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National Signing Day for 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 7. åOf the 1000 or so athletes who signed letters of intent in Colorado, approximately 125 are Douglas County School District students. We commend all the student-athletes and celebrate the following students who reside in the 80108 ZIP code:

Douglas County High School

Brock Helvey
Cross country/track
University of Alaska – Anchorage
Coach Alex Sarabia said, “Brock is one of my top distance runners as well as one of the most self-motivated student-athletes I have had the pleasure of working with for the past three years. While he is highly assertive, he is not arrogant, boastful, nor impudent. He maintains high marks in the classroom as well as in competition. Brock puts his heart and soul into everything he does and will achieve whatever he pursues with an indefatigable drive. Brock has the admiration of his teammates because he inspires those who wish to achieve high standards and extend that philosophy into their personal lives and subsequent careers. I hope I’m fortunate enough to have another young achiever as this young man in our program.”

Chase Rodine
Adams State University, CO

Coach TJ Braun said, “Chase is a fantastic athlete who has put countless hours into bettering himself. He is a tremendous talent and a terrific offensive player. Adams State is getting a kid who will help the team in a variety of ways on the offensive side of the ball. Chase has a tremendous view of the game and has a real lacrosse IQ. We are looking forward to him having a big year this spring.”

AJ Osborn

Hastings College, NE

Coach Craig Gienger said, “AJ is a very talented baseball player and a wonderful teammate. He sets a great example for his teammates to follow on and off the field. AJ will be an impact player for us this season as well as at the next level. Hastings College is not only getting a great player who can contribute right away but also a wonderful person who will represent them well!”

Connor Bullock

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, FL

Coach TJ Braun stated, “Connor is a coaches dream. He is a tremendous talent and a true leader. He is willing to help the team in whatever way necessary and he is a kid with a high ceiling. Connor has limitless potential and Embry Riddle is getting not only a tremendous lacrosse player but a great person. I am excited to watch Connor grow and excel on the lacrosse field at the NCAA level.”

Rock Canyon High School

Joe Bryson
Colorado Mesa University, CO

Coach Brian Tinker said, “Joe is a phenomenal young man who is the epitome of hard work and grit. Joe is not only a disciplined football player but a tremendous student who knows what kind of hard work it takes to be successful. Joe has the potential to go as far as he is willing to; his ceiling is unmeasurable. Joe will be a great college football player and be an incredible asset to our society when he graduates.”

Maren Clark
Girls lacrosse
Fort Lewis College, CO

Coach Isabelle Sipperley stated, “Maren is the player that no matter where you put her, she will always give 100% every second she is on the field. She is talented on both ends of the game being a strong shooter who attacks the cage, with natural defensive skills. She is often the unsung hero, not always getting the praise, but constantly the person behind each play making it happen. Her love for the game and work ethic have made her a joy to coach and those qualities will lead her to much success as she continues her Lacrosse career at Ft. Lewis next year.”

Keeley Kenton Davis
Creighton University, NE

Coach Angela Hanson said, “Keeley helped Rock Canyon volleyball achieve so many school firsts while she was here, including winning the league championship, going to state and returning the next two years. She was kill leader in Colorado for 2017 and has won numerous awards for her athletic achievements, including Denver Post 5A player of the year, Max Preps all-American, CHSAA 5A player of the year and Gatorade player of the year, to name a few. Keeley has the most wonderful, carefree and fun personality. All the girls looked up to her in so many ways. She is a humble player and got more excited about her teammates’ successes than her own. She brought a spirit that we won’t be able to replace.”

Kieran McMullen
Boys golf
Concordia College, NY

Coach Dave Vahling stated, “Kieran is one of those players who doesn’t know the word ‘quit.’ On a number of tournaments, Kieran would have a couple of rough holes. I would say 60-70 percent of the rest of the players would give up. Not Kieran; he would bear down somehow, get a couple of birdies and be right back in the game. That determination helped him to all-league honors and two state appearances. It has been a treat having a strong leader like Kieran on the RCHS golf team.”

Madison Orgill
Girls swimming
Carthage College, WI

Coach Nicole Vanderpoel stated, “Maddie started her swimming career with USA swimming club at the age of 5! Not only is Maddie an incredibly strong, determined, humble and graceful athlete, but as a captain, she is an awesome role model to all of her teammates and competitors. For the past four years, Maddie has been a varsity swimmer and continental league finalist in multiple swimming events, which is extremely difficult to achieve. She has been a member of our 5A state team in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke for the past two years. Maddie has maintained a 3.8 GPA and has volunteered many hours with Senior Hub & Friends, Colorado. It has been an honor and a privilege to have coached Maddie the past four years at Rock Canyon girls swimming.”

Christopher Theodore

Cross country
Duke University, NC

Coach Dan Davies said, “Chris has had an outstanding four years as a Rock Canyon cross country and track and field athlete. His leadership, incredible work ethic and unselfish attitude helps bring out the best in his teammates! Chris capped off an incredible cross country career last fall by placing second in the state 5A championships. He was regional 5A individual champion as well as a three-time 1st team all-league selection. These past two years, Chris has led his team to a state runner-up and a third place state finish.”

Valor Christian High School

Nicole Wright
Wheaton College, IL

Coach Brian Schultz said, “On the field, Nicole has flourished at Valor as a top-notch center back. Her lock-down defending got her recognized on varsity as the co-defensive player of the year as a freshman. Her composure and communication, passing and vision from the center back position was a major factor in us making it all the way to the 4A state championship game her sophomore year. Nicole persevered through a challenging ACL tear that took her junior year of playing away, but one never to waste an opportunity, Nicole used that time to grow in her faith and to encourage her teammates through their injuries. Off the field, Nicole prizes the classroom and has served on our soccer missions trip to Costa Rica to build houses and bring soccer gear down for needy Costa Rican families. Nicole even gave the cleats off her own feet in the last few minutes of our soccer camp, when she realized there were some kids who were not receiving anything and we were out of give-a-way gear.”

Matthew Thibault
Lindenwood University, MO

Coach Rod Sherman said, “Matthew was a starting inside linebacker the last two years. He has been the smartest defensive player over the last several years at Valor. His instincts and football IQ are off the charts. I look for Matthew to make a huge impact within the Lindenwood program, helping them create a championship culture.”

Ryan Thibault
Lindenwood University, MO

Coach Rod Sherman said, “Ryan was Valor’s top all-around football player this year. He was the leading receiver in addition to being the corner always assigned to the other team’s top receiver. His ability to get open and his physical giftedness in attacking the football made him the desired target for the Valor quarterback’s last season. Ryan is a dedicated, hardworking young man who will experience much success at Lindenwood.”



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