Collegiate Dreams Come True

Four students at FHS sign to play sports at the collegiate level

Display+of+Jonah+Sanders+after+signing+for+Bethany+College+to+continue+playing+baseball
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Collegiate Dreams Come True

Display of Jonah Sanders after signing for Bethany College to continue playing baseball

Display of Jonah Sanders after signing for Bethany College to continue playing baseball

Aria Bragalone

Display of Jonah Sanders after signing for Bethany College to continue playing baseball

Aria Bragalone

Aria Bragalone

Display of Jonah Sanders after signing for Bethany College to continue playing baseball

Aria Bragalone, Staff Writer

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On Thursday, December 5, friends and families gathered at Frederick High School to celebrate the great accomplishments of the student-athletes that have signed to play college sports. The celebration began right after school with people swarming to get seats and cameras in every hand, waiting to get the best shot as the students signed.

Jayden Horner, Alena Jaramillo, Tyler Segura, and Jonah Sanders all sat front and center as our Athletic Director, LeRoy Lopez, congratulated them with a heartfelt speech acknowledging their hard work and the immense support from their coaches and families. Then, the coaches of each athlete had time to express their excitement for them, telling funny and sappy stories from seasons past. Parents teared up as they watched their children sign the papers and turn a new page in their lives.

Jayden Horner’s display after signing to continue playing softball for the Knights.

After everybody got their photo-ops and hugs and gifts were given, the celebration continued with cake and punch. During this time, I had the opportunity to interview the athletes:

I started off by asking them what this accomplishment meant to them, and they all seemed to have the same general answer: the dreams they have been chasing since they were kids had finally come true, and it was a feeling like no other.

Jonah Sanders, who signed with Bethany College for baseball, said it perfectly, “This means so much to me. I have been working towards this my whole life and it’s amazing to see it come to full fruition.”

I then followed with a question that would further expand on their dreams and ambitions: “What are your goals for this new step in your life?”

Jayden Horner, who signed with North Platte Community College for softball stated, “My goal is to learn and absorb as much information that I can in order to become a better softball player and person in general.”

Tyler Segura said, “The goal for me is to acquire an education in engineering and play the sport I love, using that as an escape.” He also signed to Bethany College for baseball.

Wanting to see their excitement for their journey ahead, I asked what they were looking forward to the most in the next few years as collegiate athletes.

Alena Jaramillo, now committed to Garden City Community College for softball, is most excited to “Meet [her] team and make new relationships that will make [her] stronger as an athlete and student.”

Jonah Sanders answered: “I’m excited to meet new people and face a new set of challenges. I have grown up and competed with the same people my whole life, so it will be refreshing to meet and play against new people.”

Among the excitement, this is a big change, so I asked them what they were most nervous for.

Jayden Horner admitted, “I am most nervous about the transition from high school to college as far as the classes go, but I am very thankful to be there with people that I already know.” Jayden’s good friend Ashlyn from her club softball team will also be playing with her at NPCC.

Alena commented, “I am nervous for all of the busy days, but I am ready to work hard.”

Finally, I asked them if they had any advice for other student-athletes who aspire to play at the collegiate level.

Jonah had a very honest response: “Just go for it. Try to get in contact with any school that catches your eye. Most of us can’t play forever so we might as well try to play as long as we can.”

Tyler followed, advising these athletes to “Never give up. Always try new things and push yourself to get to the next level.”

Alena came with especially important pieces of advice: “Keep your grades up, and push to be even a little better than you were yesterday.”

To end things, Jayden preached: “ You never know who is watching you. There are coaches everywhere watching how you behave on the field and off the field and how you carry yourself in general. Be aware of how you are acting and carrying yourself on a daily basis and how you treat other people. Also, focus on your grades. They will always look at you for your athletic ability, but if you don’t have good grades then they will walk away from you.”

These four have been exceptional role models for both their classmates and teammates with so much more room to grow as students and athletes, and this signing ceremony was a celebration of just that.