Dow High School Standout Signs With Bulldogs During Fall Period
The Ferris State University women's basketball program has announced its first signee for next season as prep forward/center Leah Kebler (Midland/Dow) inked with the Bulldogs during the fall recruiting period.Leah KeblerMidland Dow High School standout Leah Kebler inks with the Bulldogs during the fall signing period

A four-year varsity player, the 6-0 Kebler averaged 13 points and six rebounds a game as a standout on last year’s Midland Dow High School district championship squad that finished 19-4 overall and 9-1 in Saginaw Valley League play under head coach Bob Wellman. The Chargers advanced to the regional semifinals last year before falling to Traverse City West by a 52-44 count.

"Leah has been at the top of our recruiting list since we lost Rachel Folcik to graduation," said 11th-year FSU head coach Tracey Dorow. "She's been well-coached and has played with and against high-caliber athletes, which should make her transition to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) much more smooth than most post players entering the collegiate ranks.

"With the graduation of seniors Jenna Guay and Ashley Fleming at the conclusion of this season, Leah will have an opportunity to make an immediate impact for us."

Kebler, who plans to major in ornamental horticulture, was one of two Dow players to sign scholarship papers this fall, joining prep teammate and Iowa State recruit Jessica Schroll. Three former Dow players -- Jodi Ostergren (Northwood), Jami Cynecki (Western Michigan) and Taylor Mantyla (Saginaw Valley State) -- are currently Division I or Division II scholarship players in college.

"She's a very versatile player and we are eager to work with her and help her improve over the next 4 years," Dorow said. "Her best basketball is definitely ahead of her.

"Leah's also a perfect fit off the court, as she just enjoys hanging out with our players ... from the first time she came to Ferris to visit, it felt like she was already one of us."

Kebler and the Chargers begin defense of their district title on Dec. 2 when they travel to Mount Pleasant to take on the Oilers.

Ferris State, which advanced to the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history two years ago, wrapped up the 2007-08 season with a 17-12 overall record and placed tied for third in the GLIAC North Division with a 11-7 league mark.

The Bulldogs opened the 2008-09 season by splitting a pair of games in last weekend's (Nov. 15-16) Kentucky Wesleyan Lady Panther Classic at Owensboro, Ky. FSU next continues its six-game road swing to open the season by visiting Lewis (Ill.) on Tuesday, Nov. 25, for a 6 p.m. (EST) non-league game at Romeoville, Ill.