Signing day: Soccer rules for Fairview as six Knights ink letters of intent

  • Mark Leffingwell

    Fairview's Eric Kronenberg signs a national letter of intent to play soccer at the University of Denver on Wednesday.

  • Mark Leffingwell

    Fairview's Lillian Bitner signs to play college soccer at Yale in a ceremony at FHS on Wednesday as fellow college signees in the background look on: from left to right, Bryan Windsor (Princeton), Jack Mayfield (Metro State), Cory Center (Laramie County Community College).

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BOULDER — When Shane O’Neill signed a pro contract with the Colorado Rapids last season, it further popularized the Fairview soccer program.

The Knights, however, aren’t done churning out high-profile athletes.

Eight Fairview athletes signed their national letters of intent Wednesday in the school’s library, including four for men’s soccer (three played for the Class 5A semifinalist Knights this season).

Eric Kronenberg officially signed with the University of Denver, fellow striker Jack Mayfield with Metro State and defender Cory Center with Laramie Country Community College.

“We’ve been having some crazy years,” Kronenberg said. “I don’t know the exact numbers, but I doubt that Fairview has had such a high level of athletes come through the ranks for quite awhile.”

In addition, midfielder Bryan Windsor signed with Princeton. Windsor is a Fairview student and former member of the Knights, but played academy soccer in the fall.

Kronenberg, who scored 13 goals and added nine assists this season, studied abroad in Switzerland in the second semester of his junior year. Returning to the land where his father grew up, he played club soccer for Neuchatel Xamax while abroad.

Kronenberg had gone to DU summer camps for four consecutive seasons, and the Pioneers kept in touch with him while he was gone. San Francisco was also on the radar.

“Those were the two that I really looked between, but on my official visit to DU, I was just so impressed with how beautiful the campus is and how nice everyone is,” Kronenberg said. “That’s what led me to choosing the University of Denver.”

Not to be outdone, the Fairivew girls soccer team was represented by two signings. Midfielder Lillian Bitner will play at Yale and midfielder Kristin Breakell at West Chester (Penn.) University. The tandem was part of a squad that advanced to the 5A championship game last spring and fell 1-0 to Cherry Creek.

Bitner also considered Emory University and Colorado College. Initially drawn to Yale solely for academic reasons, she was delighted when the Bulldogs recruited her for soccer as well.

“It has such a great balance of Division-I soccer and academics,” Bitner said. “You’re not just an athlete, but a student-athlete which I really like. It came out beautiful.”

Bitner, who stands a tick below 6-foot-1, is considering Pre-Med or something with a chemistry or biology emphasis.

“It will be nice to play for Fairview one last time and focus on trying to get us to state again,” Bitner said.

Also signing Wednesday for Fairview were girls golfer Jordan Sunset (Northern Colorado) and cross country athlete Cory Munsch (University of Tampa).

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