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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Signing for success

Fourteen seniors sign their intent to be a part of collegiate level sports
Taylor Hansen
Looking down at a paper, senior Taylor Hansen signs her letter of intent. Hansen was signing to play division three women’s basketball. “I chose Simpson College in Iowa,” Hansen said. “Their program really stood out to me because the coaches and players invited me in and welcomed me like I was a part of their family.”

During the school year, there are three opportunities for high school athletes to sign their intent to play a college sport as this decision alters their academic and athletic futures, the first being on Wednesday, Nov. 8 on National Letter of Intent signing day.

From the 2024 senior class, 14 athletes signed to various schools for various sports. There were baseball, basketball, soccer players, and a handful of other athletes who are committing to play at the next level. 

From a place that bleeds both school spirit and talent. Baseball is no exception. The team earned a State runner-up title in the 2023 season. The program has also gained many athletes over the years like seniors Tyson Lewis and Michael Valdivia who want to come here for the exposure and the level of competition. With that, they have already had multiple commits including seniors Caden Dreissen, Nicholas Venticher, Valdivia, and Lewis who signed on Wednesday the 8th.

“I am going to be playing at Doane at the NAIA level,” Dreissen said. “I decided to play at Doane because they have done nothing but win the past few years and I believe that they have the best coaching staff out of any schools that I visited. It’s been a dream of mine to play at the next level since I started playing baseball a long time ago.”

While waiting to get an offer can be a stressful process, finally being offered one is validation of all of the hard work and dedication put into that sport. The amount of work that goes into being recruited can be a lot to take on but knowing you get another opportunity to continue with your favorite sport is work senior Lauren Jones was willing to put in even after two devastating ACL tears.

“It took a lot longer for me to commit because I’ve been injured and not as many coaches were looking at me due to the severity of the injuries,” senior Lauren Jones said. “Through a long process, I decided to play at Midland at the NAIA level because the coach has been following me since I was a sophomore and that really stood out to me. I also love the Midland community and my brother goes there so it’ll feel even more like home.”

Whether the college athletes pick are close or far, many are able to find a place that feels like home. From the moment senior Taylor Hansen stepped on campus, both the players and coaches solidified her decision to go there by welcoming her as family.

“I signed to Simpson College in Iowa for division three women’s basketball,” Hansen said. “ I have watched a lot of other athletes sign throughout high school and I always hoped that would be me one day. I chose Simpson because of the relationship I was able to form with the coaches early on. They always reached out and truly got to know me as a player and also as a person. I also wanted to go to a school with a winning program and Simpson is the leader in their conference with 14 conference championships over the year.”

Knowing they wanted to play a sport in college and going through the recruiting process is a big step for these athletes’ futures. It’s exciting to have coaches reach out and get in contact about visiting, offering, and possibly playing at their school. It can be stressful to decide between schools because you could see yourself going to school there and playing, but by the end of all of that, the relief of finding a forever home is unbeatable.

Although all of the athletes have chosen schools across the country, they will all be getting that next best opportunity. Continuing their sport into a collegiate level. 

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About the Contributor
Delaney Lueck
Delaney Lueck, Features Editor
Delaney is a senior and this is her first year on the CATalyst staff, but third year with journalism. In Yearbook, she has had a past role of Copy-Editor. Outside of journalism, Delaney enjoys taking pictures, spending time with friends, traveling, being with family, and being a part of the track team.

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