THORNTON -- Riverdale Ridge High School saluted its first athletes to sign college athletic letters of intent during a ceremony April 19 at the school.
Cayden Mazurek signed to play football at Lake Forest College. Nikki Waddle chose to play softball at Chadron (Nebraska) State College. Dakota Pruitt, Mathias Talarico, Grant Wroblewski and Easton McKenzie picked Otero Junior College for baseball. The softball program at Kansas Wesleyan drew the commitment of Destiny Hackney, Carly Villegas chose the basketball program at Nebraska Wesleyan, and Kylie Bach tabbed Metropolitan State University in Denver for women's soccer.
RRHS will celebrate its first class of graduating seniors this spring, and all the athletes had to maneuver their way around an ongoing pandemic plus a potential lack of scholarship money from colleges.
"You are the first graduates. You are the first signees from Riverdale Ridge. No one can take that away from you," said athletic director Harry Waterman. "You went to school somewhere else, and you chose to enroll here. You helped us create a special place where we can be proud."
The athletes' coaches spoke of accomplishments and some stories about their respective first visits with the soon-to-be graduates.
"It's been fun to watch you grow from sophomores with voices cracking to skillful young adults," Waterman said. "We get to watch that. That is why educators do what we do. You've shown the ability to stay focused. You have college scholarships, even in the absence of seasons and off-seasons."
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