next steps in his running career will be — in Tuscaloosa.

“Shelton State has a strong academic and athletic reputation,” Harrison said. “After visiting the campus, meeting the administration and the other members of the cross country team, I felt like this was the right opportunity and the place for me.”

Maplesville does not have a cross country team, but Harrison is no stranger to the long distances he will be running for Shelton State. The biggest difference he said between conventional track and cross country is exposing himself to different types of terrain over rocks, sand and even water in cross country. He doesn’t plan to tweak his running style very much, but he plans to improve his stability, strength and endurance to better prepare him for the long runs ahead.

Harrison added that spirit, pride and tradition is something that he has learned in not only track at Maplesville, but in football and other sports he has played there as well. The commitment to excellence the program expects, and the mentality of pushing its athletes to be the best they can be are things the senior plans to take with him into Shelton State.

“I am very thankful to Shelton State and coach Tiller for this opportunity,” Harrison said. “Thank you to all my coaches and teachers over the years at Maplesville for instilling a hard work ethic and competitive spirit in me. I also want to thank my family for their continued support and guidance through this entire process.”

Harrison’s goal is to help Shelton State win a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) cross country championship, and use the opportunity to open doors to potentially continuing his running career at a four-year university.