Soccer: Warren soccer standout signs with Rio Grande

VINCENT – It’s safe to say senior Melissa Dickerson has left her mark on the Warren High girls’ soccer team in her four years at the school.

The four-year letterman has brought home countless accolades and led the team to unchartered territory, and will now look to continue her career at the next level.

Friday, Dickerson signed a letter of intent to play collegiately at Rio Grande University where she will major in accounting.

Dickerson also considered Malone University, but in the end decided the RedStorm was the way to go.

“(Rio Grande) had the degree I wanted to pursue,” Dickerson explained. “The coach is rebuilding the soccer program, and I fit well with the girls.”

Rio Grande head coach Callum Morris is entering his third year with the program and led the RedStorm to a 6-11 record in 2012.

As for the Lady Warriors, Dickerson’s presence will certainly be missed.

“She is a very good player,” said Warren head coach Ekrem Eksi. “She has tremendous vision, and had a big impact on the success of the team. She can use both of her feet. She reads and sees the field very well.”

While at Warren, Dickerson led the team in scoring all four years. She was a first-team All-District and All-SEOAL selection three years in a row, and has also been named Team MVP.

Two accomplishments, however, stand out most to Dickerson.

“Being all-state two years in a row,” she said. “And making it to the district championship this year. That’s the furthest the Warren girls have ever gone.”

Dickerson led the squad this season with 19 goals and 17 assists en route to winning the team’s first ever SEOAL championship. The Lady Warriors ended up falling to Hillsboro 3-2 in the district final, but Dickerson was extremely instrumental in transforming the team into one of the best in southeastern Ohio.

She will be looking to do the same for Rio Grande.

“I’ve always been told I see the field really well,” Dickerson said. “I can pass well. I try to keep the ball as much as I can and take it up and down the field. I’m not really an offensive-minded player.”

“Players like (Dickerson) don’t come around often,” Eksi said. “She’s a very talented player. Some players can make goals, some are good defenders, others can pass well. But she is a total player.”

Dickerson carries at least a 3.5 grade point average and is the daughter of George and Jennifer Dickerson.