Neosho student-athletes sign letters of intent

Seth Kinker
Neosho Daily News

On May 6, four student athletes, Emma Dodd, Jeremiah Enlow, Eric Holt and Avery Renfro, signed their letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at the next level.

Dodd will be running cross country at Neosho Community College, Enlow will be running cross country at Missouri Southern State University, Holt will be wrestling at Drury University and Renfro will be playing soccer at Evangel University. Below is a short Q and A with each of them to learn a little bit more about them and their next steps.

Emma Dodd

Emma Dodd, pictured center, at signing day on May 6.

“Emma had a really good senior season for us this year and steadily improved her times throughout the season,” said cross country head coach Emily Abell on May 6. “She was a great help in getting our girls team to states for the first time since 2009. We’re very proud of how she achieved her goal of running in college. She knew that’s what she wanted to do and she worked for it. Congratulations Emma and I wish you good luck.”

How long have you been playing your sport? 

This was actually my first year.

What got you started?

I actually started running for track but when COVID hit, we didn’t have a season. So, I just continued running in the six months between school and ended up running cross country because of a friend. I continued to run and found out I absolutely love the sport.

When did you realize you had a passion for your sport? 

I got hurt my sophomore year and had to take a break (from sports) because they thought I’d hurt my hip even more. It kind of started there. The not being able to run portion of it caused me to fall into running later on.

When did you realize you wanted to continue athletic career after high school?

Running cross country this year really showed me that. It really took off a lot of stress off my shoulders. It made it to where I felt like I was doing something with my life, it gave me purpose.

When did you begin to reach out to schools or when did schools begin to reach out to you? 

Actually, this school reached out to me towards the end of track season.

When did you get your offer and when did you commit

I verbally committed a few months ago, I got the offer probably early March.

What were your emotions like after getting that offer and then committing? 

I literally jumped up and down when I got the message. I cried a few times because I was so excited.

What was the recruitment process like, what stood out about your school? 

Honestly the coach, he stood out to me because I focus more on academics than anything else. I look at how good the academics are over my sport. He told me that if I was to get hurt or anything, he’d still let me have my scholarship, I could be a manager on the team and continue running cross country when time has passed, and I can recover.

What would you like to major in? 

Early childhood development.

Jeremiah Enlow

Jeremiah Enlow, pictured center, at signing day on May 6.

“I’m really excited to have Jeremiah sign for Missouri Southern because that’s where I competed,” said Abell at signing day on May 6. “It’s kind of special to have my first boy to sign to go compete at my alma mater, that’s pretty cool. Jeremiah has been with me since he was an 8th grader which is when I started coaching. He has been with me through the growth of this program since I’ve taken it over. Its been amazing to watch him grow from an 8th grader to a senior signing to run in college. To be able to witness that growth firsthand and the improvement that comes with that, its one of my greatest joys as a coach. Jeremiah has helped this team advance to states this year, the first time since 2004 for the boys. I’m really proud of jeremiahs commitment to our team and cant wait to see what he can do at the next level.”

How long have you been playing your sport? 

Probably around six years.

Did you play other sports growing up? 

I played soccer growing up, played soccer in high school but missed cross country so I went back to cross country.

When did you realize you had a passion for your sport? 

My sophomore year in soccer, I was just sitting there like, ‘I miss cross,’ I love the atmosphere.

What do you like about your sport?  

I like getting better that’s always nice. I find it more peaceful. I’m not a big talker and you don’t need to communicate as much.

When did you realize you wanted to continue athletic career after high school?

A few months ago, pretty much. I was like, ‘I really like this it’d be great to keep on doing it,’

When did you begin to reach out to schools or when did schools begin to reach out to you? 

Like three months ago.

When did you get your offer and when did you officially commit? 

April 21.

What were your emotions like after getting that offer and then committing? 

It was pretty cool; I was really nervous.

What was the recruitment process like, what stood out about your school? 

It's close to home and that was the biggest thing.

What would you like to major in? 

History.

Eric Holt

Eric Holt, pictured center, at signing day on May 6.

