Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
WHEELERSBURG — There aren’t many athletes who compete like Lani Irwin does.
That’s not because they don’t want to, it’s because they don’t have the ability or the motivation to do what Irwin does.
Throughout her career at Wheelersburg, Irwin has hung her hat on being relentless … on the soccer field, on the basketball floor and on the track. No matter the sport, she gives every ounce she has.
It’s just in her DNA.
On Tuesday, via Twitter, Irwin made a decision that allows her to continue that trend. She committed to both the soccer and track programs at Georgetown College.
“I chose Georgetown because of the atmosphere,” Irwin said. “The coaches I’ve been in contact with are great. They have been so helpful throughout my decision making process and I can’t wait to play for them.”
As soon as she arrives at Georgetown, she’ll know at least one familiar face … former Wheelersburg soccer teammate Libby Miller.
Irwin said that friends and teammates like Miller have helped her get to where she is today.
“My parents are my rocks. They have done so much for me, more than I could ever imagine. They’ve been so patient, but I would be lying if I said they weren’t a little nervous,” Irwin said. “I waited until the last minute to make my decision. My teammates have supported me through my playing years and I am grateful for that. I can’t wait to see the success they bring to ‘Burg. My coaches have aided and shaped my play so much, in a positive way. I give so much credit to Coach Todd Ruby, Coach Paul Boll, and Coach Todd Jarvis for never giving up on me.”
On the pitch, Irwin helped the Pirates win three consecutive district championships. On the track, she was a part of the school’s state 4×100 and 4×200-meter relay teams.
Before the OHSAA cancelled spring sports this year, she was hoping to make a return with those two relays to Columbus.
But now her focus has shifted on simply improving at everything she does. Hence, her relentlessness.
“I’m looking forward to getting better. That’s all I’ve looked for in sports. I love improvement and I think that’s what ultimately leads to success,” Irwin said. “I can’t wait to be pushed to my limits and see what I can really do.”
Georgetown’s Women’s Soccer program finished at 7-11 this past fall with a 3-5 mark in the Mid-South Conference.
Irwin will now have a chance to immediately contribute to the Tigers’ cause before shifting to track and field next spring.
“To me, being a college athlete means I get to represent where I got my start in a positive way. Wheelersburg is known for ‘breeding’ athletes,” Irwin said. “Being a college athlete gives me the opportunity to show how much I’ve grown and how I’m not finished growing.”