A big crowd filled the Brady Library at the Perry High School Friday morning and for good reason, as two seniors put their signatures on Letters of Intent to continue their athletic careers on the collegiate level.
Ivory, a two-time all-state guard, will play for the DMACC Bears in Boone next fall, with Lathrum headed to Des Moines to continue her track career for the Vikings of Grandview University.
On hand for the signing ceremony were family members, teammates and classmates of the two signees, as well as DMACC head coach B.J. McGinn and assistant coach John Bowler along with Grandview throwing coach Seth Roberson.
Ivory thanked his family and coaches, including former ISU cage standout and current coach of Kingdom Hoops AAU team Jake Sullivan, who was also in attendance. The leading scorer in Bluejay history spoke of his pride in playing at the state tournament and thanked coach Ned Menke and assistant Jim Richmond for their leadership and for encouraging him to improve.
Lathrum spoke emotionally of the sacrifices her mother, Elaine, had made and of the support her grandfather, Jack Davis, continues to give her. She thanked Jayette track head coach Matt Hardy and throwing coach Emi Einck for their work with her and singled out Perry girls cage coach Mike Long for pushing her to succeed and to work hard.
Ivory’s mother, Kristine, said she “could not think of how she could be prouder” of what her son has achieved so far and said his decision to play in Boone — only a short drive away — was “perfect.”
Lathrum throws both the shot put and discus as a prep. She was third in both events at the Perry Coed Relays Thursday, with a personal-best spin in the discus highlighting her meet.
While admitting she preferred the shot put over the discus, she said she had extra motivation in the latter event Thursday.
“I was mad at coach Hardy, so I think that had something to do with it,” she laughed, adding she would be happy to try both the hammer throw and the javelin at the college level.
As the library emptied, Bowler summed up the signing by saying he believed “We (DMACC) got a steal” in bringing Ivory on board. The Grandview coaches doubtless feel the same way about Lathrum.