Rock Canyon High School athletes who signed letters of intent. Left to right: Joie Hensley, Nicholas (Nico) Padgett, Abby Kochevar, Makayla Kolberg, Dakota Wendell, Benjamin Sneider, Daryl Myers, Ryan Zetwick, Sloan Wiggins, Dalton Lawrence.
By Lisa Nicklanovich; courtesy photos
On February 3, student athletes across the nation signed letters of intent to play their sport at the next level. Here at home, there were ten high school students (from public and private high schools) who reside in our 80108 ZIP code who are committing to a sport while attending college in the fall. We commend all of them and wish them continued success in the future.
At Rock Canyon High School (RCHS), ten athletes signed letters of intent. The following eight students reside in 80108:
Joie Hensley, girls gymnastics, Baylor University, TX. Joie stated, “It was an honor to sign with Baylor on National Signing Day. I am going to continue my athletic career for their acrobatics and tumbling team. I am a level 10 gymnast at Colorado Gymnastics Institute with state titles. At RCHS, I have thrived not only as a student and an athlete but also as a person. I am involved with Fellowship of Christian Students, National Leadership Academy, National Honor Society, and Peer Counseling. These clubs have allowed me to create amazing relationships with students and teachers.”
Abby Kochever, girls swimming, University of Wisconsin – Madison, WI. Coach Nicole Vanderpoel stated, “Abby’s swimming career includes being the three-time 5A Colorado State Champion in the 100 yard backstroke as well as the 2016 50 yard freestyle champ and Colorado 5A swimmer of the year. Abby achieved her Olympic trial qualifying time in the 100 meter backstroke this past summer so she will be competing in the Olympic trials this summer in Omaha, Nebraska. Abby has a cumulative GPA of 3.8 as well as achieving the highest academic honors and academic letter all years at RCHS. Abby’s academic and swimming successes are recognized within the Colorado Prep Sports community as she was recently awarded the Denver Post Student Athlete of the Week as well as Max Preps Athlete of the week last year.”
Makayla Kolberg, girls soccer, Xavier University, OH. Coach Mathew Henbest said, “Makayla has been an excellent contributor to our program the last three years. As a freshman and sophomore, she was an influential member of our junior varsity team and displayed excellent leadership, as well as skill on the playing field. As a junior, Makayla played on the varsity team and was a trusted and respected teammate by her peers. As a senior, we expect her to continue the level of maturity and leadership we have grown accustomed to. I believe we will see dominating play from Makayla, as well as a calming influence on her teammates. Her contributions to RCHS will be missed when she graduates.”
Daryl Myers, boys baseball, Benedictine College, KS. Coach Tyler Munro stated, “Daryl was the starting shortstop and a 3-year varsity letter earner. One of Daryl’s strengths has been his positional flexibility; he has played in the outfield, all four infield positions, and will contribute as a pitcher this year as well. Daryl is looked upon as both a leader and an excellent example of how hard work pays off. At Benedictine College, Daryl is expected to compete for the starting shortstop position as a freshman.”
Nicholas (Nico) Padgett, boys soccer, Missouri State University – Springfield, MO. Nico said, “The opportunity to play Division 1 soccer is something I have hoped for since the first time I laced up my cleats. I am extremely thankful for this opportunity, and hope to make the best of my time at Missouri State.”
Dakota Wendell, girls soccer, Minnesota State University – Mankato, MN. Coach Mathew Henbest said, “Dakota has been a solid four-year varsity player for the RCHS soccer program and was a physically dominating player even as a freshman. Her willingness to sacrifice her body to win the ball and her funny sense of humor has always endeared her to her teammates. She started as the gutsy and talented freshman who kept the upperclassmen laughing and now she has become the respected senior who fosters good relationships with her teammates. Dakota is a talented, yet humble individual who constantly seeks to elevate the level of play to help the team. Her skill and personality will be sorely missed when she graduates.”
Sloan Wiggins, boys lacrosse, Adams State, CO. Coach Louis Goldin stated, “Sloan is a great young man who embodies many of the values we are trying to instill in our young men. He is someone who has grown an immense amount, not just as a lacrosse player, but more importantly as an individual. The great thing is that he is not content with where he is; he continues to strive and grow. Furthermore, he is starting to step up as a leader and take younger players under his wing by talking to them and leading by example. He is someone who often thinks about the ‘we’ before the ‘me’. Sloan is a young man who I never have to question where his heart and effort are. I’m excited to have him for one more year and I am extremely excited for his future at Adams State and beyond.”
Ryan Zetwick, boys golf, Hillsdale College, MI. Coach Dave Vahling said, “It was very easy coaching and working with Ryan last season. He has played all four years, been team captain for two years, and was all-conference and all-state academic two years. Ryan led us to two state appearances and was the #1 league golfer his junior year. With his experience and knowledge of the game, it was almost like having a coach playing for us. Ryan knew the courses, helped other players along, and led the team. I’m sure he will do well at Hillsdale College.”
At Douglas County High School (DCHS), the following 80108 student athletes signed letters of intent:
Rachel Muller, girls soccer, Bowling Green University, OH. Coach Jen House stated, “Rachel is an influential athlete and leader for the DCHS soccer program. She possesses the mental toughness to succeed, not only as a high school and club soccer player, but at the collegiate level too. Expect big things from Rachel during her senior season at DCHS, as well as her freshman season at Bowling Green.”
Kyle Crooks, boys football, University of Nebraska – Kearney, NE. Coach Gene Hill stated, “Kyle started on our offensive line this past year. He improved tremendously over his career and did an outstanding job of leading our offensive line at DCHS in toughness and attitude. Kyle will do an outstanding job at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.”
Congratulations to these outstanding student athletes for their accomplishments!