Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer
Kira Vos / For BoCoPreps.com
Jonathan Castner / For BoCoPreps.com
There’s no doubt Centaurus senior linebacker Mac Post and Mead senior running back Nathan Mackey have crossed paths on the football field a time or two, but it’s never happened during the varsity football season.
That’s all about to change for two of the BoCoPreps.com coverage area’s top players at their respective positions — two players who are good friends despite their schools being separated by some 20 miles.
On Wednesday, as part of a large group of local athletes that dedicated their future time to collegiate athletic programs all across the United States, Mackey and Post signed national letters of intent to play for Colorado School of Mines.
Almost as instantaneous as their friendship began about five years ago through mutual friend Dominic Esters, both Mackey and Post said they didn’t take very long to commit to the Orediggers after an official visit and an offer.
Mackey was the first to declare his commitment, but Post soon followed.
“It’s just one of those dreams you have as a kid, to go play college football, and so as soon as you get that offer it’s just a big moment,” Mackey said on Monday, ahead of Mead’s signing day ceremony that included several football players coming off an 11-1 season. “It’s even cooler that I get to go play with Mac.”
“Part of the reason I went to Centaurus was their engineering program, and it all just fits now going to Mines on top of that,” Post added. “But beyond that, coach (Nick) Fulton and coach (Gregg) Brandon were so great throughout the process and it was one of those things I knew I wanted to be there almost immediately.
“It’s cool to have a close friend going there, and I think we are actually rooming together.”
The Orediggers have been heavy hitters in Division II’s Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference for the past five seasons, winning two RMAC titles and making the playoffs both of those years, as well. In 2017, Mines was 7-4 overall.
Both Mackey and Post cited location as a reason they picked Mines, but the coaching staff also presented the program as a family-like atmosphere. Brandon, a former Colorado Buffaloes assistant coach, is in his fourth year as head coach at the school, which sits in Golden.
Another thing that pushed Mines over the edge for Post was the idea of getting to play his primary position.
“A couple of the schools that were recruiting me wanted me at fullback, and with the Mines coaches telling me I’d be able to play my natural position definitely made it easy,” Post said. “But I know I’m going to get to play against a bunch of BoCo area kids, and that’s going to be fun.”
In earning a trip to the Class 3A quarterfinals, Mead’s senior class of football players will be well represented at the next level alongside Mackey.
Tristen Lee and Derek Edwards will be looking to earn scholarships at Wyoming and Northern Arizona, attending the schools first as walk-ons. Tyler Keys will join a host of BoCo players up at Black Hills State and Zac Erickson will play at Colorado Western State — both school are also in the RMAC. Ryan Lavanchy, Jaxon Bennett and Evan Hansen also will play college ball.
“At Mead, it’s all about family first and how instrumental that is to having success as a team, and I got that same sense of family vibe from Mines,” Mackey said. “It felt like home.
“Seeing all the guys that are signing from Mead, knowing what all went into the past couple seasons and seeing that pay off, it just makes you all the more proud to go to Mead.”
Several local products will join Mackey and Post as soon-to-be teammates all around the region, and football players weren’t the only ones to have their day in the sun on Wednesday. Here are some other local signing day highlights:
• Boulder’s Patrick Fletcher and Ryan Travis will play together at Fort Lewis in Durango.
• Fairview’s Mariano Kemp and Erie’s Cameron Marcucci are headed to Colorado State-Pueblo.
• Monarch’s Ben Cole will join Post and Mackey at Colorado Mines.
• Western State has loaded up on BoCo athletes, including Longmont’s Nic Paone, Silver Creek’s Trevor Riters and Joseph Roth-Bogrett, Frederick’s Matt Olson and Lyons’s Gabe Paznokas.
• Longmont’s Jason Schneider and Broomfield’s Michael DeCamillis signed NLI’s to Chadron State, as did Silver Creek’s TJ Blazon III.
• Keys will also see Legacy’s Troy Mittelstedter and Longmont’s Jarod Fixmer in Spearfish, South Dakota, at BHSU.
• Boulder distance runner Claudia Burgess has signed to run at Oregon and swimmer Quinton Pierce is off to the University of Pittsburgh.
• Broomfield’s Hailey Stodden will play soccer at Utah and Legacy’s Gracie Armstrong is also Pac-12 bound with Washington State.
• Skyline’s Kalen Niedling will stay local and play Division I soccer at Northern Colorado, and Fairview’s Skylar Anderson is adding to the heavy BoCo contingent at Michigan.