BROOMFIELD — It wasn’t so much a surprise that Kelsey Killean inked her letter of intent on Wednesday to the University of Georgia, it was how it came to be.
The Legacy standout soccer player was one of 23 Lightning seniors — seven of which were girls soccer players — to make it official in the school’s auditorium.
“I’m so excited, I’m ready to get out of here and go to Georgia,” said Killean, who gave her verbal commitment to the Southeastern Conference school at the end of her sophomore season. “I’m ready to experience college.”
Killean had planned on attending a team camp at Clemson in South Carolina, but because it was cheaper to fly into Atlanta, the Killean family decided to stop in Athens and take a tour of the campus.
“We just visited and I fell in love with everything about it,” said Killean, whose little sister proudly sported her UGA Bulldog T-shirt. “It just happened.”
Lightning girls soccer coach David Castro’s wealth of signing talent also included: Jasmine Beaulieu (Fort Hays State), Jacey Coniff (Harvey Mudd College), Shayla Honkanen (Otero JC), Madelyn Huber (Augustana College), Ariana Jimenez (Otero JC) and Brooke Williams (UCCS).
“I’m just proud of them and they have put a lot of effort into this for a long time and this is the day where they actually get to enjoy it,” said Castro, whose team went to the state semifinals last season. “Their dreams become a little bit closer to reality for them.”
The signature sport at Legacy has always been its softball program and head coach Dawn Gaffin again had her fair share or signees. Kylie Barnard (UCCS), Rachel Caden (Bethany College), Aspen Eubanks (Chadron State), Marina Kelly (Dodge City CC), Shania Leon (Frank Phillips College) and Laramie Rewerts (Western Nebraska CC) will all represent the Lightning at the next level.
Golfer Sarah Hankins signed on the dotted line to play at the University of Wyoming. She chose the Cowboys, not only for the program, but for the quality of education she knows she is going to get.
“I want to do mechanical engineering and renewable energies as a double major and Wyoming is well known for their engineering program,” said Hankins, a scratch golfer who is excited about the new indoor facility being built for the team in Laramie. “That is one of the few schools I was able to pursue both and it seemed like a great fit.”
Other signings of note for the Lightning included: football players Tyler Baum (Western State), Drew Hebel (Black Hills State), Andrew LaGuardia (Black Hills State) and Chandler Medina (South Dakota Mines). Swimmer Fiona Dretzka will attend Siena College in New York and in addition to swimming she will also try and walk on to the Saints’ women’s water polo team.
Rounding out the Legacy signees were baseball players Lucas Gilbreath (signed in the fall to Minnesota) and Devin Payne (St. Mary’s College in California) as well as twins David and Mike Rosencrans, who will play tennis for the Merchant Marine Academy.
At Broomfield, where soccer coach Jim Davidson has sent dozens of players to the next level, Wednesday was no different. And highlighting the 2014 class of Eagles signees was Brittney Stark, who after verbally committing to the University of Colorado as a freshman, finally got to make it official.
“It’s been long awaited and I’m so glad it is finally here,” said Stark, who was joined by teammates Katie Forsee (Portland State), Paige Lindbloom (Otero JC) and Kerri Marquardt (Wisconsin-Whitewater) in the signing ceremony.
“It makes it that much more special to know that your teammates are here and all the people that you grew up into your high school self with. Also my coaches are here and my teammates are here cheering me on. It’s just a special environment around Broomfield.”
Also on the list of signees for the Eagles were football players Michael Wristen (CSU-Pueblo) and Michael Horner (Morningside College), boys soccer standout Ben Gibble (Adams State), girls basketball’s Meghan Stovall (Wheaton College), baseball player Simeon Combs (York College), softball player Shelby Grandt (Augustana College) and golfer Bridger Ryan (McCook CC).
Finally at Holy Family, the Tigers football duo of David Sommers (Colorado School of Mines) and Tyler Dudden (Western State) also will continue on to the next level.
Follow Jon on Twitter at twitter.com/JonEYunt