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Signing day: Longmont’s Rivera looking to soar at AFA

LONGMONT — The next challenge for Longmont’s Miles Rivera is going to take him to new heights.

Quite literally.

Meanwhile, Maddy Schwartz is bound to hit the ground running next fall for a soccer program hopefully on the rise in Conference USA.

Those two senior student-athletes were among five total for Longmont High to sign letters of intent on Wednesday afternoon for national signing day. Rivera officially joined the Air Force football team, and Schwartz will be playing soccer for Marshall.

Joining them were Megan Tulenko (soccer, Coe College), Kylie Torres (golf, Otero Junior College) and Andy Lee (football South Dakota School of Mines).

Rivera didn’t always want to be a cadet, but after Air Force charged hard after him, he thought long about the possibilities. Now, the picture he has painted in his mind is quite clear.

“I want to be a pilot in the Air Force and serve my country, represent my country,” Rivera said.

“(The process) was extensive, with all the essays and the interviews with congressmen, interviews with the admissions aid officer. But it was exciting because I knew I was going to go to a great place and do something bigger than just sports.”

The Falcons struggled on the football field in 2013, going 2-10 overall with a winless mark in the Mountain West. But in what will be Troy Calhoun’s sixth year, Rivera is eager to be a part of the turnaround.

He will play defensive end for the Falcons.

“I am excited to be a part of the games. I can’t even imagine what it’ll be like to be a part of it on the field,” he said. “They had a little down year this year, but I believe they are going to come up and be great again like they have in the past.

“I’m going to do what I have to do to make the team better.”

Interestingly, the track coach at Air Force reached out to Rivera as well. As a junior with LHS, Rivera placed fifth at state in the discus, surpassing 155 feet at the 4A meet.

So, he’s going to expand his horizons and continue in both sports.

Schwartz found the right fit to be in Huntington, West Virginia — a picturesque area of the country where coach Kevin Long is looking to build on a 10-7-3 season.

Schwartz was a dependable defender for the Trojans, and she’s looking to bring a lot to the Herd’s back line.

“The team excels in athletics and academics,” Schwartz said. “I can’t wait to join their team. I hope to go in there and make an impact with my speed. But they are already a great team so I’m going to be jumping in and following their example.”

Schwartz is initially considering physical therapy as a profession, and Marshall’s medical campus was one of the driving forces in her decision.

“They have a great physical therapy program and they are constantly improving the medical side of the school,” she added. “I am really excited to see what they have to offer me.”

 

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