National Signing Day for exceptional 80108 student athletes
By Lisa Nicklanovich; courtesy photos
On February 4, high school athletes all over Colorado signed letters of intent to play their respective sports at the collegiate level on National Signing Day. Each National Signing Day event took place at the respective schools and athletes were surrounded by coaches, family and friends.
Within the 80108 zip code, 17 athletes from Castle View High School, Douglas County High School, Regis Jesuit High School, Rock Canyon High School, and Valor Christian High School signed letters of intent.
Considering only three percent of high school athletes get to realize their dream of playing a sport beyond high school, the number who reside in our 80108 zip code is quite impressive!
At Rock Canyon High School’s signing day ceremony, Principal Andy Abner said in his closing remarks, “What these athletes have accomplished in their sport as well as in the classroom, shows by the colleges and universities they will be attending and speaks to the support the students have had and the community we live in.” It is fair to say that all the recipients share in these accomplishments.
Will Pieseski of Regis Jesuit High School will be swimming at the University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio. “I’m very excited for the opportunities that the Miami team has to offer. I’m looking forward to continuing to improve over the next four years with the Redhawks!” said Pieseski.
Sid Turnbull of Valor Christian High School will be playing football at the University of Northern Colorado. Bill Bufton, the college recruiting coordinator at Valor said, “He is a big receiver who can create mismatches with smaller defensiv backs. He was a vocal leader on our team even though he was only here for his senior season.”
Ashlee Kim of Douglas County High School will be playing softball at Metro State. Kim is a four-year starter/letterman as well as First Team All-League and All State this year.
Taylor Williams of Douglas County High School will be playing baseball at Xavier University in Ohio. Williams is a rising pitching prospect who was a two-sport athlete (basketball/baseball) and will be the team’s #2 pitcher this 2015 season.
Melissa Anderson of Castle View High School will be running cross country and track at Colorado Mesa University. Coach Cook said, “Melissa is a natural voice of leadership for the team, but she also leads through example with her sense of humor, upbeat attitude, and willingness to push herself through challenging workouts and races.”
Mitchell Lombard of Rock Canyon High School will be playing basketball at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Coach Kent Grams said he will miss his daily talks with this athlete who “has heart and passion.”
Alexandra Vidger of Rock Canyon High School will be playing soccer at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Coach Henbest said, “Vidger has a personality larger than this auditorium but with skills and game to match.”
Allison Riggs of Rock Canyon High School will be playing soccer at the University of Oklahoma, Norman. Coach Mat Henbest said Riggs is a “consistent player who makes us laugh every day and is a great friend to all on the team.”
Paige Von Bank of Rock Canyon High School will be playing soccer at the
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Von Bank scored 10 goals in
her career at RCHS and had the most one-touch goals. Coach Henbest
said, “She has the uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right
Katherine Wood of Rock Canyon High School will be playing soccer at Southern Methodist University in Texas. Wood was a great midfielder for the team, and Coach Henbest said, “If we had a team mom, she would be it. Everyone looks up to her.”
Christopher Givin of Rock Canyon High School will be playing baseball at Xavier University in Ohio. A shortstop who played varsity all four years, Given is the “rock of the baseball program,” said Coach Charlie Newton.
Emily Taylor of Rock Canyon High School will be participating in womens rowing at the University of Oklahoma, Norman. As a swimmer who won the “most improved” award, Coach Vanderpoel is excited to see Taylor do great things as a rower.
Nicholas Tinucci of Rock Canyon High School will be swimming at the University of Tampa in Florida. Tinucci was the captain of the swim team and “one of the hardest workers to come through the program and also one of the kindest people on the team. He goes out of his way to help his teammates in the water and out.” said Coach Christina Kwon.
Tanner Cuda of Rock Canyon High School will be playing football at Colorado State University, Pueblo. Coach Brian Lamb said, “Cuda was an all-conference punter last year and this year became an all-conference kicker while still doing a great job at punting.”
Vincent Gullia of Rock Canyon High School will be playing football at Black Hills State University in South Dakota. Gullia was first team all-conference at corner this year. Gullia “worked hard and became our defensive MVP this year. His work ethic will definitely help him accomplish big things at the next level,” said Coach Brian Lamb.
DJ Webb of Rock Canyon High School will be playing football at Fort Lewis College in Durango. Webb played slot receiver, running back, and he was the team’s primary kick and punt returner. Coach Brian Lamb said, “Webb was our big play guy. Any time he touched the ball, he had the chance to go the distance.”
Cody Ross of Rock Canyon High School will be playing soccer at Fort Lewis College in Durango. The team finished the regular season as the #1 team in the state and Ross was “a quiet team leader who led by example and was a tremendously important part of our team,” said Coach Matt Sassali.