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Star athlete transfers to North Medford

North Medford High's girls soccer and basketball programs got a big boostthis week as St. Mary's two-sport all-star Dolinda Meeker transferred toNorth.

Meeker is a three-time District 6 soccer first-team all-star and a two-timeBig Fir League basketball player of the year.

The 5-foot-7, 125-pound senior was also a first-team Big Fir softballall-star as a freshman, but hasn't played the sport at the prep level since.She said her primary interests are soccer and basketball at this time.

Meeker, 17, said it was a difficult choice to end her five-year associationwith St. Mary's.

I wasn't a snap of the finger, said Meeker. It's reallya good school, and my friends are there.

My family felt it was a better decision to transfer for my brotherand I. I'm not going to deny the fact that it might help with athletics.

Meeker admits that this isn't the first time she has contemplated transferringfrom the Class 2A school: Every since my freshman year, it's gonethrough my mind that maybe I should go to a bigger school and play at ahigher level.

Meeker's mother, Nancy, has a long association working with the NorthMedford theater program, and her brother Donnie, an incoming sophomore,has an interest in the performing arts.

Meeker played point guard this summer on a basketball all-star team ­Northwest Select Southern ­ coached by North Medford's Mike Kay andCrater's David Heard.

He (Kay) hadn't coached me before, said Meeker. I knewwho he was and he knew who I was. It was after playing on that team thatI became acquainted with him.

Northwest Select Southern fared well in large tournaments in San Franciscoand Southern California. And Meeker played an important role in the team'ssuccess.

It kind of showed me what kind of level I would be playing at inthe 4A, said Meeker. I got my foot in the door down there.''

Kay was impressed with Meeker during the summer competition.

She's a very talented athlete, said Kay. She playedtremendously well down there. Dolinda is extremely quick. With the exceptionof Lu Crenshaw, she's one of the fastest kids I've ever been around.

Even though North Medford lost nine seniors off the Southern Oregon Conferencegirls soccer championship team, North Medford coach Dick Darcy was non-committalabout the potential impact of the heralded senior.

I prefer to hold any comments, said Darcy. We havea whole bunch of girls trying out.

I know she's a good player and a good athlete, added Darcy.It's a little premature saying what she'll be doing for the team.

Meeker began participating in the soccer team conditioning workouts thisweek.

I'm not saying the Big Fir League didn't have anything to offer,said Meeker, but I wanted to play at a higher level and see whereI sit. The soccer and basketball programs at North are so advanced, I justhope I can go there and add to that.