Top of the Morning, March 5, 2024

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We interrupt March Madness for a first-of-its-kind signing ceremony at Blue Ridge High School, where Ty Meeker celebrated his decision to — no kidding — water ski in college.

It's definitely a first in Farmer City, but not surprising to anyone who knows the free-spirited senior.

"Growing up, I always was the surfer-looking dude who looked like he was from California and had a water-skiiing reputation," Ty said.

Alongside parents Doug and Kristin and younger sister Kayla, Ty signed to compete at Florida Southern, the Duke of college water skiing. His interest and talent developed at the business his family owns — The Liquid Edge and its 30-acre lake just south of Interstate 74.

That's where Ty learned the tricks of the trade. His work on the water skiing circuit led to several college offers, Florida Southern noticing him at a competition in summer 2022. He visited the Lakeland campus "and fell in love — it felt like home," he said.

While he's the first from his school to pursue water skiing in college, Ty won't be the last. His seventh-grade sister has serious skills, too.

"It's a super-small sport and something that's not that common in Farmer City," he said. "But I love it."

More from Blue Ridge correspondent Addison Warsaw in Thursday's High School Confidential.