LOUISVILLE — While Jay MacIntyre garnered many of the headlines at Monarch on Wednesday, he was only one of an impressive crop of athletes who signed in an early-morning ceremony at the school.
Three additional football players signed, as did four from the Coyotes’ vaunted cross country/track program, two soccer players, and one volleyball standout.
While MacIntyre made official his commitment to the University of Colorado, defensive lineman Cody Powers also made an 11th-hour decision. He agreed with Western State on Tuesday, one day before he signed.
Offensive lineman Kody Mommaerts (Northern Colorado) and athlete Zach Hilliard (Minnesota State University Moorhead) had previously announced their commitments and made them official Wednesday.
Monarch football coach Phil Bravo commended his players at the ceremony before lightening the mood by saying: “Good thing there are all these fit cross country athletes here, because that’s more donuts for the football players.”
Bravo also indicated two more football athletes are close to signing. Linebacker Peter Mitchell has given a verbal commitment to Wyoming, while running back Ethan Marks is still sorting through a lengthy list that now includes recent pursuer Rice. Marks also is said to be considering Johns Hopkins University, Dartmouth, Brown, Georgetown and Washington University in St. Louis.
The Coyotes standout running program also was represented well, with three girls athletes set to continue their careers. The Monarch girls have won three straight Class 5A state cross country championships and finished fifth nationally this season.
Coach Kent Rieder called it his “best class ever,” as marquee athletes Claire Green (Arizona), Kaitlyn Benner (Colorado) and Ashley Litoff (Rhodes College, a Division-III power based in Memphis) all signed.
Green said the way she ended up at Arizona was “kind of lucky,” because she was lukewarm about the school when her parents first took her for a visit her junior year after a southwestern regional meet.
“The more I saw the campus, the more I was really into it,” Green said. “The first time I had a chance to speak with the coaches, it was like they were reading my mind. Everything they were saying just sounded so perfect.”
Green’s decision came down to Arizona and Iowa State. She also visited Oregon State, Utah and also considered Arkansas. The trio of Green, Benner and Litoff accounted for several of Monarch’s sterling finishes in their four seasons together.
Parker Sitton, who was part of a Monarch boys squad that turned in third- and seventh-place finishes at state, will run at Arkansas State. All four of the running athletes will take part in both track and cross country.
Soccer standout Cassie Owens made official her commitment to Florida after first announcing it in Jan. of last year, and teammate Megan Lacy signed with Willamette University. Monarch soccer coach Eric Schmidt termed Owens one whose “natural ability is endless” and said Lacy is “the heartbeat of the team.”
Owens missed the varsity season last year because of an ACL injury, but has torn up the club scene for FC Boulder and scored 18 varsity goals as a sophomore.
Volleyball setter Emma Gazaway also signed Wednesday, inking with Trinidad State.
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