Colton Diehm will play basketball for the Southwestern College Moundbuilders in Winfield, Kan.
“To me, this honor means that I am extremely blessed to be able to play basketball at a higher level,” Colton said. “It was very important for me to help my family financially with a scholarship to help my parents pay for my college.
“It also means that all of the hard work I have done paid off.”
Colton began playing basketball when he was 4 years old in El Paso, Texas, at a YMCA. When his family lived in Bogota, Columbia, he played in a select league from 3rd to 6th grade. Since moving back to Texas with his family six years ago, he has played on many teams to try and ultimately play basketball in college.
“Each new location presented challenges, and I always tried to work hard and do my best,” he said.
Colton is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He has also mentored younger elementary-aged basketball players. Fluent in Spanish, he scored a four out of five on his Spanish AP test, and Southwestern awarded him with the Director’s Award, in addition to his academic and basketball scholarship.
At Southwestern, Colton would like to pursue a master’s degree in Executive Management. He said Liberty’s academic and athletic programs have prepared him for this next step.
“I am especially thankful for my English teacher, Mr. Surratt, and the way he prepared me for the challenge of college classes,” Colton said. “He helped me become a much better writer than when I first began at Liberty.
“I am also thankful for the strength and conditioning coaches who helped me get stronger and faster for basketball at Liberty and in college.”
Colton expressed heartfelt gratitude to other important people in his life as well.
“I would also like to thank my family, friends, and coaches who supported me along this journey,” he said. “Go Builders!”
Corey McMann will play baseball for the Ohio Northern University Klondikes this fall.
“This honor means so much because it shows the final product for all the blood, sweat, and tears that I have invested,” Corey said. “All of the early mornings and late nights I have had because of baseball have paid their dividends back to me by having this opportunity set before me.”
Winning a state championship in baseball with his teammates this year at Liberty, Corey said his love for baseball began when he was very young but faded over the years until he suffered a serious injury his freshman year, which caused him to step away from baseball for a while.
“After that time away, I realized how much I really loved the game and the relationship I would make with my teammates,” he said. “Since then, my love for the game has been stronger than ever.”
Over the years, Corey has been involved in serving at Mission Denton, Mission Arlington, Christian Community Action, Kids Eat Free, and his church’s Vacation Bible School. He also started selling bracelets to support a fellow student who has been battling brain cancer.
“Another organization close to my heart is Honor Flight DFW, which takes World War II, Korean, and Vietnam veterans back to Washington, D.C., to see war monuments,” Corey said. “I have escorted veterans on flights in 2014, 2015, and 2017, to see the World War II Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and their military branch of government.”
Corey plans to study Mechanical Engineering at Ohio Northern. After college, he would like to go to Officer Candidate School and work as an engineer in the military.
“Liberty athletics have prepared me not only for sports beyond high school but also in life,” he said. “The coaches have made me work hard and overcome obstacles in everything I did so I can mimic that when I face challenges later in life.
“Although my coaches have been tough, I believe it was a good thing because it made me into the man I am today.”