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Sometimes, those fortune cookies do come true.
Such was the case for recent Fike High graduate Malik Piersaul.
As the Golden Demon track athlete indulged in a plate of Chinese food late last month, he arrived to the end of his meal and the traditional fortune cookie.
Naturally curious, Piersaul read the encouraging message: “A pleasant surprise will come your way.”
It turns out this wasn’t a throwaway note. Soon after, Alderson Broaddus (West Virginia) University coaches were in touch with Piersaul. What’s more, they wanted him to become a Battler.
With that scholarship offer in hand, Piersaul opted to sign a National Letter of Intent with Alderson Broaddus, where he will also take part in the hammer throw. Piersaul also considered interest from Methodist University, UNC Pembroke and Louisburg College, but ultimately chose the Battlers of the NCAA Division II Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
Fike coach Sonny West said that the decision came down to Alderson Broaddus and Louisburg, but the financial package made the Battlers the best option. West was among those most excited when Piersaul showed off his acceptance letter.
“I felt like it was really about me,” Piersaul said of the recruiting process. “That they were really willing to spend time with me. I didn’t feel like I was just part of another program. He really wanted me there.”
Piersaul, the son of Richard Piersaul and Virginia Watkins, said he hit a mark of 44 feet with the Demons, something he hopes to improve with collegiate attention to his technique.
“With any field event, it’s very technique-oriented,” he said. “You’ve got to spend a lot of time in the weight room and researching your craft, studying it, just tweaking the little things that can make your throw go from 35 to 40.”
Making the signing sweeter for Piersaul, an intended exercise science major, is the fact that he will be the first in his family to attend college.
“I come from a long line of people who don’t go to college,” he said. “People end up in jail, or they really go to dead-end jobs. I knew I had to change that cycle within my family name.”