Legacy goes virtual for graduating seniors on National Signing Day

Student athletes ink plans for NCAA careers

Ryan Dunn
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 2/8/21

Eleven Legacy High School student-athletes signed national letters of intent on Feb. 3, finalizing their commitment to play their respective sports at the NCAA level. The Legacy athletic department …

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Legacy goes virtual for graduating seniors on National Signing Day

Student athletes ink plans for NCAA careers

Posted

Eleven Legacy High School student-athletes signed national letters of intent on Feb. 3, finalizing their commitment to play their respective sports at the NCAA level.

The Legacy athletic department hosted a Zoom call to allow the commits to sign their NLI’s in the virtual company of their peers.

National Signing Day is the first day that commits can sign a binding national letter of intent declaring their official commitment to playing for their chosen college or university. More than 670 NCAA Division I and Division II schools recognize NLIs, which are typically deemed completed once the student-athlete has faxed the letter to their school of choice. 

The Lightning’s girls soccer team led the way with five signees from its senior class, followed by the school’s baseball team, which had four signees. Three of the signees will be attending college in Colorado, while the other eight will be taking their talents out of state.

Cale Claridge, a four-year varsity baseball player for the Lightning, decided to stay in-state, signing with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The proximity to home, coupled with a strong athletic and academic fit, made Claridge’s decision an easy one.

“Personally, I wanted to stay home. I wanted to be close to my family and get a good education,” said Claridge. “And UCCS was the first school that really reached out

to me and expressed interest in me. When I went down there to do the workout, I saw the campus and met (head Coach Dave) Hajek – we talked about all of the good courses to study.” 

Other signees, such as Creighton University cross country commit Ryan Montera, opted for a change of scenery. Montera said that after visiting the Omaha, Neb. university last year, he knew he wanted to run for the Blue jays.  

“I was really drawn to the culture – the culture of Omaha, the culture of the team they have there and, of course, the coaches that were there too,” said Montera. “It was a pretty easy decision. I made my pick and haven’t looked back since.” 

While deciding which college to attend is certainly a milestone decision in any young person’s life, deciding what to study once enrolled is arguably just as important.

Neither Claridge nor Montera has declared a major yet, but both said their studies at Legacy informed and prepared them for the academic challenges that lie ahead. 

“Academically, I’ve taken a few classes I feel will help me, especially on the business side of things,” said Claridge, who is deciding between pursuing business and sports management.  

“I took a class called Big Ideas which really taught me about business and how to start a nonprofit, how to get it up and running, and how to make connections. Academically, the whole, entire business side of Legacy is what’s really going to help me pursue getting a business degree in college.” 

Montera, who is interested in studying political science, said that the academic rigor of Legacy helped him learn how to balance schoolwork and running – an important lesson in time management he believes will allow him to make a seamless transition to Creighton.

“[Legacy] is really great. It’s challenging academically which allows me to balance a heavy schedule with a lot of running and a lot of schoolwork,” said Montera. “So, it really pushed me to try to find that balance and work my hardest so that when it comes time to go to college and you’re running even more miles and doing even more homework, you can be ready to take on that challenge.” 

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