MARIETTA — To understand the nature of why Rogers State University wanted the services of Marietta’s Bolton Fortune for their athletic program, one only needed to look at the table and its contents which were decorated Wednesday afternoon.

MARIETTA — To understand the nature of why Rogers State University wanted the services of Marietta’s Bolton Fortune for their athletic program, one only needed to look at the table and its contents which were decorated Wednesday afternoon.

A total of 10 state medals ranging from first to third in track and cross country, along with three state rings, two all-state jackets and two state cross country championship trophies.

In front of his longtime coach, friends and family, Fortune officially put pen to paper and became a member of the Rogers State University program on Wednesday inside the Marietta High School library. Fortune will be running cross country for the Hillcats in Claremore, Oklahoma.

“Not many people get to go compete at the next level like this,” Fortune said after making his college choice official. “Especially after this summer when I injured my leg, I never thought this would be possible. This is a dream come true for me and I’ve been very blessed by God to have this opportunity.”

Fortune will be stepping into a Rogers State program coming off its most historic season this past year as the Hillcats reached the NCAA Division II National Championships for the first time in program history, where they placed 26th overall.

“The coach at Rogers State (Chris McCormick) is just as great as the coach I have now (Matt Appleman), so that was important to me in choosing Rogers State,” Fortune said. “Also the class size was perfect for me and the campus itself was amazing. All of the runners there right now are state champions so I’m going to be going into a program where I’m going to have to work for what I want and that’s exciting for me.”

Marietta coach Matt Appleman had nothing but praise for Fortune, who he said is one of the hardest working kids he’s ever gotten to work with.

“He’s (Bolton) just a good kid who works hard and does things the right way,” he said. “He performs when it matters, and that makes him easy to coach. Right when he got here he’s always followed instructions and made life very easy for me as far as teaching and coaching him.”