EARLY — Early High School has produced yet another collegiate athlete as Katelyn Matlock signed to play basketball for Kansas Wesleyan on Thursday.

Matlock, an honorable mention 6-2A all-district selection for the Lady Horns in both 2007 and 2008, is the second Early student-athlete to sign with Kansas Wesleyan in two months. Austin Cochran signed with the Kansas Wesleyan football program in March.

“I’m very excited,” Matlock said. “It’s always been my dream to play college basketball.

“It’s a long way (from home), but I’m still going to be able to come back and I’ll be back home after I finish up there. And I know my family’s going to come up and watch me occasionally.”

Matlock’s parents, Charles and Shawn, and sister Candice were all present at Thursday’s signing, along with Early assistant coach Kristi Sandoval.

Matlock chose Kansas Wesleyan — an NAIA school located in Salina — over Central Christian College in McPherson, Kan. due to the instant attention she drew from the school.

“They were truly interested in me,” Matlock said. “I filled out a questionnaire on the internet and the next day I got a call from them. They immediately wanted me to go up there and look at the school.”

Matlock stated playing for the Lady Horns — and being a member of the 2007 bi-district championship squad — has helped prepare her for the next level.

“I’ve really enjoyed playing for (Head) Coach (Naidene) Tiemann,” Matlock said. “She puts you through a very hard workout, but it’s always beneficial. She’s always tough on us and never lets us slack. That’s really helped build my work ethic.”

Kansas Wesleyan is coming off a 12-17 season (9-9 in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference) and is losing four seniors off its 18-player roster.

As for what Matlock expects during her freshman season, she said, “They’ve really just told me the workouts are fun, but they’re hard. My goal is to become better at basketball and be able to continue playing while maintaining my grades and achieving my major in athletic training.”