19 seniors honored at annual signing ceremony

17 different schools and 11 sports were represented at the ceremony on Wednesday, May 2

Whitney Burke and Kiley Beran

Lauren Ocker, JAG Editor-in-Chief

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  • Senior Mitchell Dervin signs to run cross country and track at Allen County Community College at the annual signing ceremony on Wednesday, May 2.

  • Senior Brayden Carr signs to play baseball at the University of Saint Mary.

  • Senior Devon Handy signs to play baseball at Missouri Valley College.

  • Senior Will Morris signs to play baseball at MidAmerica Nazarene University.

  • Senior Cooper Kaifes signs to play basketball at Loyola University Chicago.

  • Senior Evan Zars signs to play basketball at Saint Louis University.

  • Senior Tyler Coad signs to run cross country and track at Washburn University.

  • Senior Emmy Bidnick signs to dance at Kansas State University.

  • Senior Mitchell Grissom signs to play football at Baker University.

  • Senior Body Flaming signs to play football at Baker University.

  • Senior Bella Hadden signs to play golf at the University of Central Missouri.

  • Senior Haley Minor signs to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh for gymnastics.

  • Senior Payge Bush signs to play soccer at the University of Central Missouri.

  • Senior Gracie Eckardt signs to play soccer at Benedictine College.

  • Senior Bailey Heffernon signs to play soccer at Iowa State University.

  • Senior Emily Munyer signs to play soccer at Washburn University.

  • Senior Peyton Moeder signs to play softball at Valparaiso University.

  • Senior Ava Taton signs to play volleyball at Ottawa University.

  • Senior Conner Ward signs to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College to wrestle.

  • After the ceremony, parents and friends celebrate the athletes who signed to play at the collegiate level.

  • A group of boys from the baseball team pose in front of the backdrop after the signing ceremony.

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During the annual signing ceremony, 19 seniors signed to continue their academic and athletic careers at various colleges across the country on Wednesday, May 2.

The signing ceremony had a unique difference this year; seniors signed one-by-one at a table in the center of the main gym, rather than all of the signees having their own individual tables representing their college. This change gave each student more of a spotlight, as everyone took turns being acknowledged alongside their coaches, friends and families at the room’s focal point

For senior Tyler Coad, who is signing to Washburn University to run cross country and track, signing meant fulfilling his dream of running after high school.

“I feel really good to be signing. It’s special,” Coad said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to be a collegiate athlete because it’s always been a dream of mine.”

In light of the upcoming fall semester, senior Payge Bush, who is signing to play soccer at the University of Central Missouri, looks forward to the new experiences that signing will grant her.

“Signing was really exciting and a cool experience. I felt really nervous to sign, but it was super fun,” Bush said. “I’m excited for soccer season to start. I’m also excited to meet new people and take different types of classes.”

Although many student athletes have trouble choosing a college, Bush’s decision came easy after visiting her school.

“I chose my school based on its community when I went and visited it,” Bush said. “I really liked the coach and his personality. I also talked to the girls on my team to see what they thought.”

Coad believes the ceremony gives a good representation of how well-rounded the school’s athletic programs are.

“The ceremony is important because it shows how the school excels at multiple different sports,” Coad said. “We are not just a one-sport school.”

According the Bush, the ceremony is a crucial part in honoring our students’ hard work.

“The ceremony is important because it congratulates all of the athletes,” Bush said. “It shows how hard they’ve worked the past four years to get where they’re going now.”

The following seniors signed:

Ava Taton: Ottawa University, volleyball

Bailey Heffernon: Iowa State University, soccer

Bella Hadden: University of Central Missouri, golf

Brayden Carr: University of Saint Mary, baseball

Brody Flaming: Baker University, football

Conner Ward: Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, wrestling

Cooper Kaifes: Loyola University Chicago, basketball

Devon Handy: Missouri Valley College, baseball

Emily Munyer: Washburn University, soccer

Emmy Bidnick: Kansas State University, dance

Evan Zars: St. Louis University, basketball

Gracie Eckardt: Benedictine College, soccer

Haley Minor: University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, gymnastics

Mitchell Dervin: Allen County Community College, cross country and track

Mitchell Grissom: Baker University, football

Payge Bush: University of Central Missouri, soccer

Peyton Moeder: Valparaiso University, softball

Tyler Coad: Washburn University, cross country and track

Will Morris: Mid-America Nazarene University, baseball

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