In Loving Memory of Mr. Melton


Courtesy of Ryan Oehler

Derek Melton head s to the plate for the Loggers.

Aidan Prater, Reporter

Derek Melton, a 2005 Edgewood graduate, Edgewood Hall of Fame member, and recently an EMS student teacher, passed away on September 9th, 2022. He was an exceptional athlete for Edgewood. He was loved and greatly appreciated by his friends and family.   Derek was an inspiration to everyone he met.

During his time at Edgewood, Derek played varsity baseball from freshman year to senior year and was consistently one of the best hitters on the team. Derek still holds school records including eight home runs in a season and 22 walks in a season. During high school, Derek was also a three-year varsity football starter. As a defensive end and tight end, Derek played a key role on the state runner-up 2003 football team that went 14-1.

After high school, Derek went on to play baseball at Wabash College and then transferred to the University of Evansville, a Division 1 program, in his junior year.  While in college, Derek was invited to play in the 2008 Northwoods Summer league with the other top players from the midwest.  Derek played for the Lacrosse Loggers. Both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees scouted Derek as a possible draft choice.  

Tragically while spending a rare off day with the rest of his team, Derek and his friends went swimming in a Mississippi river quarry. Derek dove into the quarry sustaining a major neck injury that paralyzed him and ended his baseball dreams

That did not stop Derek, he pushed through rough times, using his religion to get him through the major setbacks.Then after fighting years of adversity and pain, Derek went back to school to get an honors diploma in education from Miami University. After he graduated, Derek got a long-term substitute assignment with Butler Tech. Soon he got assigned to Edgewood Middle School. After receiving his offer to sub at the EMS, Derek was a student teacher for a computer science class at the beginning of the school year then later took over as the teacher for that class.

Through all the struggles,  Derek finally got to be a full-time teacher when he received an offer to teach History to seniors at Talawanda High School.  Unfortunately, Derek passed away before completing that assignment.   

Edgewood Technology Specialist Ryan Oehler was a lifelong friend of Derek and a fellow 2005 EHS graduate.  He learned lessons from him and says that Derek was a very hardworking and outgoing person that would work very hard every day of his life.  “Derek was always there for me and pushed me to be better and keep going,” he said.   Oehler added, “[Derek] gave it his all every year no matter what.”