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National Signing Day for 80108 student-athletes

By Lisa Nicklanovich; courtesy photos

High school student-athletes all over the country signed letters of intent to play their sport at the collegiate level on Wednesday, February 6. While National Signing Day is full of anticipation and excitement for the future, it is also a celebration of all the hard work and dedication of these student-athletes thus far. We commend all the student-athletes and celebrate the following students who reside in the 80108 ZIP code:

Rock Canyon High School

Jessica Beckwith

Girls Swimming University of Arkansas, AR

Coach Nicole Vanderpoel said, “Jessie is an extremely talented and versatile swimmer who swam USA Club from the age of 6 to present. Jessie has been a top three finalist in individual events and relays at Continental League Championships, in addition to placing top eight or top 16 at 5A State Swimming Championships from freshman year to present. Jessie is the 2018-2019 recipient of the Hoyt Brawner Award as Colorado’s top senior swimmer/scholar/citizen. In addition to maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Jessie has almost 200 community service hours.”

Emily Cottrell

Girls Soccer University of Hawaii, HI

Coach Mathew Henbest said, “Emily has been and continues to be an excellent role model for young players in our program and represents our school with dignity and class. Emily is a fierce competitor on the field and a dedicated friend to her teammates. We are so proud of her accomplishments and know she will go on to do great things at the University of Hawaii.”

William Edell

Boys Lacrosse Ohio Wesleyan University, OH

Coach John Gallant said, “Will’s attitude, work ethic and selflessness are the true foundational elements of what we as coaches are trying to build here at Rock Canyon. Will is an example of what we hope all the young men who will come through our program will become. We look forward to following his career and successes with the Battling Bishops at Ohio Wesleyan University.”

Abigail Leitner

Volleyball University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, PA

Coach Angela Hanson said, “Abi did a great job playing right side hitter and setting for our team. She has such a competitive spirit and was a key player on the court during every match. During her time on varsity, Abi had 1,104 assists and was our ace leader this past season with 47 aces and 81 the past three years. She also earned 285 kills and 368 digs in her time on varsity. She received two all-conference awards and three varsity letters in volleyball. We are going to miss her drive and determination while she goes off to play for the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and she plans to major in athletic training.”

Alex Leitner

Volleyball Niagara University, NY

Coach Angela Hanson said, “Alex played as our libero and defensive specialist and really excelled. We appreciated her hard work and how excited she would get about a great play. She led our defense like a champ, put everything into each and every match, and helped our team succeed with scouting reports and film sessions. During her time on varsity, Alex earned 610 digs, 54 aces, and 146 assists; 123 of those were just this season. She received an all-conference award, two varsity letters, and the first team academic all-state award for volleyball. We are going to miss her fun spirit and defensive moves as she plays at Niagara University in upstate New York, and she plans to major in exercise science.”

Laryssa Myers

Volleyball Arkansas Tech University, AR

Coach Angela Hanson said, “Laryssa played multiple front row positions for us over the years, but this last year she was one of our outside hitters. We appreciated her determination and focus each day in practice to better herself and the team. She became a true offensive strength for us in the front row and had a wicked serve. During her time on varsity, she earned 532 kills, 89 total blocks, 138 digs and 49 aces. She received two all-conference awards, three varsity letters and the first-team academic all-state award in volleyball. She also represented RCHS volleyball at the Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon. Laryssa hopes to pursue film in college.”

Jackson Naylor

Boys Lacrosse Canisius College, NY

Coach John Gallant said, “Jackson is very much a student of the game. His passion for becoming a better lacrosse player and teammate is quickly evident when someone meets him. Jackson has a quiet demeanor, however; the way he demands excellence from himself and from his teammates models for all our players the mindset necessary to be successful. We will miss the leadership he has brought to our program and we wish him all the success playing for Mark Miyashita and the Canisius Griffins.”

Collin Romero

Football Colorado School of Mines, CO

Coach Brian Tinker said, “Collin is one of the best all-around athletes RCHS has ever had. He has lettered in football since he was a sophomore and has broken every wide receiver record in school history. His athleticism and competitiveness goes without saying. He will be successful in life with whatever he chooses to do.”

Adeline Sabados

Gymnastics Auburn University, GA

Club Coach Kathy Vigil said, “Addie has been an absolute joy to coach from the day she walked into Aerials Gymnastics in 2010. Her positive energy and love for her sport have been a key factor in her many successes over the years. Addie was back-to-back state and regional champion in the All-Around in 2017 and 2018. She has 12 total state and regional wins at Level 10 over the years. She has qualified to the Junior Olympic Nationals four times and has medaled in the top 10 four times. Addie also qualified as a Hopes Pre-Elite two years and medaled on vault at the Hopes National Championships. Addie will be missed not only for her gymnastics accomplishments but for her loving encouragement of her teammates and her sunny disposition and sense of humor.”

Jack Thompson

Boys Lacrosse University of Denver, CO

Coach John Gallant said, “As our goalie, JT is often counted on as our last line of defense. His attention to detail and his personal focus on preparation and fundamental skill development has allowed JT to be successful on the lacrosse field and in the classroom. JT is receiving the Chancellor Scholarship from the University of Denver, the highest academic scholarship from the University. Following former RCHS lacrosse standout Colton Jackson, JT is continuing the tradition of RCHS players to play for the crimson and gold. We wish JT all the success playing for Coach Bill Tierney and the University of Denver Pioneers.”

Brian Todd

Football Lindenwood University, MO

Coach Brian Tinker said, “Brian Todd has great arm talent and loves the game. I am sure he will do great things at Lindenwood University.” Teammate Alec Sutula said, “Brian is a great leader who always took control of the huddle and had the respect of his teammates. He is a great guy on and off the field and it was a pleasure to play with him for three years.”

Danielle Vonlembke

Girls Soccer Colorado School of Mines, CO

Coach Mathew Henbest said, “Dani has been a solid goalkeeper for our program during her entire tenure at RCHS. She is a humble and thoughtful teammate who has displayed a great deal of character as a varsity player. Dani’s maturity and calm demeanor will serve her well while playing at the Colorado School of Mines.”

Valor Christian High School

Lily Thomason

Volleyball Auburn University, GA

Coach Kaitlyn Hastings said, “Lily is in an amazing athlete to watch compete. She plays with grace and power. More than that, she is a fantastic teammate, and her teammates adore her. Lily has been awarded All-League 2017 & 2018, 5A All-State team in 2018; Team Core Value Award for Joy in 2018; CCGS All-State Games 2018. Lily has played a vital role in the program all four years as a varsity player. Along with her senior teammates, that particular group was able to take Valor one step further each year from her sophomore year making it to the final four, junior year becoming state runners up for the first time in Valor volleyball history, and this past season winning Valor’s first state championship during the program’s first year of competition in 5A.”

 To see the entire list of Douglas County student-athletes who participated in National Letter of Intent Signing Day, visit:




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