Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer
Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer
So, what did you do last summer?
You can bet that Allie Colvin’s story was better than yours and likely unlike anything that any other high school student would come close to telling you.
The Niwot senior spent 10 weeks of her summer in the hot and muggy conditions of South Carolina at Fort Jackson in the Army’s basic training and it was everything you can imagine.
“Drill sergeants are the real deal. They aren’t afraid to yell at you or get in your face,” said Colvin, who remembers getting her phone “maybe twice” during the 10 weeks for a five minute call home to let her mom know she was still alive. “They will call you the most creative names, but they basically teach you how to transition from the civilian to the military part of it.
“All of you is whatever the drill sergeants want you to be and from sunrise to sunset, you are their little puppets.”
And it is not just a just-try-it-out thing for Colvin. Upon graduation next month, Colvin – who enlisted the day after the Cougars final basketball game at Northridge in February – will be at Fisher College in Boston, a part of the ROTC program there and eventually a full-on member of the Army.
Oh and all the while, she has been a two sport athlete, an active member of the anything she can do in and around the school as well as handling a demanding course load.
To say she has been toughened up both physically and mentally is a mild understatement.
“I could scream at her, make her do things multiple times and run, run, run and she would just look at me and laugh,” Niwot basketball coach Terri Ward said. “And I would ask her if I was getting on her too hard and she just look at me say ‘I went to boot camp.'”
Even with a nagging knee injury that has given her fits throughout her prep career, Colvin hasn’t blinked. She played in all 23 basketball games, averaging four points and three rebounds.
But where she really excels is on the pitch as the Cougars goalie. To date, she has helped Niwot to a 5-2-1 start with four shutouts – including Tuesday’s big 0-0 draw against crosstown rival and second-ranked Silver Creek.
“She basically embodies the words mentally tough. She is every coach’s dream in terms of locking down her position,” Niwot soccer coach Stephen Dimit said. “She has no quit in her and she has just grown so much.
“She is hungry to learn and grow as a keeper. When I got here, she was good but she blew us away last year.”
The desire to serve her country came from her great grandfather, who was in the Air Force in his day and it was something that has always peaked her interest.
“Growing up, I always got to hear all of his stories and it always sparked a light and I knew that one day it could be a lot of fun,” said Colvin, who will also play soccer for the Falcons of Fisher. “I started looking into it more when I got to high school and during my sophomore year, I finally said, ‘You know, I’m doing it.’
“It was always in my mind that I wanted to do something bigger than myself and I could never really figure it out until I started talking with the recruiters. Then I was like, where do I sign?”
After high school graduation, Colvin will head to Texas for a nine week job training course that will help her get ready for the next step of her military journey.
The ultimate goal for Colvin is to join the military police. She plans on studying criminal justice at Fisher.
“Again, something bigger than myself,” she said.