July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

Houksa picks Eagles


Albert Grindle

The Gazette

GRANGER TWP. — Myles Houska wanted to grow as a person and football player while being within arm’s reach of home.

The combination of desires drew him to Division II Ashland University, which gave the Highland All-Ohio left guard an athletic scholarship that will cover the $29,000-per-year tuition.

He also considered WayneState.

“I felt like it was the right place for me,” said Houska, who will major in business management while minoring in economics or coaching. “It’s a college where I can go away and be on my own and experience the college life, but if I want a home-cooked meal or to come watch (Highland) play next year, I’m a 30-minute drive away.”

The 6-foot-4, 280-pounder is well aware of what the Eagles have to offer since his cousin, 2009 Gazette Senior Male Athlete of the Year Tyler Houska, was a four-year player at the school. Myles also played against quarterback Travis Tarnowski (North Royalton) and lineman Jon Cipa (Tallmadge) in high school.

Ashland has gone 71-39 in 10 seasons under former Akron coach Lee Owens. The Eagles were 5-5 last fall, but started Pittsburgh transfer and Kent native Tra’Von Chapman at quarterback and averaged nearly 30 points per game.

If things pan out, Houska, who has a 3.8 grade-point average, will be blocking for Chapman soon as an interior lineman.

“I’m fine with it,” he said of playing offensive line. “I’ve played offense and defense my whole high school career, so wherever I can help the team out is where I’m looking to play.”

Houska was named D-II second-team All-Ohio for his work on the O-line this fall, when Highland advanced to the state semifinals for the first time.

Houska is leaving a school that is building tradition for one that already has it, and that’s exactly how he likes it.

“It’s something you can be very proud of being from Ohio and that tradition is already filled,” Houska said. “It will make an easy transition for me.”

Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.

Albert Grindle About Albert Grindle

Albert Grindle is a sportswriter for the Gazette. He can be reached at 330-721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.