ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — Trading in one Maroon and Gold jersey for another.
On Wednesday inside Meigs High School’s Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium, MHS senior Lane Cullums signed his National Letter of Intent to join the University of Charleston football team.
“It’s something that I think a lot of kids think about since they’re five years old,” Cullums said of signing to play football at the collegiate level. “It’s defiantly pretty cool to realize that I have the opportunity to play at the next level. I want to thank God, my family and my coaches for helping me accomplish this. I’m excited that I get to continue my career.
“Ever since I was a freshman, my coaches have done a good job preparing me to make it to this point,” added Cullums. “I think compared to a lot of schools around here, our coaches do a phenomenal job of getting people ready to play in college if they want to.”
In four years at Meigs, Cullums has helped the Marauders to an overall record of 19-21, rushing for over 1,000 yards in his career. As a junior, he led the team in rushing with 114 carries for 548 yards and four touchdowns.
As a senior on offense, Cullums ran 99 times for 438 yards and five scores. Defensively, Cullums stepped up into the middle linebacker role in his senior season and came away with 95 tackles, including 10 tackles for a loss and four sacks.
For his efforts this past fall, Cullums picked up his first all-league honor in the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division. He was also a first team linebacker on the Division IV All-District squad, while landing on the Division IV All-Ohio team as an honorable mention.
“Lane will do a great job,” said MHS head coach Mike Bartrum. “I’m very proud of him and his accomplishments here at Meigs High School, but he’ll have more accomplishments in life than anything else, which is most important. He understands what it’s going to take to play next level.”
Cullums is one of 21 players to sign with Charleston on Wednesday and will join a UC team that was 4-6 a year ago. The Golden Eagles are an NCAA Division II program that compete in the Mountain East Conference.
“The location is a little bit better than some other schools I’ve looked at,” Cullums said of choosing UC. “When I went on campus, it just felt right, it felt like I needed to be there. The coaches were great, I already feel like family. It’s my first day officially, and I’ve gotten texts and calls from multiple coaches. It feels like home.”
The Golden Eagles play their home games at Laidley Field in downtown Charleston, W.Va.
At UC, Cullums will look to continue playing as a middle linebacker, while majoring in Movement Science.
“He’ll have a very successful football career I’m sure,” Bartrum said. “Linebacker-wise he understands how to read the guard, it’s something that everybody preaches and he did a good job of that this year. There’s still a lot of fine-tune stuff that he can do better on, he understands that and I’m sure his coaches have already talked to him about that.
“The most important thing are the intangibles, to be coachable, to give 110 percent all the time and to always be ready,” added Bartrum. “He’ll do whatever they tell him to do, he’ll do it 110 percent and he’ll be successful in whatever he does.”
At Meigs, Cullums holds a 3.0 grade-point-average and has also earned multiple varsity letters in track and field.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.