“Eric Holt is a young man that joined us for the last two seasons of his high school career,” said wrestling head coach Jeremy Phillips at signing day on May 6. “That’s an unfortunate thing because we we’re very blessed he joined our program. Eric was one that never complained, was always respectful and very loyal. I knew he was always going to do the right thing. I’m excited to see what his future holds and how he can help Drury continue to build and be a great program, I think he’ll be one that’ll be a great leader there. I encourage him to take not only that hard work but courageous voice with hiss teammates and lead the Drury team to great success like we’ve had at Neosho.”

How long have you been playing your sport? 

10 years.

Did you play other sports growing up? 

I played football for a little bit but not since high school started

When did you realize you had a passion for your sport? 

My freshman year, I got 5th (at a tournament) and realized this is what I want to do.

What do you like about your sport?  

I like that its 1 on 1 competition. It’s all on me, I don’t have anyone to blame. It’s me 100 percent and what I do is on me.

When did you realize you wanted to continue athletic career after high school?

I went to a summer camp, actually Drury’s coach was there, I saw him recruiting someone else and I was like, ‘oh man that’s really cool,’

When did you begin to reach out to schools or when did schools begin to reach out to you? 

That happened around my junior year. I started getting competitive and started performing better and reaching out to some colleges.

When did you get your offer and when did you officially commit? 

I got the offer this summer and committed about a month ago.

What were your emotions like after getting that offer and then committing? 

It was really cool because this is my dream school, I’ve wanted it for a long time. I went on a visit and they offered me. It was great seeing all my hard work pay off.

What was the recruitment process like, what stood out about your school? 

I got to talk to the coach a lot over the summer. They just kept in contact with me, I like the way the coach runs his practices and talks to his kids.

What would you like to major in? 

Environmental biology.

Avery Renfro

Avery Renfrow, pictured center, at signing day on May 6.

“Her freshman year, the ball came to her and she just picked it up,” said girls soccer head coach Steve Schnackenberg at signing day on May 6. “Now here she sits signing to play soccer at Evangel University. That didn’t happen on accident. It happened because around her sophomore year she decided she was going to focus on soccer. She took every opportunity she had. She played with any team she could. Every time I would go by the field over the summer in the offseason, she was there. With that dedication and commitment she’s shown, she’s going to do great things. Congratulations, Avery.”

How long have you been playing your sport? 

This will be my fourth year, three and a half because of COVID.

Did you play other sports growing up? 

I was involved in a lot of sports growing up. Softball, basketball, track and volleyball. I just started shortening the (sports I was playing) down so I could focus more on soccer.

When did you realize you had a passion for your sport? 

My sophomore year when I realized soccer was something I really enjoyed doing and playing other sports was hard to focus on that one and get better at it.

What do you like about your sport?  

It was different. It was definitely the sport I’ve played the least amount of years so it’s weird that I’ve played all these other sports for so many years I’m playing this sport in college. It was just different for me, I clicked with it. I really enjoyed it and I was like, ‘this is the sport I want to continue with and get better at,’ It’s the sport I wanted to continue to play.

When did you realize you wanted to continue athletic career after high school?

It was around my sophomore year when I started getting into travel soccer. Going into my junior year I went through an injury and I decided when I got back from that, with the time that got taken away from me from COVID and my injury, I was like, ‘I’m not done playing, I want to continue playing a couple more years at least,’

When did you begin to reach out to schools or when did schools begin to reach out to you? 

It was actually recently. I hadn’t really had a plan. I was just waiting till my senior year; the season hadn’t come until too long ago. I wanted to get some film together and start meeting coaches and reaching out. Where I’m going now, my coach, was actually at one of our tournaments. I had no idea who he was or why he was there, and he saw an interest in me. And we’ve been talking ever since.

When did you get your offer and when did you officially commit? 

It was about a couple weeks ago when I received my offer and I committed about a week ago.

What were your emotions like after getting that offer and then committing? 

I wasn’t surprised necessarily but really grateful I had somewhere that really wanted me to come play for them. It felt like a new home and I was excited to see what that plan will hold for me,

What was the recruitment process like, what stood out about your school? 

The coach. He stood out from other coaches, greatly. He’s a really good guy and if he wants you to play for him, he lets you know. That’s what made me feel like, this coach wants me there, rather than some other college coaches that just recruit here and there and all these different players. That’s when I felt like, okay this is a good coach and he has a good team. Nothing else felt better for me, I couldn’t imagine myself playing any where else.

What would you like to major in? 

I’m undeclared right now, maybe business.