LAFAYETTE -- While many of the nation's top athletes inked their letters of intent a few days back, Shanlie Anderson enjoyed a routine Wednesday.
The Centaurus multi-sport athlete wasn't fretting about an upcoming decision, though. Just like those scores of other athletes, her decision had been made. Anderson merely decided to wait until Friday to officially sign, so her father, Greg, could return from out of town and see it in person.
So Anderson's moment finally arrived Friday afternoon at Centaurus High School, when, in front of classmates, teammates, coaches and family, she signed a national letter of intent to play soccer at Northern Colorado.
"I always said I wanted to go far away, but now that it's here, I'm happy I'm only an hour away," Anderson said. "My parents will still be able to watch me play."
The speedy striker grew emotional when thanking her coaches and others who helped her along the way, but the tone was mostly light and jovial. Girls basketball coach Jeff Jackson began his remarks with: "Even though she chose the wrong sport, we're OK with that."
Jackson went on to laud Anderson's prowess in the classroom -- Warriors athletic director Paul Roper said she carries a 4.2 grade-point average -- and rave about her potential as a college athlete.
In addition to soccer and basketball, Anderson competed for the softball team in the fall and is a member of the track team. She previously played volleyball in the fall before switching to softball as a senior.
But soccer is her calling card.
"UNC is one of the few programs in the state that has Division-I soccer, and Shanlie is lucky to have the opportunity to play there," Warriors soccer coach Mario Bezzina said. "But at the same time, it's not just luck that took her there. . . . So the reality is, UNC is lucky to get a student-athlete of Shanlie's type."
Anderson indicated that soccer isn't only her best sport, but also her favorite. Her blazing speed allows her to get behind defenders and makes her nearly impossible to mark with a single player.
She scored 12 goals and added five assists last year for the Warriors, who finished 10-5-2.
"We're going to start looking at her as a Warrior-Bear," Bezzina joked, amalgamating the mascots of Centaurus and UNC. "I don't think anyone is going to mess with that."
Anderson has some unfinished business before heading off to college. The Warriors basketball team is 13-5 and aiming to nail down a quality playoff seed. Plus, there's soccer and track in the spring.
"I'll miss basketball the most, just because I've played that my whole life, too," Anderson said.
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