LONGMONT -- In football, life as a kicker can be filled with pressure and scrutiny but it also provides the opportunity for shining moments.
Longmont High senior Miles Bergner has had his share of shining moments kicking the pigskin for the Trojans. His brightest yet came Wednesday afternoon.
In the gym lobby at Longmont High School, Bergner signed his national letter of intent to continue his kicking career, and shining moment tally, with the football team at the University of South Dakota.
"It's been a dream of mine forever. I always envisioned myself playing at a Division-I school," Bergner said. "University of South Dakota, they really made a strong push. They made themselves special to me."
Bergner gets a scholarship and a chance to continue his football career while getting a paid-for college education. For the Coyotes, Bergner fills a glaring needs for both a kicker and a punter.
"Maybe the biggest key to the whole board is Miles Bergner," Coyotes head coach Joe Glenn said in the team's signing day press release. "He's a guy who can kick and punt, and is a player we need to contribute immediately.
Bergner said he found out on his official visit that he'd be joining the Coyotes as both a punter and place-kicker. He said he hopes to start four years at both positions.
His senior season, Bergner made 10 of 11 field goal attempts, including a 50-yarder, had a 43.5-yard net punting average and kicked 49 of his 57 kickoffs for touchbacks. He was one of 102 high school players from across the nation to participate in the Army High School All-American Game in San Antonio, Texas, on Jan. 5. In his Trojans career, he hit 28 of 37 field goals with a long of 55 yards, and recorded 158 touchbacks on 199 kickoffs.
Bergner (6-1, 200) was also considering the University of Northern Colorado and the Air Force Academy. He said he looks forward to playing for Coyotes head coach Joe Glenn but it was Coyotes offensive line coach Brett Harvey, a Longmont High grad and former player and coach at the University of Northern Colorado, that really drew him to the program.
"He played for Coach Joe Glenn and he was the first person to contact me," Bergner said. "He became a friend of mine and he's really made a name for himself at the school that he coaches at."
The Trojans senior, who took 13th place in the discus at the 2012 Class 4A Colorado track and field state championships, is also hoping to compete for a spot on the track team at South Dakota on top of his full ride for football. Talking to the track coaches, he said they could try him out in the hammer and javelin events.
"They told me I was a little small to be a discus and shot thrower so they said guys my size usually go with the hammer," Bergner said. "I'll go up there and learn it and hopefully contribute to that team as well."
Alongside Bergner, football teammates Forrest Wetterstrom and Marcus Johnson singed their own letters of intent.
Wetterstrom, a dual-threat quarterback and multi-sport standout, will join the football team at Western State University of Colorado. Johnson, who also plays basketball and throws for the LHS track team, signed as a defensive lineman at Colorado State Univeristy-Pueblo.
"It means a lot to me to be lucky enough to play football at the next level," Wetterstrom said. "I'm glad that it's Western State, too, because I've grown up down there, I go hunting down there and I have family members down there near Gunnison."
Signing for soccer, Trojans midfielder Alexie Marr will head to Denver and play for Metropolitan State College of Denver. From the LHS basketball team, senior forward Gabriella Fallon, who is originally from Minnesota, signed to play at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minn.
Senior outfielder Josh Crist, who wants to stay in Colorado, signed to play at Otero Junior College in La Junta.
"I've always liked the idea of junior college because you can get experience playing and then potentially get a D-I or D-II scholarship somewhere else," Crist said. "Otero is a good opportunity for that and to get a good education."
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