WHITESBORO — The injury to Brice Chaney’s left knee not only could have derailed the Bearcat senior’s final turn on the track but also his future in the sport.

WHITESBORO — The injury to Brice Chaney’s left knee not only could have derailed the Bearcat senior’s final turn on the track but also his future in the sport.

Instead of being sidelined by the issue with his anterior cruciate ligament, Chaney will still be able to try to make a return to the state meet. And it didn’t scare colleges away either.

Chaney thought he would be forced to have a tough conversation with University of Louisiana at Monroe assistant Erik Vance but it only strengthened his feelings about the school.

"I was scared to give them the call. We didn’t know what was going to happen," said Chaney, who signed his letter of intent with ULM on Wednesday morning. "He said he had faith in his athletes. It’s almost like he already trusted me."

He chose the Division I program over Arkansas State, Incarnate Word and Central Arkansas.

"Big cities, I was iffy about," Chaney said. "It was a place I felt I could fit in well."

Chaney’s all-round ability led the Warhawks to offer him to compete in something he doesn’t get to do for Whitesboro even though he trains in several events.

"They want me for the decathlon. It’s not something I would have wanted to do but my parents and coaches were training me to do it without me really knowing it. The only thing I’ve never done is javelin."

When he was hurt during a football practice, Chaney feared the worst. But he will continue competing until having surgery after the state track meet and start rehabbing for his freshman year at ULM.

"The next thing you know it was swelled up like a balloon," he said. "When outdoor season starts I should be back in the swing of things after all that physical therapy."

Chaney is the second Bearcat to sign a Division I track scholarship this month, joining Grant Butts’ decision to run for another Louisiana program — Northwestern State.

As part of a team that has an opportunity to compete for a state track title, Chaney saw surgery as something that would hurt their chances.

"I didn’t want to take that as an answer," Chaney said. "I feel fine. Do everything a normal kid does."

He joined Clayton Stringer, Jake Dyer and Collin Kilcrease on the Bearcats’ 4x400 relay team that finished fourth at the Class 2A state meet in 3:26.06 and won the Region II crown in 3:24.58.

Over the past two years the relay won both the district and area titles in addition to the region crown in 2013 and all four members are back this spring.

Chaney also competed in the jumping events at regionals — finishing ninth in the long jump and 11th in the triple jump. The injury won’t allow him to triple jump.

"I will be focusing on the long jump more," Chaney said. "The four by four is the goal. Getting fourth place builds up the rage — you are so close to a medal. Looking at the times we feel like we have a chance to win this time."

ULM, which competes in the Sun Belt Conference, has won three men’s indoor conference titles to go with nine outdoor conference crowns, although none have come since 1988.

The overall program has produced 69 All-Americans, 16 national champions, three Olympians and six world record holders.

Last spring the Warhawks were seventh at the conference indoor meet and sixth at the Sun Belt outdoor meet. In 2011 they were the conference runner-up during the outdoor season, their best finish since joining the Sun Belt before the 2006-2007 campaign.